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  • Michael Komorn

    Making A Federal Case Out Of Marijuana

    By Michael Komorn

    Our client, a medical marijuana patient registered with the State of Michigan, was out for a boat ride and some fishing on his friend’s boat. What started out as a glorious day with intentions of sun and fishing on the Detroit river later turned into federal charges of possession of marijuana (21 USC 844, 21 USC 844a) when a Border Patrol agent pulled up to them and wanted to search their vessel.   Related: Michigan law regarding marijuana manufacture, delivery, and possession   The federal border patrol agent required that the two passengers, my client and his friend, open all the containers in the immediate area, to which they complied.   After the agent found no contraband, he demanded that the occupants of the boat hand over the marijuana because, according to the agent, it smelled like marijuana on the boat. Additionally, the agent said that if someone did not give him the marihuana, he was going to call the K9 unit.   What does the driver of a car or boat say in response to a law enforcement officer demanding that the occupants of the vehicle hand over the marijuana, or else?   For a vehicle, we know that the traffic stop can't or shouldn't take last for any longer that it takes to execute the traffic stop, identify and inform the driver of the violation, and issue a ticket, if appropriate. A traffic stop is not an opportunity to gather evidence of probable cause of the vehicle to search. That basic threat, calling the dogs, would be unconstitutional. That is to say, the delay in calling the dogs to get probable cause would be a delay beyond the scope of the lawful police interaction. The delay to call the dogs is a delay for the purpose of getting probable cause to search the vehicle.   Most times this decision on how to respond should be determined on a case-by-case factual basis. In other words, depending upon what is within the vehicle, the driver may or may not comply with the request of the officer. The rule of thumb, however, is to never consent to a search, ever. Equally important is the rule that you should never talk to the police or answer questions. Specifically, in these traffic encounters, or even vessel encounters, the investigated driver is not under arrest. The encounter is an interaction called an investigation, and anything that is said during this encounter will be used against you.   Ultimately, our client handed over the marijuana cigarettes and his patient card. As my client was reminded by the Border Patrol Agent, there is no medical marihuana on federal jurisdiction. Or said another way, it was the intent of this agent to make a federal case out of it.   After being retained by our client, and after a few pretrial conferences and conferences with the Assistant United States Attorney, we learned that it was also the intent of the United States Government to make a federal case of it.   Federal jurisdiction, as mentioned above, is a very different venue to litigate a marihuana case, even if it’s just for a joint or two. The liabilities for punishment are much greater, and in certain situations get worse, the more the accused litigates the case. That is to say, any benefits of resolving the case with a plea bargain are minimized should you force the government to litigate the case.   It is under these circumstances that we needed to make our decisions on how to proceed. As we got closer to the day of trial, the Government offered a number of different plea offers and options to resolve the case. Unfortunately, none of them contemplated the medical use of marihuana while being supervised on probation. Similar to many of the State Courts throughout Michigan, the likelihood of any probation supervision of any kind would preclude the medical use of marihuana.   Not directly pertinent to this case either factually or due to our federal court venue, the only Michigan case law that addresses the issue is a recent case in the Court of Appeals, People v Magyari, the defendant argued that, pursuant to the MMMA, the court could not prohibit his medical marijuana use during probation because he possessed a patient card, but the court’s opinion characterized the defendant’s use of marijuana as non-medical, and did not apply their reasons for upholding the lower court decision the appeal to all cardholders.   A probation condition disallowing his medical use of marijuana was not acceptable to my client, and besides, who would want to plead guilty to something that the state government has authorized you to possess, let alone be on probation for the same behavior? So as often is the case, the choices that presented themselves compelled us to reject the offers to plead guilty and instead litigate the case.   Our response to the offer to plead guilty was to file a “Motion to Dismiss Based Upon Justice Spending Funds to Prevent Implementation of Michigan Marijuana Laws.”   I think it is more than ironic that as we put together the motion challenging the federal government’s authority and jurisdiction to prosecute the matter, the issue of States’ Rights was in the forefront in a national debate.   As outlined in the motion, the legal authority prohibiting the jurisdiction of the government in our matter was vitiated by the Cole memorandum – both of them. Additionally, the Rhorabacher-Farr amendment was more than clear in its intent to preclude federal agents employed by the DOJ, including the DEA, from investigating or prosecuting medical marihuana patients that are in compliance with state law. If there was ever a case with the perfect facts to prevail upon it would be this case, and the mere two marijuana cigarettes. In contrast, the circumstances of the case cited, US v McIntosh, dealt with dispensaries and commercial marihuana sales. Our case was as authentic patient activity as one could find.   After filing the motion to dismiss, and appearing for the motion hearing, we learned that the Government had decided to dismiss the case. The AUSA indicated to me that he had "no desire to go to the mat with me on this case" and he was "not going to make bad case law with this case." Or said another way, he knew that he was going to lose, and instead of dealing with that result which would be precedent and impact the entire Sixth Circuit Trial Court, he thought it best to dismiss the case, and let us go on our way.   The moral of this story is that when they make a federal case out of it, you should do the same.
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  • Michael Komorn

    Medical Marijuana Victory in Clarkston!

    By Michael Komorn

    Komorn Law, PLLC and Attorney Allen Peisner are proud to report the well-deserved dismissal of all marihuana charges for a young man and his family. We are proud about this one for many reasons. It is well understood that this jurisdiction (Clarkston - in the heart of Oakland County) is not known to be friendly to medical marijuana patients. In fact, in this venue at the arraignment, this particular Judge as a matter of practice tells the presumptively innocent patient that they must decide if they want to use their medicine or drive. They can’t do both. Of course, this defies most if not all principles of Michigan jurisprudence. Nevertheless, when he was forced to choose, my client chose his medicine. Of course, to get to work without a driver’s license my client has to ride his bike, which requires him to ingest medicine more frequently than before the Court had imposed the no driving condition. My client was a medical marihuana patient and had received his recommendation from his physician in December 2016, but had not yet sent his application to the State. In other words he didn’t have his registry card at the time of the incident. The backdrop here involved a traffic stop in early 2017. The officer claimed he smelled marihuana; later when searching the vehicle he found two ounces in the locked glove box. The client made a few utterances (always best to not say anything at all) at the roadside, all consistent with his assertion that he was a patient and was intending to use it medical, and ingest it at some other time. After a few pretrials, adjournments, and some administrative hurdles the matter got set for our evidentiary hearing pursuant to section 8 (See People v King/Kolanek). As it should be, the explanation of the three prongs was required to be established at the hearing (in short: 1. Bona fide Physician/Patient Relationship, 2. The amount of marihuana was reasonable and necessary. 3. The marihuana was for the patient’s medical use) was presented with confidence and detail. As I often suggest to patients prior to testifying, the topic of inquiry is something that no one knows better than you, the patient. No one other than you really knows or understands your medical condition better. The medical efficacy of cannabis to treat that condition likewise is information unique to each patient. With that being said, my client’s testimony was more than compelling. In 2008, over 3 million Michigan voters, enacted the MMMA, and amongst other declarations, they stated cannabis is medicine. As often overlooked, it was intended to be just that - a medicine that amongst other things is intended to treat a long list of serious medical conditions, one of which is chronic pain. My client’s story begins with walking onto the MSU track team and competing at a Big Ten collegiate level for his first three years, before being cut from the team in the last part of his junior year because of a muscle tear in his hip. All things bad happen to runners when this muscle tears, including limited range of motion and severe pain. Prior to his leaving the team, he was given access to the very best of medical treatments from all this Big Ten school’s trainers and doctors could offer. This included daily rehabilitation, and muscle relaxers and pain medications. His other option was to have surgery, which according to his physician was not recommended because of his age. While he did get some relief from the daily rehab during the summer, this became an impossible treatment when he returned for his senior year, and had a full load of classes. With his collegiate athletic career behind him, he had resolved to direct all of his energies into his senior year with his eyes on graduate school. Despite additional free time from no track practice, travel to meets etc., the pain from his hip was not going away. For these reasons, he explained “I wanted to explore medical cannabis to treat my hip problem, because nothing else was working. The simple task of walking to class had now become a painstaking task that was challenging on a day to day basis.” There is little that can be said about his testimony other than it was real. Of course, on cross exam, he had to put up with silly challenges and questions with no substance but an intention to try to confuse or take advantage of the novelty of testifying in court for the first time. The only disappointing aspect of the case was that I had to restrain my anger in responding to the Assistant Prosecutor’s argument that the physician didn’t testify, and it is only through that testimony can a patient establish what is an amount reasonably necessary. Neither of these arguments are true, as outlined in the most recent Michigan Supreme Court case People v Hartwick/Tuttle. I saved the argument, “Judge I want to remind the Court that my client is currently on bond, and has been authorized by this Court to use medical cannabis as one of his conditions of bond, I would argue in conjunction with the testimony, you should dismiss the charges, or at a minimum let us argue the affirmative defense to the jury.“ In short order, and shall I say surprisingly, the Court quickly shut down the APA’s misplaced arguments about the law regarding section 8. Despite what I thought was more than enough evidence to dismiss the Court found that the evidence established that we could present the affirmative defense to the jury. A brief bench conference ensued and talks of permission from supervisors in the APA’s office, and we were given a pretrial return date – to set a trial date. Today at that pretrial the APA informed us that they would dismiss the case with prejudice. To say it is was a waste of resources – to be required to go this far to establish the evidence that we did – would be an understatement. With the opioid epidemic that plagues Michigan and the County, how can this endeavor be justified? To even the most anti-cannabis crusader, wouldn’t the dollars needed to keep this case going be better spent testing the untested rape kits that remain in the thousands all of over Michigan? Does it still make sense to anyone that the State of Michigan utilizes 40% its Forensic Science Division’s budget testing marihuana? That the same 40% or greater of marihuana cases make up the docket in Courtrooms all over the State of Michigan. Could it ever make sense to anyone that this scenario would somehow justify my client being denied admission to post graduate education or acquiring the professional license that he had spent most of his adult life committed to? Attorney Peisner’s involvement was stellar as expected, and his performance in keeping the fight going was pivotal. Thank you, Allen It was an honor to represent my client, and his family. Today was a good day, the broken system produced an excellent result, the MMMA worked and for a few moments, albeit fleeting, justice was served.
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  • Michael Komorn

