Cannabis Law Tips – Show 67

Sorry Sheila Polk, Bill Montgomery and Mark Brnovich – Marijuana Does Not Negatively Affect the Brain

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According to a recent study and a report issued in The Journal of Neuroscience, marijuana use is not associated with structural changes in the brain. Investigators from the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Louisville in Kentucky assessed brain morphology in both daily adult and adolescent cannabis users compared to non-users, with a particular focus on whether any differences were identifiable in the nucleus accumbens, amygdala, hippocampus, and the cerebellum. Investigators reported “no statistically significant differences … between daily users and nonusers on [brain] volume or shape in the regions of interest” after researchers controlled for participants’ use of alcohol. “[T]he results indicate that, when carefully controlling for alcohol use, gender, age, and other variables, there is no association between marijuana use and standard volumetric or shape measurements of subcortical structures,” researchers reported.

marijuana talk radio

The study’s results failed to replicate well-publicized findings reported in the same journal in 2014, purporting to associate cannabis use by young adults with changes in brain morphology. Authors of the new study theorized that the contradictory results were likely because of previous researchers’ failure to adequately control for the effects of alcohol, which “has been unequivocally associated with deleterious effects on brain morphology and cognition in both adults and adolescents.”

Researchers concluded that “[I]t seems unlikely that marijuana use has the same level of long-term deleterious effects on brain morphology as other drugs like alcohol. … The press may not cite studies that do not find sensational effects, but these studies are still extremely important.”

Full text of the study, “Daily marijuana use is not associated with brain morphometric measures in adolescents or adults,” appears in The Journal of Neuroscience. Thanks to Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, paul@norml.org., for this information.

Findings of another risk assessment study published in the journal Nature: Scientific Reports, conclude that health risks associated with the use of cannabis have likely been “overestimated” while the dangers associated with the consumption of alcohol “have been commonly underestimated,” An international team of investigators from Germany and Canada performed a comparative risk assessment of various substances – including alcohol, tobacco, opiates, cannabis, and cocaine – based on their level of toxicity following human exposure. The authors reported that cannabis possessed the lowest risk of any of the substances assessed while alcohol possessed the highest risk.

These results “point to a risk management prioritization toward alcohol and tobacco rather than illicit drugs,” the authors concluded. They added that cannabis’ low risk categorization suggests a “strict regulatory approach rather than the current prohibition approach [would be more logical and beneficial].” In other words, they believe that cannabis should be treated like a prescription drug.

Thanks again to and for more information please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Comparative risk assessment of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and other illicit drugs using the margin of exposure approach,” appears online here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4311234/

Please remember to always carry your card and renew it before it expires.

Jeffrey S. Kaufman, Esq.

5725 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 190

Scottsdale, AZ 86250

(480) 994-8000

Email: Jeff@KaufmanEsq.com

Jeffkaufmanlaw.com

ArizonaMarijuanaLawyers.com

By rubylexi • March 5, 2015 • 12:00 am • Leave a comment

Cannabis Law Tips – Show 64

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Medical Marijuana in Arizona

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PTSD has been added as a condition for which a patient may receive a medical marijuana patient card in Arizona. This will allow PTSD patients, as other patients to purchase up to 2.5 oz. of medical marijuana every two weeks from a state-licensed dispensary.

After more than a two year struggle, PTSD advocates finally persuaded Will Humble, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, that there is sufficient medical evidence to support the beneficial use of medical cannabis by PTSD suffers. PTSD joins CANCER, GLAUCOMA, POSITIVE STATUS FOR HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS, ACQUIRED IMMUNE DEFICIENCY SYNDROME, HEPATITIS C, AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS, CROHN’S DISEASE, AGITATION OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE, A CHRONIC OR DEBILITATING DISEASE OR MEDICAL CONDITION OR ITS TREATMENT THAT PRODUCES ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING: CACHEXIA OR WASTING SYNDROME; SEVERE AND CHRONIC PAIN; SEVERE NAUSEA; SEIZURES, INCLUDING THOSE CHARACTERISTIC OF EPILEPSY; OR SEVERE AND PERSISTENT MUSCLE SPASMS, INCLUDING THOSE CHARACTERISTIC OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, as conditions for which a person may receive a medical marijuana patient’s card.

cannabis radio

As you may already know, most medical marijuana patients claim “severe and chronic pain” as their qualifying condition. This is really not unexpected and I don’t know why mmj detractors seize on this statistic as a basis for claiming that the Arizona Medical Marijuana Program is a farce. There are thousands, if not millions of people in this country that suffer from “severe and chronic” back pain, as well as painful arthritis and other painful conditions. For years they have taken narcotics and other legal and illegal medications for their pain. Some have died from overdoses. Others blindly stare at the television all day. Some have become criminals in order to get their medications.

