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  • Michael Komorn

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

    By Michael Komorn

    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.
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  • Michael Komorn

    Senator Gillibrand slams Big Pharma on opioids and marijuana issues.

    By Michael Komorn

    Senator Calls Out Big Pharma For Opposing Legal Marijuana Tom Angell A prominent Democratic U.S. senator is slamming pharmaceutical companies for opposing marijuana legalization. "To them it's competition for chronic pain, and that's outrageous because we don't have the crisis in people who take marijuana for chronic pain having overdose issues," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said. "It's not the same thing. It's not as highly addictive as opioids are." Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images "On the federal level, we really need to say it is a legal drug you can access if you need it," she said. Gillibrand, in an appearance on Good Day New York on Friday morning, was responding to a question about whether marijuana is a "gateway drug" that leads people to try more dangerous substances.       "I don't see it as a gateway to opioids," she said. "What I see is the opioid industry and the drug companies that manufacture it, some of them in particular, are just trying to sell more drugs that addict patients and addict people across this country." Legalization advocates have long speculated that "Big Pharma" is working behind the scenes to maintain cannabis prohibition. And in 2016, Insys Therapeutics, which makes products containing fentanyl and other opioids, as well as a synthetic version of the cannabinoid THC, donated half a million dollars to help defeat a marijuana legalization measure that appeared on Arizona's ballot that year. Numerous studies have shown that legal marijuana access is associated with reduced opioid overdose rates. Research published this month, for example, concluded that "legally protected and operating medical marijuana dispensaries reduce opioid-related harms," suggesting that "some individuals may be substituting towards marijuana, reducing the quantity of opioids they consume or forgoing initiation of opiates altogether." "Marijuana is a far less addictive substance than opioids and the potential for overdosing is nearly zero,” the researchers wrote in the Journal of Health Economics. Last week, Gillibrand became the second cosponsor of far-reaching Senate legislation to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and withhold federal funding from states that have racially disproportionate enforcement of cannabis laws.       “Millions of Americans’ lives have been devastated because of our broken marijuana policies, especially in communities of color and low-income communities,” she said at the time. "Legalizing marijuana is a social justice issue and a moral issue that Congress needs to address." Gillibrand is also a sponsor of far-reaching medical cannabis legislation and recently signed a letter calling for new protections for state marijuana laws to be inserted into federal spending legislation.   "I think medical marijuana could be treatment for a lot of folks," she said in the interview on Friday. "A lot of veterans have told us that this is the best treatment for them. I do not see it as a gateway drug." Many political observers have speculated that Gillibrand will run for her party's presidential nomination in 2020. She and at least two other potential Democratic contenders have already endorsed marijuana legalization. Tom Angell publishes Marijuana Moment news and founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Follow Tom on Twitter for breaking news and subscribe to his daily newsletter. https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomangell/2018/02/23/senator-calls-out-big-pharma-for-opposing-legal-marijuana/     NIDA says there is no gateway theory of marijuana. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/marijuana-gateway-drug  
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  • Michael Komorn

    Komorn Law recommends keeping medical marijuana card and protections.

    By Michael Komorn

    After the legalization of marijuana in Michigan, some patients are thinking they could stop paying the state $100 for the special mmp card , and just use the recreational marijuana law to grow their medicine. A patient with a registered card can use the ultimate defense and immunity to avoid a driving under the influence charge. Only adults 21 or over are protected by the new legalization law, but no one yet knows how the new law will affect driving privileges. Is the zero tolerance of THC in your blood law still in effect for adult use marijuana ?  The new law is similarly worded to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. Whereas the MMMA says While the meaning of "under the influence" was not decided within the MMMA until 2012, with People v Koon, that was 4 years of police arresting patients for driving with marijuana in their blood. The court in People v Koon came to the conclusion: Ignoring that for a minute, the Michigan State Police have been tasked with sampling saliva during road side stops for a task force on marijuana driving. The task force was created in order to find a nanogram limit for THC in blood, even though 50 years of scientific research on the subject has consistently said marijuana does not affect driving. http://komornlaw.com/35-years-research-reports-driving-cannabis-marijuana/ http://komornlaw.com/mmma-court-case-library/   So my advice is, if you are a patient, keep the patient card active until the courts either give up on all marijuana issues, or at least this driving issue , or it is decided by the Michigan Supreme Court.   Basically, until non-patients get a similar "People v Koon" ruling from the Michigan Supreme Court, it is advised that any patients keep their cards to protect them fully under the MMMA. "Don't be the first person to test this in court."
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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

    Victory against unconstitutional search and seizures.