    Why was medical marijuana banned?

    By Michael Komorn

    As this news hit in the last throes of 2017, it seems appropriate to take a step back and understand why exactly marijuana was banned all of those years ago. Please continue reading to find the answers on this long and weird journey through time. Elderly Couple Stopped In Nebraska With 60 Pounds Of Weed ‘For Christmas Presents’ https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/22/572844666/elderly-couple-stopped-in-nebraska-with-60-pounds-of-weed-for-christmas-presents Marijuana (also known as cannabis sativa or cannabis indica or hemp) has been a medicine for thousands of years. Marijuana is found in all recorded history, on every continent as a medicinal crop. Egypt to China to India to Assyria (Iraq) and Arabia. From the Greeks and Romans to present day. In the early USA, hemp was an integral part of life. George Washington grew hemp and many colonists grew hemp for cordage and canvas, including ropes and sails for ships.  Newspapers in 1841 went into great detail on how to cultivate hemp, including separating the male plants from the female plants.   Many papers also reported stories about having a laugh while smoking hemp, as is the case with this 1850 report from a Paris correspondent for the Medical Times. (click for a larger view) There are many examples in American newspapers including poems, insults, references and propaganda  on the subject of hasheesh (the old timey spelling of hashish), marijuana, cannabis and hemp. Just look at this article from 1908, they found marihuana in this man’s pocket!   1906 – The Pure Food and Drugs Act Requires Labeling of ingredients of Medicine, Including Cannabis. Previous to the Pure Food and Drugs Act, many medicines were treated the way Coca-Cola is today. “A secret formula” or “A proprietary blend” of spices and medicines and even poisons including arsenic and strychnine. Writing cannabis on a label did not ban cannabis related medications. Many major pharmaceutical companies which are still around today, used to sell cannabis based medicines. Pharmacists used to make cannabis based compounds and elixirs and extracts and pills as well. Newspapers had been printing a lot of yellow journalism on the subject of marijuana over a number of years.  Articles were passed around from newspaper to newspaper, with editors changing and inserting local opinion into the reprinted stories. Sample Articles from Chronicling America: These are only a handful of articles, more comprehensive research must be done. “Senseless Brutality. A Mexican Priest Flogs the Corpse of a Dead Wizard.,” The Memphis Appeal(Memphis, TN) , April 18, 1887, Page 1, Image 1, col. 6. “Victims of a Mexican Drug. From the Mexican Herald.,” The Sun (New York, NY), August 12, 1897, Page 6, Image 6, col. 5. The New York Sun relays a report from the Mexican Herald that “Marihuana, our local hasheesh, continues to impel people of the lower orders to wild and desperate deeds.” “Stronger Than Opium. Attempt to Smuggle Mariguana into Yuma Prison.,” Tombstone Prospector(Tombstone, AZ), September 15, 1897, Page 4, Image 4, col. 4. “Across the border. Mexican Herald.,” The Oasis (Arizola, AZ), July 15, 1899, Page 6, Image 6, col. 1.  A report from the Mexican Herald of a scene in a civil registry office: “A marihuana fiend suddenly appeared in the office brandishing a knife, declared that he was Herod and his mission was the extermination of new-born infants.” “Across the border. Two Republics.,” The Oasis (Arizola, AZ), December 30, 1899, Page 10, Image 10, col. 1. “Dangerous Mexican Weed to Smoke,” Phipllipsburg Herald (Phillipsburg, KS), August 18, 1904, Page 8, Image 8, col. 3. “Teacher Starr of Chicago Man of Sensations,” San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA), August 25, 1905, Page 8, Image 8, col. 2. “Stops Sale of Maddening Drug,” New-York Tribune (New York, NY), December 24, 1905, Page 3, Image 3, col. 4. “War on Marihuana Smoking. Mexican Government Wants to Exterminate a Weed That Crazes,” The Sun(NewYork, NY), May 26, 1907, Page 17, Image 17, col. 4. “Use for Deadly Weed. Mexican Marihuana Plant to be Grown in Texas for Drug Purposes.,” Florida Star(Titusville, FL), October 16, 1908, Page 3, Image 3, col. 4. The Florida Star reports that James Love, who operates an agricultural experimental station in Texas, has received permission from the state agricultural department to plant in Texas ten pounds of marihuana seed he has imported from Mexico. The article states Mr. Love’s belief is that the plant “can be put to good commercial use as a drug.” “Goats that Feed on Dope,” New-York Tribune (New York, NY), April 11, 1909, Page 55, Image 55, col. 5.  A fanciful tale of an alleged Mexican goat-herder whose goats have become addicted to marihuana. “Yerbas Medicinales [Marihuana advertised for sale],” La Revista de Taos (Taos, NM), February 7, 1913, Page 4, Image 4, col. 7. “On Account of His Oriental Nature the Mexican’s Mind is a Puzzle to the Foreigner,” The Sun (New York, NY), May 17, 1914, Page 37, Image 37, col. 1. “Marihuana Sale Now Prohibited. Council Passes Emergency Ordinance to Stop Sale of Mexican Drug.,” El Paso Herald (El Paso, TX), June 3, 1915, Page 6, Image 6, col. 3. “New Anti-marijuana Ordinance Very Stringent,” El Paso Herald (El Paso, TX), June 7, 1915, Page 9, Image 9, col. 3. The El Paso Herald reports concern from local physicians and pharmacists over El Paso’s prospective anti-marihuana law. The Herald’s article states that “It is put up by the foremost drug manufacturers in the country and is frequently prescribed, as it is a sedative of value.” “Is the Mexican Nation ‘Locoed’ by a Peculiar Weed?,” The Ogden Standard (Ogden City, UT), September 25, 1915, Page 13, Image 13, col. 1.  Mexican “bandits” are being emboldened to take on Uncle Sam by the intoxicating effects of marihuana. “Marihuana Smokers Shut Off from their ‘Makins’,” El Paso Herald (El Paso, TX), September 13, 1917, Page 6, Image 6, col. 3. “The One Wicked Drug the Lawmakers Forgot,” The Ogden Standard-Examiner (Ogden, UT), December 24, 1922, Page 24, Image 24, col. 1. The Mexican Revolution in 1910 caused many Mexicans to move to the USA. Racism and xenophobia increased in the bordering states. Residents and leaders wanted any and all excuses to jail and deport Mexicans. According to various timelines of the history of marijuana, the first anti-marijuana laws started in individual southern states bordering Mexico. Racism was used against marijuana during international treaties and drug control laws as well. Historians cannot find the reason why Canada banned cannabis in the 1920s, except for racism against the Chinese. Cannabis prohibition was based on and helped by alcohol prohibition. Alcohol prohibition, largely thought of as targeting alcohol itself, was chiefly about prohibiting saloons. The Saloons of the 1800s and 1900s also hosted gambling, dancing with women, vaudeville, musical shows and frequently employed saloon girls to entice and encourage alcohol consumption. “The Saloon Must Go” was the Anti Saloon League’s motto. “That prohibition of the sale of liquor would reduce the prevalence of commercialized prostitution is evident from the efforts which have been made to separate the sale of liquor from the prostitution in certain cities which tolerated vice or segregated districts.” says George J Kneeland (Social Hygiene ,Jan 1916.) Music, dancing, girls and musicians? Sounds very similar to the REEFER MADNESS propaganda against Jazz Clubs in the 1930s. From the Senate Hearing on Juvenile Delinquency and Marijuana Decriminalization, including  4 years of research during 1971-1975, no clues were found to explain why marijuana was banned. Why was marijuana banned? Racism against blacks, Mexicans and “undesirables” Harry J Anslinger was a racist and a liar. Marijuana continues to be banned because: Selective police action enforces racism Competition from pharmaceutical companies Nixon hated protesting hippies. Competition from the Alcohol industry Police and Prison guard unions want marijuana prisoners Uninformed do-gooders like MADD, who have not seen the statistics of lower alcohol driving deaths in states that have legalized marijuana. Evangelical Christians, Catholics and other religious groups. Jeff Sessions and Chris Christie.
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  • Michael Komorn