On the other hand, in the past three years I have met dozens of people that feel blessed by the fact that they are able to use medical cannabis instead of most, if not all of their narcotics. I don’t know what else to say: Wake up America! Medical Marijuana helps sick people! Why can’t we embrace this concept and regulate or legalize and tax this important medicine?

P.S. If you are a card holder or when you become one, it might be beneficial to review the list of qualifying conditions and see if you have other grounds for getting your card other than “chronic pain.” I did. It might help someone else some day.

This is attorney Jeff Kaufman for Weeducated Radio reminding you to carry your card. You can show it to the police, but never let them search your vehicle or home without a search warrant.

Jeffrey S. Kaufman, Esq.

5725 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 190

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 994-8000

(480) 994-8129 fax

www.jeffkaufmanlaw.com

www.arizonamarijuanalawyers.com

By rubylexi • February 11, 2015 • 12:00 am • Leave a comment

Cannabis Law Tips – Show 63

2016 Arizona Recreational Marijuana Act

2016 Arizona Cannabis Marijuana legalization

I’ve just got a copy of the Marijuana Policy Project of Arizona’s draft of a proposed initiative to decriminalize marijuana, in limited quantities, and allow its possession and growth by everyone over age 21.

Here is my take on it, from the point of view of various segments of society.

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Patients: Whoppee! We can grow 6 plants. We don’t need a special card to purchase recreational marijuana. I don’t even have to be a state resident to get high in two totally different ways over the Grand Canyon (aside from the federal land issue). We can possess up to only 1 ounce at a time, including up to 5 grams of extracts, waxes, etc. Tinctures and edibles are treated fairly. We can still only consume marijuana on private property, with permission of the property owner. The DUI standards are clarified to just and only require proof that the driver was actually “impaired” in order to be convicted, rather than basing charges on the presence of metabolites of THC in one’s system.

The tax rate is 15%, plus the usual sales taxes. No need to by a card. The marijuana must be tested, which will raise the price, but make it safer, at least theoretically.

The penalty of possession of more than 1 oz., but less than 2.5 az is a “petty offense,” like littering, subject to a fine of no more than $300.00, which is rumored to be included in the cost of the Super Bowl tickets next time it’s played in Arizona.

Business: For those that are already in or want to get into the cannabis business, there will be two Gold Rushes. Some existing licensees (licensed dispensaries) and their board members will have the exclusive right to become recreational marijuana cultivators and licensed retail recreational marijuana shops, until July 1, 2019. It makes sense on many levels. Unless you are willing to wait until July 2, 2019, if you are not already a board member of a medical marijuana dispensary when the Act passes in November, 2016, you won’t be happy.

On the other hand, subject to rules to be adopted by DHS, you can still become a licensed “marijuana distributor” (wholesaler and/or delivery service) of licensed “marijuana cultivator.” You can even become a licensed wholesale “marijuana product manufacturer” of edibles, tinctures, wax, etc., without owning a dispensary or cultivation site,.

The cost of getting into recreational business is “grandormous,” presumably to discourage the timid or weak. Dispensaries: $20,000 the first year; $6,600.00 thereafter. Cultivators: $30,000.00 the first year; $10,000 thereafter; “Product Manufacturers, infusers, kitchens; $10,000 plus the cost of government compliance; $3,300.00 thereafter; “marijuana distributors,” delivery services and wholesalers of licensed recreational cultivation and/or maybe dispensary supplied medicine, $15,000 the first year; $5,000 thereafter; Testing facilities; $15,000, plus the cost of government compliance; $5,000.00 thereafter.

Oh, by the way, I forgot to tell you that the recreational program, including the millions it expects to raise, is going to be run by the Arizona Department of Gaming, not the Arizona Department of Health Services. Perhaps we will be seeing advertisements that say something like: “You’ll benefit more by using marijuana legally, than playing the lottery.”

Jeffrey S. Kaufman, Esq.

5725 N. Scottsdale Road, Ste. 190

Scottsdale, AZ 85254.