    Don’t Beauregard that joint my friend.

    By Michael Komorn

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions January 4th memo regarding marijuana enforcement is historic... and it should promptly be consigned to the dustbin of history. Mr. Session’s very name is a history lesson. Like his father and grandfather, he was named after Jefferson Davis, the first and only president of the Confederacy and P.G.T. Beauregard, the first prominent general of the Confederate Army. These were the men who lead the people of Alabama in their desire and purpose to join the “slave-holding states” to secede from the U.S. and form a government where “in no case shall citizenship extend to any person who is not a free white person.” See Alabama Ordinance of Secession. Mr. Sessions memo overturning Obama era guidelines for federal marijuana prosecutions is entirely consistent his historic roots. Here’s why.     When the South failed in its quest to preserve the “peculiar institution” of slavery, Jim Crow and segregation followed. “Separate but equal” became the rallying cry to keep whiteness supreme. With Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this became impossible. American society convulsed. In 1968, Richard Nixon took the White House by appealing to the “silent (white) majority” and exploiting Southern fears of the recently empowered African-Americans. The South has been Republican ever since. Here’s how Nixon did it. He declared a War on Drugs. John Ehrlichman a Nixon staffer revealed the real roots of the criminal prohibition of marijuana and other substances: “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” By 1980 with the ascension of Ronald Reagan (and Nancy Reagan’s vacuous “Just Say No”), the drug war was hitting its stride. George H.W. Bush amended the Posse Comitatus Act to allow the military to be used as a domestic police force in the drug war, effectively para-militarizing police forces across the nation.  In 1994, Bill Clinton passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. In the 22 years since the bill was passed, the federal prison population more than doubled. War is a bi-partisan vice, and scare-mongering reliably delivers votes. It is to this era that Mr. Sessions seeks to return us with his memo. That is because the war on drugs has been extraordinarily successful in its primary purpose: to vilify Blacks and the Anti-war left, arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and put them in jail. By 2000, incarceration numbers began to become available in parts of the South demonstrating that the drug war increasingly was a war on African Americans, particularly Black males of prime breeding age. One in three black men in the United States between the ages of 20 and 29 years old was under correctional supervision or control. Among the nearly 1.9 million offenders incarcerated on June 30, 1999, more than 560,000 were black males between the ages of 20 and 39. At those levels of incarceration, newborn Black males in this country had a greater than 1 in 4 chance of going to prison during their lifetimes, while Latin-American males have a 1 in 6 chance, and white males have a 1 in 23 chance of serving time. The United States was incarcerating African-American men at a rate that was approximately four times the rate of incarceration of Black men in South Africa. The rate of imprisonment for black women was more than eight times the rate of imprisonment of white women; the rate of imprisonment of Hispanic women was nearly four times the rate of imprisonment of white women. We can trace those disparities directly to discriminatory and selective enforcement of the drug laws. Most illicit drug users were white. There were an estimated 9.9 million whites (72 percent of all users), 2.0 million blacks (15 percent), and 1.4 million Hispanics (10 percent) who were illicit drug users. Yet, blacks constituted 36.8% of those arrested for drug violations, over 42% of those in federal prisons for drug violations and almost 60% of those in state prisons for drug felonies; Hispanics accounted for 22.5%. Drug laws had become the new Jim Crow. Texas was particularly bad. By 2000, there were more Texans under criminal justice control, 706,600 -- than the entire populations of Vermont, Wyoming or Alaska. Texas’s incarceration rate of 1,035 per 100,000 population tops every state but Louisiana. If Texas were a separate nation, it would have the world’s highest incarceration rate, well above the United States at 682 per 100,000 or Russia's 685.  The state's prison population had tripled since 1990, rising more than 60 percent in the past five years -- from 92,669 to 149,684.  Black Texans were incarcerated at a rate seven times that of whites -- and at a rate 63 percent higher than the national rate for blacks.  Blacks supplied 44 percent of the inmates in Texas although they constituted only 12 percent of the state's population.  More than half of all Blacks were in jail in Texas for nonviolent offenses. They ended up picking cotton, herding cattle or, contracted out as labor to assemble computers. Then came 9/11. Criminal justice reform took a backseat to terror wars until those wars too lost all legitimacy. It was not until the election of Barack Obama and the appointment of Eric Holder that the real roots of this massive, fraudulent, unjust war on drugs began to be addressed. Over the course of that presidency, states were allowed to advance their experiments with medicinal and later adult use marijuana. Civil asset forfeiture at the federal level was reigned in and the use of private, for-profit prisons was curtailed. A key part of this reform was a statement of guiding principles for federal prosecutors regarding marijuana. These guidelines allowed states to proceed with some predictability in their local marijuana programs. Mr. Sessions has undone all of this. Why is this important? Because the numbers have only grown worse. An African-American in Michigan is three times more likely to be arrested for violating marijuana laws compared to a white person, although surveys and research indicate little difference between usage rates between the two groups. In all, African-Americans comprise about 14 percent of Michigan's population, but 35 percent of marijuana arrests. Overall, African-Americans in Michigan are incarcerated at roughly five times the rate of whites. The numbers in the white flight counties of the Eastern District of Michigan are even more unconscionable. In St. Clair County, African-Americans make up 2.5% of the total population yet account for 43% of arrests for drug law violations. In Oakland County, African-Americans make up 14.4% of the population yet account for 48% of arrests for drug law violations. In Lapeer County African-Americans make up 1.2% of the population yet account for 10.4% of arrests for drug law violations. In Genesee County African-Americans make up 20% of the population yet account for 76% of drug arrests. This according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Medical marijuana patients and programs are squarely in the cross-fire of a war with deeply racial roots. We say that the only citizen more vulnerable to police misconduct than a young black male in Texas is a medical marijuana patient in Michigan. Mr. Sessions knows all of this. It is in his blood. In his name. This is not accidental. Mr. Sessions and his ilk want to return us to an age when names like Jefferson Davis and P.G.T. Beauregard are names to be proud of and ditzy slogans like “just say no” and “good people don’t smoke marijuana” substitute for real science. Mr. Sessions war is arbitrary, capricious, and racist. His dismissive memo merely enshrines the worst of policies and promotes selective and discriminatory enforcement of the law. Can a community that has been abused for years by a corrupt, federal, militarized police force that is selectively enforcing the law on the basis of race organize to end its oppression? Yes. See e.g. the American Revolution. In 1776, the British Redcoats had become a federal military police force with wide ranging powers to enforce the contraband laws Then, as now, most contraband consisted of drugs, primarily tea and tobacco. Then, as now, the police were allowed to issue “writs of assistance” (roving search warrants devoid of probable cause) allowing them to seize and keep the property of those persons believed to be illicitly trafficking. Then, as now, such power and temptation corrupted the police authorities, resulted in selective enforcement of the law and produced wide scale violations of God-granted liberties. Then, the community organized to resist. The Boston Tea Party, the American Revolution and the Bill of Rights ensued. Among the rights enshrined is the right to organize and to oppose abuses by a federal, corrupt, militarized police force. 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. “I thought those guys (the KKK) were alright until I learned they smoke pot.” -- Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III    
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  • Michael Komorn