Ph: 480-994-8000

Fax: 480-994-8129

jeff@kaufmanesq.com

www.jeffkaufmanlaw.com

www.arizonamarijuanalawyers.com

By rubylexi • February 4, 2015 • 12:00 am • Leave a comment

Cannabis Law Tips – Show 61

Why Cannabis is a Controlled Substance and What is Being Done to Try to Change It?

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It should be no surprise to any of you that marijuana still is a Schedule I Controlled Substance and treated as a narcotic drug. According to the feds, there is no medical use for cannabis, so it is placed in a category with heroin. No doctor can prescribe either of them.

How can this be? There are studies from Israel and other countries that clearly support the medical benefits of cannabis. There are millions of Americans that use marijuana regularly. Thousands of us, if not more, have given up or dramatically reduced our use of opiates because marijuana is an effective way to reduce pain. Cannabinoids have been proven effective to treat seizures, Krohn’s disease, glaucoma, boost appetite, diminish the side effects of chemotherapy, etc. President Obama has publically stated that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol. United States Attorney Richard Holder announced that the federal government will not prosecute people who abide by state-approved medicinal cannabis laws.

Cannabis not schedule one

The Eastern District of California is taking up the scheduling issue, in a case that is named United States v. Schweder. The result is not a foregone conclusion. The government has come up with some interesting arguments. It argues that, at most, defendants established that there is some dispute among doctors as to whether marijuana is medicine. But proving that there is some disagreement among experts merely proves that patients lose because Congress is free to choose among competing alternatives, so long as there is a rational basis for listing marijuana as a Schedule I Controlled Substance. The government alleges that: “It is beyond dispute that there is more than the minimum rational basis for marijuana’s treatment as a controlled substance.” According to the feds, under rational basis test, the government “has no obligation to produce evidence to sustain the rationality of a statutory classification; rather, the burden is on the one attacking the legislative arrangement to negative every conceivable basis which might support it.Kahawaiolaa v. Norton, 386 F.3d 1271, 1280 (9th Cir.2004). Allegedly, the conceivable bases for classifying one of our favorite medicines as a Schedule I Controlled Substance include are the facts that: “The substance has a high potential for abuse; and it has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S.; and there is a lack of accepted safety for its use under medical supervision.” They cite the testimony of their experts, who support these claims.

Schweder’s counsel argued that it is a violation of equal protection under the law to discriminate against cannabis users, especially in states that have adopted medical marijuana laws. The government claims that there is no fundamental right to grow, possess or distribute marijuana. The feds claim that marijuana users are not the victim of intentional discrimination, under the “rational basis” or any other test. They point out that Congress is permitted to re-schedule or de-schedule marijuana, if it so chooses, if and when Congress can be persuaded that “developing science and circumstances” warrant it.”

We have already met the “developing science” test, but the government’s approach is that the only acceptable science is the result of (non-existent) FDA scientific tests, analyzing raw data derived using the government’s own produced and tested cannabis. However, the feds have only provided its marijuana for tests aimed at proving that cannabis has no value, is bad for undeveloped brains or is addictive. If nothing else, government-sponsored scientific testing should be undertaken in tests that consider whether cannabis helps people with PTSD, Krohn’s disease, muscular dystrophy, chronic pain and other ailments—especially since the government ignores all other reports and tests.

In addition, the government argues that defendants lack standing to challenge marijuana’s status as a controlled substance, and the Court lacks jurisdiction over Schweder’s “back-door scheduling challenge.” This technicality is based upon the fact that the defendant was charged with conspiracy and/or possessing, dispensing or manufacturing a Controlled Substance and possessing more than 1,000 marijuana plants. Because “Marijuana’s placement on Schedule I is not an element of the crime or a factor in the sentence [that Mr. Schweder could receive],” this may be a viable defense. However, if the court decides this case on that basis, it will not answer the most relevant issue of whether actually cannabis belongs on the list of Schedule I Controlled Substances “because it has a high potential for abuse, has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S. and there is a lack of accepted safety for its use under medical supervision.”

Why don’t these criteria apply to alcohol? We all probably know someone who died, as the result of binge or a lifetime of alcohol consumption-unlike marijuana that has never killed anyone and has no known toxic level or drug interaction issue. Doctors don’t prescribe ingestion of alcohol. There is a lack of accepted safety for alcohol use under medical supervision. Let’s just be fair!

Wake up Congress and smell the flower!

This is attorney Jeffrey S. Kaufman for Weeducated Radio reminding you to always carry your mmj card and not to allow the police search anything without a warrant, no matter what they tell you.

Jeffrey S. Kaufman, Esq.

5725 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 190

Scottsdale, Arizona 85250

(480) 994-8000 telephone

(480) 004-8129 fax

www.jeffkaufmanlaw.com

www.arizonamarijuanaattorneys.com

By rubylexi • January 21, 2015 • 12:00 am • Leave a comment

Cannabis Law Tips – Show 60

In this episode of Cannabis Law, we have a great tip by attorney Jeff Kaufman regarding the DUI laws in Arizona and how cannabis users are likely to be affected by it.

Marijuana in Your Blood and Driving in Arizona-Have the Rules Changed?

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How can you be convicted of marijuana -related driving offenses in Arizona? In my opinion and conventional wisdom; and hopefully the Arizona Supreme Court will bear this out, the only way you can be punished for having marijuana in your system while driving is if you are actually “impaired.”

This is more than theory. The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) clearly states that its intention is to decriminalize the possession and use of marijuana and protect cardholders from arrest and prosecution. This is supported by A.R.S. Section 36-2802 (D), part of the AMMA, which states that:

A REGISTERED QUALIFYING PATIENT SHALL NOT BE CONSIDERED TO BE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA SOLELY BECAUSE OF THE PRESENCE OF METABOLITES OR COMPONENTS OF MARIJUANA THAT APPEAR IN INSUFFICIENT CONCENTRATION TO CAUSE IMPAIRMENT.

The issues are: Under what circumstances (or concentration) does marijuana cause impairment? Is there a test that conclusively proves when someone is impaired? Does Arizona law even allow for such testing and the introduction of the test results in court?

A few states have adopted statutes setting a threshold of the amount of certain metabolites of marijuana that constitutes a presumption of guilt or a separate offense. Colorado is one of them. In Colorado, you can go to jail for having 5.0 ng/ml of TCH in your blood.

Without belaboring the detailed distinctions between the various chemicals and their metabolites that occur when cannabis burns or is digested, we are technically talking about X ng/ml (nanograms/milliliter) of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabol (“THC”) in the bloodstream. In Darrah v. McClennen/City of Mesa, a recent case under the microscope, Mr. Darrah had 4.0 ng/ml of THC in his system. We do not know how he happened to be searched/blood tested. He was a licensed mmj patient.

In pre-AMMA days it was a crime to have any THC or any non-prescription drug in your system while driving. It still is, but not for cannabis. USE OF MARIJUANA AND ITS METABOLITES ARE NOT ILLEGAL FOR CARDHOLDERS. We do know why the trial judge allowed an expert to testify for the prosecution. He could not even testify that Mr. Darrah was actually impaired at the 4.0 level, due to conflicting expert opinions and literature. The jury found that Darrah was not impaired, but the evidence that THC was in his system was irrefutable. He was convicted of A.R.S Section 28-1381 (A) (3), driving while in possession of metabolites, regardless of impairment.

The true issue in dispute is whether the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) intended to prevent the prosecution of cardholders based unless they actually are impaired. In Arizona, there is no law that is comparable to the one that criminalizes having .08 or more ml/l of alcohol in your system.

It will be very interesting to see what happens when the Arizona Supreme Court has the chance to affirm or overrule Darrah v. McClennen/City of Mesa. One of the Court of Appeals Judges, Michael Brown, filed a special concurring Opinion. He pointed out that part of the reason why Darrah’s conviction was upheld was based upon language in another recent Arizona Court of Appeals decision upholding the conviction of a non-cardholder, in State ex. rel. Montgomery v. Harris. Non-cardholders cannot have any metabolite of marijuana in their system, period. Darrah was a cardholder. I agree with Judge Brown’s analysis that the higher court has not addressed the issue head-on. However, Judge Brown when on to opine that he persons with less that 2.0 ng/ml of THC “should not be convicted of driving under the influence. I have to disagree with Judge Brown’s personal opinion, if he is suggesting that any amount over 2.0 ng/ml of the metabolite is clearly unsafe or at a level that causes impairment, but I suspect that Judge Brown might just be suggesting 2.0 ng/ml as “a minimum, minimum,” rather than as a “maximum, minimum.” That is a decision that is left to the people or 75% of the legislature, if they want to amend the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.