    Warrantless Wiretapping Encourages Constitutional Rights Abuses

    By Michael Komorn

    Warrantless wiretapping is a terrible idea and is unconstitutional. It was created at a time when America was thought to be at WAR with the terrorists. 17 years later, America was always at war with the terrorists. Illegal wiretaps of all communications continue, but are solely focused on Americans, and more specifically focused on the war on drugs, not terrorism. Not to be outdone, the NSA and DEA know that their secret illegal wiretaps are illegal and would not be used as evidence in the courts, so they have created "parallel construction". Parallel construction means to assemble the evidence while hiding the source of the information. This means automatically denying the right of the accused to see the evidence and witnesses presented against him. A long held tradition that any evidence used against you in court must be scrutinized for constitutional issues and be legitimate and truthful. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-dea-sod/exclusive-u-s-directs-agents-to-cover-up-program-used-to-investigate-americans-idUSBRE97409R20130805   https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140203/11143926078/parallel-construction-revealed-how-dea-is-trained-to-launder-classified-surveillance-info.shtml   Why are the Democrats voting with the Republicans to give President Trump these powers to illegally spy on everyone ? It makes no sense. Where is the #Resistance ? Probably the secret blackmailing files have already been completed on all of the congress members and now the NSA controls our government and other countries' governments forever.   https://www.wired.com/story/fisa-section-702-renewal-congress/ It is a strange web that has been cast over the entire world. Other countries have teamed with AT&T and the NSA to spy on internet, phone and email communications of all citizens and data passing through their systems. https://www.npr.org/2013/10/23/240163063/government-changes-policy-on-warrantless-wiretap-defendants http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/16/politics/bush-lets-us-spy-on-callers-without-courts.html
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New York State recommends legalizing marijuana in long awaited report

What sticks in my craw is that the only reason this is happening is because of polling and political wind. Has anything changed in the past 10 years about the science? About the safety? About the prescription drug deaths? The incarceration rates? The usage rates? The racist policing and court sentences? The asset forfeiture? The gangs, cartels, black markets? The gray markets operating legally under state law but not under federal law? The absolute zeal and fight to the death that prosecutors attack medical marijuana patients with? NO! Nothing has changed, except the polling.   No one is going to give you an apology for keeping a plant illegal. Only Dr. Sanjay Gupta has apologized. You think Chuck Schumer will ever apologize? Or any of the Democrats and Republicans who have voted to keep marijuana illegal all of these years, that are now turning around and saying we should legalize it? Nah, just crickets from Gov Cuomo and former AG Eric Holder and President Obama. https://www.marijuanamoment.net/gop-silences-congressional-apology-for-war-on-drugs/ Look at the summary and conclusions of the New York State marijuana legalizing report. Read the executive summary: http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/new-york-state-legalizing-marijuana-executive_summary_07-13-18.pdf Or read the Full Report http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/new-york-state-marijuana-report.pdf   Marijuana is going to get real weird real fast. With Canada legalizing it nationwide this year and more and more states voting on the issue, there will be an end of the war on drugs battle. Will the police go full balls out trying to get as many arrests as possible before the vote in November? No one can predict. Stay tuned for more news and inside information from the battlefield of the war on drugs.
 

Years of blood, sweat and tears to get Autism as a Qualifying Condition in the MMMA.