Jeffrey S. Kaufman, Esq.

5725 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 190

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 994-8000

(480) 994-8129 fax

www.jeffkaufmanlaw.com

By Jeff Kaufman • January 14, 2015 • 12:00 am • Leave a comment

Cannabis Law Tip – Show 59

In this episode of Cannabis Law Tips, we have an amazing special guest! Amy Margolis, an amazing Oregon attorney and activist, takes us through the recent legalization measure in Oregon. She explains the types of cannabis businesses that will be available and also the personal cannabis regulations. She even discusses the revenue stipulations and the details on the production of Hemp. More information on Amy Margolis or measure 91 can be found here. Thank you Amy!

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oregon medical marijuana attorney

By rubylexi • January 6, 2015 • 4:04 pm • Leave a comment

Cannabis Law Tips – Show 55/56

Oregon Medical Marijuana Laws

oregon medical marijuana laws

Here is a short, but useful Summary of Oregon Medical Marijuana Laws. Criminal Laws: In Oregon, illegal possession of greater than 1 oz of marijuana, but less than 6 oz., is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and $1,000.00 fine. However, possession of less than 1 oz. is punishable by only a $650.00 fine. Gift of less than 5 grams is punishable only up to $1,000.00 fine, but selling less than 5 grams could still get you 30 days in jail and a $1,250.00 fine. Illegal cultivation is treated more seriously. It is a felony, punishable by 10 years or more in jail.

Medical Marijuana:

Good News- Medical marijuana is available in Oregon. The qualifying conditions are fairly liberal, they include chronic pain and PTSD.

The maximum allowable amount of marijuana that a licensed patient can legally possess is 24 oz. or 1-1/2 pounds. Patients can grow 6 mature plants and 18 “immature plants” or “seedlings” too. These are plants that are less than one foot tall and without “flowers.” A patient can have a caregiver. Patients and caregivers can have “growers” who can grow their plants for them. A grower can only be reimbursed for the cost of supplies and utilities and only from their up to 4 registered patients.

Dispensaries are just opening in Oregon. Rules were adopted in the summer of 2014. The dispensaries must be secure and have cameras. The marijuana must be tested for pests, mold and mildew. The marijuana must be labeled to include the THC and CBD measurements. Edibles must have warning labels and not be attractive to children. There are already over 150 dispensaries and there appears to be no limit upon their numbers, provided that they are 1.000 feet away from a school or another dispensary. Cities and counties can prohibit dispensaries, at least until May 15, 2015. About 2/3 of them have passed ordinances prohibiting medical marijuana.

For those of you in Arizona, there are significant distinctions in the two state’s laws. In Oregon, patients can all grow 6 plants and 18 plants up to 1 foot tall that haven’t flowered. Oregon patients can possess 1.5 pounds of harvested marijuana, rather than 2.5 oz. which police will claims is the legal limit in Arizona, although I disagree. There is no 25 mile rule in Oregon. All Oregon patients can grow or have a grower. The Oregon possession limits are reasonable and more in line with what a person needs to produce and store for themselves without being tempted to become drug dealers or having to be forced to go to dispensaries. The large number of potential dispensaries is good for consumers. The price for medical marijuana in Oregon should be reasonable too.

Recreational Marijuana

What are the chances that Oregon will adopt recreational marijuana you ask? It is on the November, 2014 ballot. In fact, the measure states only the state can tax recreational marijuana. It’s likely to pass.

If Ruby Lexington, our host, was here right now, I know that she’d give a “Wahoo!” for that. No wonder everyone I know loves Oregon.

This is attorney Jeffrey S. Kaufman signing off for now on Weeducated Radio. Please remember to carry your medical marijuana cards at all times and never speak with the police.

Jeffrey S. Kaufman, Esq.

JEFFREY S. KAUFMAN, LTD.

5725 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 190

Scottsdale, AZ 85250

(480) 994-8000 phone

(480) 994-8129 fax

www.arizonamarijuanalawyers.com

www.jeffkaufmanlaw.com

By Jeff Kaufman • October 15, 2014 • 12:48 pm • Leave a comment

Cannabis Law Tips – Show 55

A Quick Summary of Oregon’s Medical Marijuana Laws

Here is a short, but useful Summary of Oregon Medical Marijuana Laws. Criminal Laws: In Oregon, illegal possession of greater than 1 oz of marijuana, but less than 6 oz., is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and $1,000.00 fine. However, possession of less than 1 oz. is punishable by only a $650.00 fine. Gift of less than 5 grams is punishable only up to $1,000.00 fine, but selling less than 5 grams could still get you 30 days in jail and a $1,250.00 fine. Illegal cultivation is treated more seriously. It is a felony, punishable by 10 years or more in jail.

play marijuana talk radio

Medical Marijuana:

Good News- Medical marijuana is available in Oregon. The qualifying conditions are fairly liberal, they include chronic pain and PTSD.

The maximum allowable amount of marijuana that a licensed patient can legally possess is 24 oz. or 1-1/2 pounds. Patients can grow 6 mature plants and 18 “immature plants” or “seedlings” too. These are plants that are less than one foot tall and without “flowers.” A patient can have a caregiver. Patients and caregivers can have “growers” who can grow their plants for them. A grower can only be reimbursed for the cost of supplies and utilities and only from their up to 4 registered patients.

Dispensaries are just opening in Oregon. Rules were adopted in the summer of 2014. The dispensaries must be secure and have cameras. The marijuana must be tested for pests, mold and mildew. The marijuana must be labeled to include the THC and CBD measurements. Edibles must have warning labels and not be attractive to children. There are already over 150 dispensaries and there appears to be no limit upon their numbers, provided that they are 1.000 feet away from a school or another dispensary. Cities and counties can prohibit dispensaries, at least until May 15, 2015. About 2/3 of them have passed ordinances prohibiting medical marijuana.

For those of you in Arizona, there are significant distinctions in the two state’s laws. In Oregon, patients can all grow 6 plants and 18 plants up to 1 foot tall that haven’t flowered. Oregon patients can possess 1.5 pounds of harvested marijuana, rather than 2.5 oz. which police will claims is the legal limit in Arizona, although I disagree. There is no 25 mile rule in Oregon. All Oregon patients can grow or have a grower. The Oregon possession limits are reasonable and more in line with what a person needs to produce and store for themselves without being tempted to become drug dealers or having to be forced to go to dispensaries. The large number of potential dispensaries is good for consumers. The price for medical marijuana in Oregon should be reasonable too.

Recreational Marijuana

What are the chances that Oregon will adopt recreational marijuana you ask? It is on the November, 2014 ballot. In fact, the measure states only the state can tax recreational marijuana. It’s likely to pass.

If Ruby Lexington, our host, was here right now, I know that she’d give a “Wahoo!” for that. No wonder everyone I know loves Oregon.

This is attorney Jeffrey S. Kaufman signing off for now on Weeducated Radio. Please remember to carry your medical marijuana cards at all times and never speak with the police.

Jeffrey S. Kaufman, Esq.

JEFFREY S. KAUFMAN, LTD.

5725 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 190

Scottsdale, AZ 85250

(480) 994-8000 phone

(480) 994-8129 fax

www.arizonamarijuanalawyers.com

www.jeffkaufmanlaw.com

By Jeff Kaufman • • 12:00 am • Leave a comment

Cannabis Law Tips – Show 53

New Mexico Medical Marijuana Laws-A Primer

New Mexico’s medical marijuana law became effective on December 30, 2010. Its name is the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act. It permits New Mexico residents, over the age of 18 with certain medical conditions to maintain an “adequate supply” of cannabis. Unfortunately, the medical conditions which qualify patients for a medical card are relatively limited. They do not include chronic pain or PTSD, unless it causes spinal cord spasms.

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For patients and caregivers, an adequate supply of marijuana is defined in rules adopted by the New Mexico Department of Health as 6 ounces of usable cannabis and 4 mature plants and 12 seedlings “or” (not “and”) a three month supply of topical treatment. Theoretically, you can’t grow and have a large supply of topical. Maybe it’s a typo. Possession of seeds is permitted.

“Licensed Producers,” generally called “dispensaries” and their cultivation sites may only possess 150 plants, but there is a move to increase that number, perhaps to 300 or 450 plants for additional license fees of $10,000 per 150 plants per year which I consider to be very expensive and risky. Licensed Producers may accumulate and possess enough marijuana “that reflects current patient needs…” In addition, volume discounts are prohibited. That probably results in many more small purchases of smaller quantities at one time, especially in urban area.

Unlike Arizona and many other states, New Mexico producers’ fees are based upon the length of time that they are in business. They range from $5,000 for the first year to $30,000 if the producer has been licensed for more than 3 years. On the other hand, patient cards only cost a maximum of $30.00 per year and are free in some cases.