We have come a long way from 2013, when a parent submitted the first petition to add Autism as a qualifying condition within the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. It was ultimately rejected due to a lack of any research materials and testimony. http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Final_Determination_Autism_436526_7.pdf In 2014, a Parent tried to submit a new Autism petition with some testimony about physicians treating Autism patients who qualify due to also having epilepsy. LARA rejected this petition because it said it had "issued its final decision" on Autism and would not reconsider new evidence. Komorn Law stepped in to protect the rights of the petitioner and her family member with Autism. We filed a lawsuit against LARA to force them to hear the new petition with the new testimony and new scientific research. After stalling for months and months in court, LARA gave up the fight and decided to hear the petition. The Medical Marihuana Review Panel held a public meeting and took public testimony.  But the patient advocate panel member noticed that LARA had withheld the scientific research presented with the petition, depriving the review panel from the evidence! The panel postponed the vote on adding Autism until they had a chance to review the information.   ARE YOU SERIOUS? LARA HOLDING THE SCIENCE FROM THE PANEL?  https://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2015/07/michigan_panel_delays_decision.html Dr. Christian Bogner testified in support of treating Autism with medical marijuana. He described his scientific theory on why Autism has been increasing, restated here on the Dr. Nandi show shortly after he testified in 2015.   After hearing all of these parents begging for any option of a remedy to help their families, the review panel voted to recommend adding Autism as a condition in 2015. https://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-79571_79575_79582-358181--,00.html
  Mike Zimmer, the Director of LARA, issued a 4 page opinion on why he was rejecting adding Autism as a qualifying condition to the MMMA. In his opinion he stated multiple reasons why he was rejecting the condition. The petition used some language describing symptoms as "severe autism" but the petition was only for "autism" not "severe autism" , thus any person with "autism" could qualify for the medical use of marihuana. A lack of clinical based studies and scientific evidence and research on marijuana and Autism. That the MMMA did not require a physician recommending marihuana to be an expert in Autism or marihuana. That the "petition failed to acknowledge the direct impact on children" Some of the forms of delivery of medical marijuana (oils, extracts and edibles) advocated by those appearing at public hearing would not appear to be authorized under the MMMA. Mr. Zimmer was saying that because of a court opinion, he thought that some forms of medical marijuana were illegal. http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Final_Determination_Medical_Marihuana_Autism_08272015_554191_7.pdf We were completely knocked out by this denial and rejection. LARA Director Mike Zimmer delivered a knock out. We dotted the i's and crossed the t's, we played the court game, we forced LARA to hear a new Autism petition with physicians and parents testifying. Autism was fully rejected in 2015. That did not stop the parents, the families who have to deal and cope and live with Autism every day. This fight for a non-toxic medicine was far from over.   https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2015/08/28/agency-rejects-marijuana-autistic-kids/32486185/   https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2015/07/18/medical-marijuana-cannabis-autism-seizures-cbd-thc-stoned-prohibition/30360041/   Meanwhile, other petitions have been rejected 2013-2016 , including Anxiety, Parkinson's Disease, Asthma, Insomnia, Manic Depression and Retinitis Pigmentosa. Only Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has been approved as a new condition. https://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-79571_79575_79582-360123--,00.html Some of the petitions were denied due to there only being 6 panel members attending the public meetings. LARA decided that this was too few and would deny the conditions based on this "quorum" rule, that they themselves created. After some back and forth they finally changed this and made the administrative rules right. LARA did not reevaluate its decisions on the petitions that were rejected for a bogus internal reason however. Since almost every petition to add a new condition had been defeated, any morale and fighting spirit to continue petitioning for new conditions had petered out. LARA continued to add more and more hoops for petitioners, requiring that any petition to add a condition now MUST HAVE scientific research attached or it would be instantly rejected. That requirement sound reasonable, we all want our medical decisions to be based in science and peer-reviewed medical journals. However, the absurdity of this research requirement is illustrated by the actions of the National Institute of Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which grants funding for research on medicine. Back in 2010, the New York Times asked NIDA what kind of research they fund on marijuana. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/19/health/policy/19marijuana.html The article goes on to detail multiple researchers who have waited YEARS to research marijuana benefits, not even requesting a grant, but self or privately funded research gets delayed. This delay, roadblock and hoop jumping is typical with research on marijuana, and it continues to this day. Researchers have even been "let go" for trying to research marijuana. http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/weeded-out-how-the-u-of-a-fired-pot-researcher-sue-sisley-after-a-state-senator-complained-6635510 Local Michigan parent and 2015 Autism petitioner Dwight Zahringer, blogging his journey with Autism at the AutismDad website, did not give up on his son. Dwight was ready for another FIGHT, another petition. Something to help his child and all of the other families struggling with the terribly debilitating Autism diagnosis. The fight was on again! After losing so badly in 2015, we wanted to make sure we studied our failures as well as the weaknesses of the process of petitioning. Our new strategy going forwards was to study every single comment and complaint that every LARA director and LARA employee and review panel member made on the petitions over the last 5 years. Dwight was very patient waiting for us as we spent a year working on this project. After we learned each and every concern, complaint and comment , we used that information to build a massive resource of peer-reviewed scientific and medical research on marijuana to present to the review panel. Encouraged by the community and by her own son's transformation from an angry punching autism ball of anxiety into a loving child again, Michigan mom Amie Carter stepped up to be the petitioner on the 2018 petition. We took the original 2015 petition, cleaned it up, added new research from the past 3 years and resubmitted it in January 2018. While there has not been much research for marijuana and autism in the past 3 years, there has been a lot of research on the safety of marijuana and medical marijuana. We submitted many studies on the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana so that the panel could see the difference between the conventional and traditional treatment for autism versus medical marijuana. As all of the research and government reports have shown from years and years of research, marijuana is non-toxic, has no long term physical or mental effects and very few serious side effects. The most common side effects being drowsiness, euphoria, dry mouth and fatigue. This is in vast contrast to the serious, dangerous and sometimes fatal side effects of the prescription drugs that autism patients are routinely prescribed on a daily basis. http://www.health.state.mn.us/topics/cannabis/about/firstyearreport.html We waited for LARA to review our petitions. Three months later LARA scheduled two public meetings for our petitions.   The review panel is appointed by the Governor of Michigan and composed of physicians and one non-physician patient advocate. Only one of the physicians on the panel had intimate knowledge and had treated medical marijuana patients. On April 27th 2018, the review panel held a public meeting for public testimony in Lansing. Due to LARA's stonewalling and discouraging of petitions over the years, almost everyone had given up on the petition process. Less than a dozen people testified in support of the conditions at the April 27th 2018 meeting. No one testified in opposition to the conditions. This is in stark contrast to the many families who showed up in 2015 to testify in support, and went to the panel begging for their help to allow them to use a non toxic medicine for Autism.   The second meeting on May 4th 2018 was for the review panel to vote on the conditions.     The panel at times argued different ideas and points about the law, petitions, the research, the lack of research and their experience in treating patients with the conditions.   After the panel approved of 10 conditions, we had to wait again. The director of LARA has 180 days (July) from when the petitions are submitted (January) to decide to add or reject adding a new qualifying condition to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.       Finally the day had come. One day before July 10th 2018, the 180th day limit to decide on the petitions, LARA Director Shelly Edgerton approved the conditions that the medical marijuana review panel had recommended. Five years of fighting for some relief from self injuring behavior. Five years of fighting for chronic irritability, screaming, punching, anxiety, compulsive tics and behavior and other autism symptoms. Medical Marihuana is just now an OPTION, another tool, another medicine, another thing to TRY. Five years of knock outs, bloody knuckles, bruised egos, black eyes, screaming, begging, pleading, rejection, scorn, hatred and crying. Friendships were forged and bridges were burned, physicians who we thought were there for us turned around and withdrew their support at the drop of a hat. Finally parents can breathe a small sigh of relief. A massive team effort of people, families, physicians, researchers, petitioners and organizers came together at random to work on this.   As the president of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, I am proud to have been part of this process. I hope that the families who benefit, and the families who don't benefit share their experiences in trying medical marijuana for autism, so that we can advance science and knowledge of this condition and the cannabis plant. I also call on the governments of the world to encourage and conduct clinical trials of medical marijuana for diseases. To date, the FDA and National Institute of Health and National Institute of Drug Abuse have refused to fund research into medical marijuana.
 

Prohibitionists fail to predict future, legalization is a win for freedom.

Prohibitionists would use the predicted _possible_ harmful societal effects of marijuana as an excuse to continue the racist war on drugs that put hundreds of thousands of people in jail in the USA each year. Eventually, people realized that if you cried WOLF enough, and no WOLF ever showed up, that you were probably just a professional WOLF troll and that your predictions were false. As is the case here in reality.   https://hightimes.com/news/legalization/five-years-marijuana-legalization-what-didnt-happen/
 

Nevada traffic deaths drop 10 percent in first year of legal marijuana.

Nevada traffic deaths show 10 percent decrease since marijuana was legalized. Can this be directly attributed to marijuana? Probably not. Still, watching these numbers should tell us something useful, as marijuana is a substitute for alcohol and that alone should shrink alcohol related traffic crashes. http://mynews4.com/news/local/nevada-traffic-deaths-dropped-10-percent-in-first-11-months-of-recreational-marijuana   Read more about traffic statistics and marijuana driving research at my website http://komornlaw.com/driving-research/

FDA approved a purified form of the drug cannabidiol (CBD) Today 6-25-18

Statement by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on the importance of conducting proper research to prove safe and effective medical uses for the active chemicals in marijuana and its components.   Over the past decade, we’ve seen a growing interest in the development of therapies derived from marijuana and its components. Proponents of “medical marijuana” advertised its uses for a wide number of medical conditions, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety – just to name a few of the touted conditions. The FDA has been supportive of research in this area for many years. But marijuana is a Schedule I compound with known risks. Research to demonstrate that marijuana or its components could be safe and effective in the treatment of medical disorders should be held to the same standard as other drug compounds. And certainly it should not be held to a lower standard, as some proponents would suggest. The FDA has an active program to assist drug developers who want to investigate marijuana or its components through properly controlled clinical trials, to demonstrate the potential for safe and effective uses. Today, the FDA approved a purified form of the drug cannabidiol (CBD). This is one of more than 80 active chemicals in marijuana. The new product was approved to treat seizures associated with two rare, severe forms of epilepsy in patients two years of age and older.   This product approval demonstrates that advancing sound scientific research to investigate ingredients derived from marijuana can lead to important therapies. This new treatment provides new options for patients. This is an important medical advance. But it’s also important to note that this is not an approval of marijuana or all of its components. This is the approval of one specific CBD medication for a specific use. And it was based on well-controlled clinical trials evaluating the use of this compound in the treatment of a specific condition. Moreover, this is a purified form of CBD. It’s being delivered to patients in a reliable dosage form and through a reproducible route of delivery to ensure that patients derive the anticipated benefits. This is how sound medical science is advanced. So today, in addition to celebrating this scientific achievement and the medical advance that it represents for these patients and their families, we should also reflect on the path that made this possible. It’s a path that’s available to other product developers who want to bring forth marijuana-derived products through appropriate drug development programs. That pathway includes a robust clinical development program, along with careful review through the FDA’s drug approval process. This is the most appropriate way to bring these treatments to patients. This process also includes a review of the purity of a new drug and manufacturing controls. Before a high-quality drug can be developed, evaluated, and eventually approved by the FDA; it’s critical that the necessary work is done to identify drugs of potential medical benefit and conduct rigorous scientific research through adequate and well-controlled clinical trials. This is true for all drugs, including ones derived from plant materials, like marijuana. And the FDA remains committed to collaborating with federal and state agencies, researchers and product developers on advancing this type of important and conscientious work. This research process – from early development through preclinical and clinical research – gives us a comprehensive understanding of a new drug. That includes an understanding of whether the new product is safe and effective for treating a particular medical condition, what the proper dosage is and for what populations it is safe and effective, how the new compound could interact with other drugs, or whether the new drug has side effects or other safety concerns. This work also helps product developers identify the appropriate dosage needed to achieve the desired therapeutic effect while minimizing toxicity and risk. Taken in totality, the scientific evidence generated by these studies forms the basis of the FDA’s evaluation of benefit versus risk. And it’s because of this careful, scientific and evidence-based evaluation by the FDA that health care providers can rely on having a quality product that delivers a consistent, uniform dose of an effective medication that is able to deliver a predictable treatment to patients. This is especially important when considering treatment for serious medical conditions that will be utilized in the clinical care of patients who may have any number of health vulnerabilities. The purified form of the drug CBD approved today by the FDA has been shown to meet these rigorous standards. Research on the therapeutic effects of marijuana and its components involves a number of federal agencies in addition to the FDA, including the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The FDA has taken several specific steps to support this research. We meet regularly with researchers as they plan and carry out their trials. We have also formed a Botanicals Team that provides scientific expertise on botanical issues for researchers developing drugs derived from plants, such as marijuana. That team published guidance for industry on clinical studies involving botanical drugs, as well as quality controls for lot-to-lot consistency. In recent years, the agency also has recommended to the DEA the approval of several hundred Schedule I research protocol licenses for research on marijuana or its constituent compounds. Additionally, the FDA also works with companies to provide patients access to experimental therapies while clinical trials are ongoing through expanded access provisions. These approaches help protect patients while also allowing for the collection of data necessary to support the FDA approval of safe and effective therapies for use in the broader population. Through this process, hundreds of children were able to get access to investigational CBD products while this product was being studied. Drugs derived from marijuana also are eligible for several programs that are intended to facilitate and expedite development and review of new drugs that address unmet medical needs in the treatment of serious or life-threatening conditions. Much of the work we’ve done to encourage research in this area has led to the approval action we took today. The FDA will continue to support rigorous scientific research on potential medical treatments using marijuana and its components that seek to be developed through the appropriate scientific channels. However, we remain concerned about the proliferation and illegal marketing of unapproved CBD-containing products with unproven medical claims. The promotion and use of these unapproved products may keep some patients from accessing appropriate, recognized therapies to treat serious and even fatal diseases. The FDA has taken recent actions against companies distributing unapproved CBD products. These products have been marketed in a variety of formulations, such as oil drops, capsules, syrups, teas, and topical lotions and creams. These companies have claimed that various CBD products could be used to treat or cure serious diseases such as cancer with no scientific evidence to support such claims. We’ll continue to take action when we see the illegal marketing of CBD-containing products with unproven medical claims. We’re especially concerned when these products are marketed for serious or life threatening diseases, where the illegal promotion of an unproven compound could discourage a patient from seeking other therapies that have proven benefits. Today’s approval demonstrates our commitment to the scientific process and working with product developers to bring marijuana-based products to market. We remain committed to our gold standard for product development and review. Such a process ensures that any new therapies from marijuana and its constituents are safe, effective and manufactured to a high and consistent quality. And most importantly, that these products have been proven safe and effective for patients. The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

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Regulatory Panel Recommends 10 New Medical Marijuana Use Conditions

On Friday May 4, 2018 a review panel recommended 10 new conditions to be added to the list of ailments for approval for use of medical marijuana in Michigan.  Obsessive compulsive disorder Arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis Spinal cord injury Inflammatory bowel disease Ulcerative colitis Parkinson’s Tourette Syndrome Autism Chronic pain A Michigan regulator (Shelly Edgerton) who is The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Director has until July 10, 2018 to make a decision on nine of the recommendations and until Aug. 6 to make a decision on another. Only post-traumatic stress disorder has been added since 2008.
 

Victory for an MMMA patient in a Federal Park with his medical marijuana.

The conflict between state medical marijuana laws and the Federal Controlled Substances Act has been playing itself out in courts across the country. In addition, Congress has passed an act to prohibit the Department of Justice from prosecuting patients and caregivers in medical marijuana states. The DEA and DOJ have taken the position that this appropriations act rider means nothing, and have argued as such in court on many occasions in courts nationwide. Funny, they said we should "change the laws" if we wanted marijuana to be legal, so we legalized medical marijuana. Then they said marijuana was still illegal. So we got congress to protect medical marijuana states. Then the Department of Justice said these laws still didn't apply to them.   Our client hired us because he felt that his medical marijuana card protected him from this marijuana ticket that a park ranger gave him for possessing his medical marijuana in a national forest park in Michigan. Kayaks? Canoes? The Department of Justice is blind.   We filed a motion to dismiss based on the the Rohrabacher–Farr amendment to the Appropriations Act (the appropriations act is how the legislature funds the government departments). The Department of Justice prosecutor fought us on all counts of our motion, forcing us to dig our way out of a bunch of different rabbit holes of other medical marijuana cases across the country. Ultimately, after doing the proper research , filing motions, writing briefs and responses to opposition replies, we finally got the victory our client deserved. The magistrate agreed with all of our well thought out arguments and dismissed the ticket. All this over "three marijuana joints". At least our client was lucky! Noted poet, activist and Michigan native John Sinclair was given 10 years for 2 joints of marijuana in Ann Arbor of all places. Such an injustice brought John Lennon and Yoko Onno to Michigan where he made a song for John Sinclair to protest and demand his freedom from unjust marijuana laws.   John Sinclair sat in jail for years before his appeal was finally heard by the Michigan Supreme Court which overturned the draconian marijuana laws. Marijuana was legal again, until the Michigan Legislature reinstated the marijuana laws a few months later.   Lessons for all patients and caregivers: Never talk to the police (or park rangers)! Never answer questions! Ask if you are free to go, and then go if they say yes! Always ask for an attorney to be present during any questioning. Always call your lawyer before talking with the police! Never consent to a search! Without consent, the police officer would have no cause to search you. Never smoke in public! The park is a public place. Do not take marijuana with you on or in: Any School Grounds or school bus. Any Correctional facility, or any state or federal government buildings Any Federal Park or land, including border areas with Canada. Any Native American Reservation or Tribal Land. If you want the protections of the MMMA, you MUST stay in compliance with the MMMA. Plant limits, weight limits, etc. Being outside the boundaries of the MMMA could land you in jail.
 