The number of “non-profit producers,” dispensaries in New Mexico is determined by the New Mexico Department of Health. Currently there are 23 dispensaries. They are not required to cultivate.

There have been a number of recent, proposed amendments to the New Mexico medical marijuana rules. They include proposals to limit the number of plants that patients can grow to just 2 plants; require expensive background checks for any patient that wants to grow their own and not allowing caregivers to grow. On the flip side, New Mexico may be one of the next states to allow recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21. A bill directed at this further decriminalization of cannabis failed to get out of the Senate committee, but the vote was 5-5.

Stay tuned for further developments.

This is lawyer Jeff Kaufman for Weeducated Radio.

Please remember to always carry your card and do not consent to a search of anything.

Jeffrey S. Kaufman, Esq.

Attorney at Law

5725 North Scottsdale Road, Suite 190

Scottsdale, AZ 85250

Jeff@KaufmanEsq.com

www.jeffkaufmanlaw.com

www.arizonamarijuanalawyers.com

(480) 994-8000 office phone

(480) 994-8129 fax

By Jeff Kaufman • September 27, 2014 • 9:33 am • Leave a comment

Cannabis Law Tips – Show 52

Medical Marijuana Patients on Probation Can Use Cannabis and Other Good News

Congratulations to those of you on probation (and presumably on parole). The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled on July 25, 2014 that no court, prosecutor or probation officer can force a medical marijuana patient to refrain from using medical marijuana as a condition of probation. This ruling applies to all past, present and future probationers. The only exception that Judge Eckerstrom found, based upon the language of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA), is that prisoners do not have the right to use marijuana.

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For those of you that are not on probation, the Reed-Kaliher v. Hoggatt case is important for another reason. In order to conclude that Mr. Reed-Kaliher could possess marijuana, the Arizona Court of Appeals had to decide an even more important issue. In order to serve as a Superior Court Judge, one must take an oath, pledging to enforce all laws. These laws include federal law and the federal Controlled Substances Act. Does this oath require Arizona judges to hold that the AMMA is preempted by the Controlled Substances Act? Fortunately, the Arizona Court of Appeals rejected that argument, stating: “…we do not understand that ritual as altering the traditional jurisdictional boundaries between state and federal courts.” Judges Eckerstrom and Kelly went on to apply the analysis that is traditionally used to resolve claims of federal preemption. The Court ruled that (HIP HIP HORRAY!!!) the Arizona Medical Marijuana is not preempted by federal law.

You might be thinking, “haven’t we gone down this road before” or “hasn’t this issue been decided before?” Yes and no, but mostly yes. The United States Supreme Court had the opportunity to rule on the federal preemption issue, but declined to do so in a case known as City of Garden Grove v. Superior Court of Orange County (2007). By refusing “certiorari” of this California Court of Appeals decision, the “Supremes,” as lawyers call them, said that there were not enough votes on our county’s highest court to rule that the Federal Controlled Substances Act beats state law (HIP HIP HORRAY!!!).

The Arizona Supreme Court has yet to accept certiorari to review any of the several Arizona Court of Appeals decisions which have all ruled that the AMMA is not preempted by federal law. There are now at least two decisions by Division Two of the Arizona Court of Appeals. There are only two Divisions. Division One encompasses Maricopa County. It has not ruled upon the issue; although there are cases pending which squarely address it. If Division One rules in harmony with Division Two (HIP HIP HORRAY!!!), then the Arizona Supreme Court will be free to decline to accept certiorari and leave the decisions of the Arizona Courts of Appeals stand. If the Arizona Supreme Court disagrees with any of the decisions or just wants to weigh in, it can review the decisions and reverse or affirm (HIP HIP HORRAY!!!) them. The Supreme Courts are the only two courts that can overrule the Arizona Court of Appeals.

This is Lawyer Jeff Kaufman for Weeducated Radio reminding you to always carry your medical marijuana card and never to let anyone search anything, unless it’s your lover.

Jeffrey S. Kaufman, Esq.
5725 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 190
Scottsdale, AZ 85250
Telephone: (480) 994-8000
Email: Jeff@KaufmanEsq.com
Websites: www.jeffkaufmanlaw.com
www.arizonamarijuanalawyers.com

By Jeff Kaufman • August 14, 2014 • 5:20 pm • Leave a comment
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