Attorney General Candidates and Marijuana laws.

I rarely support any prosecutor, being a defense attorney, most prosecutors in my opinion are not nice people. Some will smile at you and act friendly but would rather waste time and aggressively use their prosecutorial discretion to go after sick patients to the fullest extent of the law.                                                  99% of the time these prosecutors will file motions to prevent a medical marijuana patient from saying the words "medical marijuana" in court.   Which is why I am so impressed by Dana Nessel. Not only has Dana stuck her neck out there to protect medical marijuana patients and uphold the voters wishes on marijuana laws, she also says she will prioritize the rape kits that have gone untested and ignored for years in Michigan. She actually cares about helping victims of rape, not prioritizing the drug laws against the majority of the USA who have used marijuana.   The Attorney General is the "top cop" in Michigan and controls how the police enforce marijuana laws. The choice is now between Dana Nessel and the GOP candidates for AG.   None of the GOP gubernatorial candidates supported marijuana , except Lt Gov Brian Calley in his support for medical marijuana. Although, in 2015, Brian Calley rejected the idea for using medical marijuana to treat autism when the petition was rejected by the Michigan Medical Marijuana Review Panel. https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2015/08/28/agency-rejects-marijuana-autistic-kids/32486185/   If you want the next Attorney General in Michigan to go crazy after the majority of adults who use or have used marijuana vote for the republican. If you want an attorney general who will focus on real crimes with real victims, please support Dana Nessel in the November vote!     Michael Komorn With Attorney General Candidate and Democratic Party Nominee Dana Nessel and Former Fox 2 News Host and Current Medical Marijuana Patient Advocate Anqunette Sarfoh .    
 

Schizophrenic bureaucrats and legislators battle medical marijuana laws.

On the one hand you have bureaucrats at LARA, Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, and on the other hand you have out of touch legislators. Both are trying to jump head first into the brick wall that the last 100 years of marijuana prohibition. UPDATE: 5-30-18: LARA has posted updated Emergency Rules to extend marijuana business license deadline to Sept 15th 2018  https://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-79571_79784-469818--,00.html http://komornlaw.com/mmfla-all-forms/   While this is all going on, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency with the Department of Justice, headed by Jeff Sessions, is doing everything it can to block industrial hemp and medical marijuana.     https://m.metrotimes.com/detroit/what-are-michigans-lawmakers-smoking/Content?oid=12485965
 

Cannabis Industry Delivers 100,000+ Jobs And Billions In Tax Revenue

Polls and surveys conducted across the USA all agree that about 50% of the entire US population has used or enjoys marijuana. With marijuana selling anywhere from $5-$30 per gram, its no wonder that legalizing marijuana brings jobs and tax dollars out of the black market and into the regulated market. The prohibition of alcohol gave us Al Capone and the American Mafia, the prohibition of marijuana and other drugs gave us El Chapo and the Mexican Cartels.       https://www.forbes.com/sites/civicnation/2018/05/11/how-providence-promise-is-building-a-college-going-culture-the-follow-your-dreams-tour/#6275595149f3
 

Kent County uses medical marijuana money to buy illegal marijuana raid vehicle

The oversight and operational grant money, stolen out of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Fund was supposed to be for education and oversight of the medical marijuana program. Instead, funds from the program have been used to buy any toy that the drug tasks forces want. Tasers and bullet proof vests? For sick patients ? None of this makes any sense. In the FY2018 budget, Gov Rick Snyder proposed removing that $3 million grant.        https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2018/05/rapid_deployment_vehicle_to_co.html
 

Probational Industrial Complex, once you are part of the system you're there forever.

Courts are not about justice or helping, their main focus is solely to collect fees and fines. Call any court at any time and the information provided on the automated phone system is exclusively about how to stream line payments. Any other concern or question of the court requires you to go through an endless and bottomless rabbit hole of phone tree tag. If , by some miracle you do get through to a live voice, it becomes immediately apparent that the person behind the phone is neither user friendly or  ready with answers for the reason why you have called.   When did this practice become the norm? When did this unhelpful court attitude become acceptable? Who has empowered these civic employees to be rude and dismissive? What happened to the old adage that the customer is always right? Who told these people that they have an allegiance to anyone other than the people who have business with the court?   Think they treat lawyers or law firm employees any differently? HAH! I have to use the same phone numbers and go through the same hoops that any person does when interacting with the court. Except I have to use their voice mail systems. Imagine having to contact a court for a client only to get a voice mail and wait for the system to tell you to leave a message after the tone, only to hear “mailbox is full”. This only happens every day to me, in multiple courts with multiple judges, prosecutors, clerks and even police officers!   Courts, prosecutors and Judges all take lunch breaks, but so do all of the clerks, all at the same time. Don’t even bother trying to call anyone from 11:30-1pm. Likewise, Court is over at 4pm, everyone including the clerks leave. There is no automated answering service, just voice mail with full mailboxes after 4pm.   There is a small window of time when you are able to get a live person at a court. Between 9:00-11:00am and then 1:00pm-3:45pm.   The probation and drug testing industrial complex has taken over the courts. I Represented Client/Medical Marihuana patient in a probation violation today in court. I was not her lawyer at the time she plead guilty and was sentenced to probation. The allegations of the probation violation were that my client had continued to test positive for THC, in violation of the court's order.   “Your client can't use medical marijuana while on probation. The Certifying physician is not in the probation departments list of approved doctors.”   Generally speaking the court is looking to the following main issues when setting bond; is the accused a danger to the community is the accused a flight risk   With these legal principles in mind the judge or magistrate where there's an allegation of a domestic violence case, or an alcohol-related driving case, will conclude for purposes of setting bond they have an interest in protecting the community from a person who consuming alcohol. In that scenario despite being presumptively innocent, allegations of assault and battery or something worse, the court in the interest of protecting the community or because of the defendants “danger to the community” would set a bond with the condition of no contact with the alleged victim.   Each of these examples draw from allegations, or the facts set forth in the complaint that resulted in the issuance of the charges. Their intent associated with the elements of the crime or certainly socially with alcohol which is a substance that is not medicinal, and is exclusively perceived as being recreational and subject to abuse, within the court system.   In other words the use of alcohol is routinely perceived as the roots or reason or identifiable concern by the court, independent of whether it is needed, identified, or even alleged, is something almost every single court prohibits a person on bond from doing even in cases where alcohol may not be involved.   These were the facts...   Client was put on probation for an alcohol driving offense. Judge sentenced her to 2 years probation, 10 days in jail immediately, followed by 2 years probation. Outpatient treatment, Alcoholics Anonymous, fines and costs.   At the time of her sentencing and prior to commencing the 10 days she paid a $2300 fine.   The additional terms of probation were: Report to the probation officer. Complete an intensified outpatient treatment program at Dawn Farms, Participate in alcoholics anonymous, Complete two years of probation.   It is important to note, that the court at the time of sentencing entered/ ordered the traditional terms of sentencing which include   Upon release from the jail after completing 10 days in jail, the client reported to the probation department as directed to by the court.   Upon appearing at the probation department and going through the intake process, my client interacted with her probation officer's assistant. At that time she presented to the assistant to her probation officer her medical marijuana card which was copied and entered into the file.   Over the next year ( the first year of her 2 year probation) she proceeded to complete the inpatient treatment program. She enrolled in AA and another Secular program similar to AA called SMART. In fact after enrolling in these 2 programs, she habitually attended 2 times a week for the next 2 years.   Additional terms of her probation included write in or non-reporting probation, which required her to call or write in to her probation officer monthly.   All of these requirements were completed as ordered by the Court.   At approximately the one year mark of her probation, my client got a call from her probation officer, directing her to take a drug test. Of course being a medical marihuana patient, she tested positive for THC. To my client, this was not a suprise because she had let the probation department know was in fact a medical marihuana patient. In her initial intake at the probation department she had made it clear of this status. Furthermore, she believed she  had a right to engage in the medical ise of marihuana.   333.26424 Sec. 4. (a) A qualifying patient who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card is not subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including, but not limited to, civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for the medical use of marihuana in accordance with this act, provided that the qualifying patient possesses an amount of marihuana that does not exceed a combined total of 2.5 ounces of usable marihuana and usable marihuana equivalents, and, if the qualifying patient has not specified that a primary caregiver will be allowed under state law to cultivate marihuana for the qualifying patient, 12 marihuana plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility. Any incidental amount of seeds, stalks, and unusable roots shall also be allowed under state law and shall not be included in this amount. The privilege from arrest under this subsection applies only if the qualifying patient presents both his or her registry identification card and a valid driver license or government-issued identification card that bears a photographic image of the qualifying patient.   My client’s probation officer however didn’t see things the same way...   Upon learning of the drug test results, the probation officer told my client that she was in violation of the terms of her probation.   Your client can’t use medical marijuana while on probation. The certifying physician is not in the probation departments list of approved doctors.   This is frankly disgusting. A probation department telling a person which physician they can or cannot go to for treatment? What kind of justice is that?   This was all done in the last two weeks of probation for my client. They wanted and waited to violate her right at the end of her probation.   Client hired me, I was able to argue the law, got her off the hook for the Violation of Probation VOP and she was able to finish her probation in the mean time, and has been alcohol free for two years and has really changed her whole life around. Although I can’t take credit for that, I am glad happy to see that her right to be a medical marijuana patient was recognized by the court. Victory
 

Cannabidiol Based Medical Cannabis in Children with Autism- a Retrospective Feasibility Study (P3.318)

A New study out of Israel for the treatment of Autistic children using medical marijuana was released last month. Although the study says it used Cannabidiol, the study used an oral oil containing both CBD and THC at a ratio of 20:1. It is sad that the USA cannot study marijuana for autism and that we have to rely upon other countries to do the research. This is the main reason why people have taken it into their own hands to legalize medical marijuana because the FDA and DEA refuse to allow cannabis to be studied for benefits of medical conditions. Parents who have been able to treat their autistic children with medical cannabis already knew what the results of trials would be. When the child's behaviors and communication improve, the parents stress levels go down.  This study goes on to say that oils made from the cannabis plant helped tremendously with autism spectrum disorder symptoms: Behavioral outbreaks were much improved or very much improved (on the CGIC scale) in 61% of patients. The anxiety and communication problems were much or very much improved in 39% and 47% respectively. Disruptive behaviors, were improved by 29% from 4.74±1.82 as recorded at baseline on the HSQ-ASD to 3.36±1.56 following the treatment. Parents reported less stress as reflected in the APSI scores, changing by 33% from 2.04±0.77 to 1.37±0.59     http://n.neurology.org/content/90/15_Supplement/P3.318 https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02956226
 

Minnesota Dept of Health studies Medical Marijuana patients, large pain reduction is found

Minnesota is the only state that I've seen which actually studies it's patients in it's medical marijuana program. The Minnesota DOH released a report of all of its patients a year ago, and in March, released a report about patients with intractable pain who are enrolled in the medical marijuana program. Minnesota studies and conducts trials and surveys while Michigan conducts criminal trials for patients and caregivers. This is all the fault of Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette who continue to allow patients and caregivers to be thrown into courts and jail for being part of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program.
    The new 2018 report of Intractable Pain Patients in the Minnesota Medical Cannabis program can be read here: http://www.health.state.mn.us/topics/cannabis/about/ipreport.html   The first year report of Minnesota Medical Marijuana patients is here: http://www.health.state.mn.us/topics/cannabis/about/firstyearreport.html        
 

The Chief of the DEA ignores science and reality.

The DEA is supposed to be using science to inform and regulate the pharmaceutical and health of the United States.  But yet, the appointed chiefs of the DEA continue to be ill-informed, ignorant and plain out lie about the substances they are supposed to be researching.   This is precisely why the USA is in an opioid drug crisis right now. Because the DEA is ran by idiots.   Read the 2017 NASEM report that DEA Acting Administrator Patterson has ignored here. It contains solid evidence of the medical use of marijuana to treat many different conditions, and was a basis to our scientifically backed petitions. Read our petitions to add qualifying conditions here: http://komornlaw.com/petitions   https://www.marijuanamoment.net/dea-head-slammed-over-marijuana-stance-by-lawmakers/   http://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/387640-on-marijuana-and-opioids-the-dea-has-no-clue-what-its-talking-about  
 

When the Prosecutors and Judges really do conspire against you.

My client is facing a number of years in jail. A confidential informant aka C.I. is involved. In most cases a C.I. is a person who is caught committing a crime by the police, and instead of being put on trial, the police use them as undercover informants. Usually the buying and selling of controlled substances. Using the "little fish" to catch "bigger fish" is the justification of this, but it routinely backfires and the C.I.'s have been murdered in a large number of cases. Back in my client's case, I get the C.I. on the witness stand and start asking her questions. Why are you testifying in this case? Why did you become a C.I. ? The C.I. responds she did this out of the concern for the children and safety of Michigan's Citizens. What? You would put yourself in a potentially dangerous situation ... for nothing in return? No payment? No Salary? No vacation days? Unheard of, because it was not the truth. The C.I. committed perjury. Not really a deal changer, although it makes the witness less credible, its not a conspiracy at this point. But the prosecutor in the case denied she was a C.I. , denied documents related to her being a C.I. existed, and denied he knew she was a C.I. Interestingly, the prosecutor in my client's case was also the prosecutor in the C.I.'s case. The prosecutor also failed to correct the record after the court relied upon this witness's false testimony. The prosecutor was then appointed as a judge, the next prosecutor notified me about the perjury. But did not notify anyone else that the prosecutor committed all of these cover-ups. All I have to do now is undo a case based on a lying witness, disrobe a judge, disbar a prosecutor and be a champion for truth and justice. Sounds real easy. Here is a case that sounds similar to mine. Although my case is just another medical marijuana case. All of these Very Important People are throwing their careers' away just for a medical marijuana conviction. Makes no sense at all.   https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/wayne-county/2018/05/15/detroit-murder-conviction-tossed-withheld-evidence/34965287/      
 

Get cops out of mafia-style fencing racket

Checks and Balances are put in place to protect the human rights of every citizen of the United States of America. One of those rights is the right to due process, meaning that you have the right to be secure in your home and with your property unless a court says otherwise. And you have the right to have your day in court before a jury of your peers. Asset Forfeiture has been tainted by police, prosecutors and courts where police just steal your stuff, leave, then go auction it off later. In some cases, not even a single criminal charge is filed. In other cases, prosecutors bring criminal charges, lose the criminal case, but continue with the forfeiture case. Other taint comes when police take all of the cash from you, but the amount they took is less than what it would cost to hire a lawyer to get it back. Why would anyone hire a $3000 lawyer to fight over a seized $2000 car ? We need more civil asset forfeiture and this bill would help a little bit.     https://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/editorials/2018/05/10/civil-asset-forfeiture/34783509/

Uruguay's lessons on marijuana legalization

The Brookings Institute released a comprehensive report on Marijuana legalization in Uruguay in March. In the report the researchers detail how well the program has worked and why the limitations placed upon legalization have only backfired against the country. The implementation of legalization in Uruguay has directly mirrored the implementation of medical marijuana here in Michigan. With local police forces ignoring and treating marijuana as if it were still illegal in many cases, while the state licenses and regulates the market.    Timeline of legalization in Uruguay The report made the following recommendations:  


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