    By Michael Komorn

    Komorn Law PLLC is proud to report another complete dismissal of all charges for our client. These past few months we have attained a high rate of dismissals of our client’s cases.   In this case our client was charged with allegations of felonious marihuana conduct; the case involved the definition of a medical marijuana plant in the law. More specifically, whether or not the plant was producing food from photosynthesis and was “living”.  Of course, the prosecutor wanted to fight about the definition of “usable marihuana” too. With a splash of Manual and Mansour mixed into the fray.    Much to my surprise the Court was very familiar with the conflicts of law that currently exist within the MMMA and the court, and the issues that were created by the Mansour opinion. The court was prepared to grant a stay in the proceedings until that mess of an opinion gets worked out.   Today the Court heard arguments from the parties regarding the warrantless search of my clients home and whether the government could constitutionally validate the warrantless search. In Michigan, we have found that the courts go to great lengths to destroy the 4th amendment protections, going so far as to have a “good faith” exemption to unconstitutional search warrants.     As is often the case in warrantless searches regarding drug task forces investigating marijuana tips this case dealt with a “knock and talk". The knock and talk is a tool used by law enforcement agencies which allows them to traverse on to a citizen’s property, to question and even investigate a person or citizen. The knock and talk however is not absolute and there are specific limitations. The best way to describe is that the police would be allowed to come into a person's property in the same manner or method that a Girl Scout would or some other person soliciting something. Knock and talks are generally legal assuming that the police limit their interactions to the areas of the property that a citizen would not have an expectation of privacy.   Examples of this limited to walking up the driveway to the front door. Nothing more nothing less.   There is some significant case law recent years in Michigan that lays out specific details of some of those limitations and also when an officers’ knock and talk goes too far. People v Frederick and Van Doorne is a case involving Kent County Sheriff's officers that baked marijuana butter. The case went to the Michigan Supreme Court, which describes those limitations and the proper analysis for when and how officers can conduct knocks and talks.   The court did not take issue with the police detectives/investigators in this case, ignoring the fact that they were not in police uniform when they did their knock and talk. The court ruled that it didn’t matter if the police were undercover, because that fact did not violate the knock and talk rules. Even though I disagreed with the court in this tiny issue, this was not the ultimate legal issue that was dispositive in this case. The legal issue that was dispositive in this case was that once the police officers, who were conducting a lawful knock and talk, and who were lawfully on the porch of my client's house, and were lawfully ringing the doorbell to interact with my client, with the intent of trying to establish probable cause to search possibly get a search warrant, it is what happened in that situation that was the ultimate dispositive issue to which the court ruled in our favor.   As we have been finding more and more, police agencies in Michigan have an additional tool to trick patients and caregivers from the immunities from arrest, prosecution, and penalty of any kind. Police make offers to do a “compliance check”. Police will ask very politely if the homeowner will show them around their medical marijuana garden to ensure compliance with the MMMA. This was the ultimate issue in this case.   As I mentioned this case involving search and seizure of evidence without a search warrant. The U.S. Constitution and the Michigan Constitution expressly prohibits the searching and seizures without a warrant. That in fact warrantless searches and seizures are per se invalid. The government must make an allegation to justify the warrantless search in order for the search warrant to be constitutionally valid.   In this particular case, the government's theory of why the search and seizure was constitutionally valid, was because according to them my client consented to the search of his house. Today the government in this matter argued my client consented to a search of his house, offering the testimony of the officers who said my client consented to search and therefore the government did need a search warrant. While this theory may be true in other circumstances, a warrantless search and seizure is justified if the homeowner consents to a search and seizure. However this was not the testimony that supported the charges, this is not the way in which testimony came out at the prelim exam during cross-examination. Had the testimony in the preliminary examination been that they requested consent of the homeowner/my client to search his house and asked if they could come into search the house for illegal contraband or whatever arguably that would've made for a constitutionally valid search and seizure.   As I argued today and in contrast to the states position I relied on the testimony at the prelim exam where I had locked the officers into admitting that they did not follow proper procedure, but upon encountering my client at the front door during the “lawful knock and talk”, that they indicated the reason to which they were there. That reason according to the officers was that there was a tip that they had received that there was an illegal marijuana grow that occurred was occurring at that location.   As I got the officer to admit that when you explain to my client the reason why you were there when you're doing your knock and talk that he responded by telling you that he was a medical marijuana patient and that there was no illegal substances within the house.   The officer answered yes.   I said then what did you say next that ultimately resulted in you gaining access to the house the officer said “well I told him that he needed to check whether or not he was in compliance with the Michigan medical marijuana act”. During this colloquy I said to the officer please explain to me, please direct me, please show me what is your legal authority for doing a compliance check of any individual regarding their medical marijuana behavior?   It is here at this juncture that the state’s case against my client fell apart. There is no legal authority for any drug task force team to do a medical marijuana compliance check. The specific section of the MMMA that prohibits this is section 333.26424G, possession of, or application for, a registry identification card shall not constitute probable cause or reasonable suspicion, nor shall it be used to support the search of a person or property of the person possessing or applying for the registered indication card, or otherwise subject the person or property of the person to inspection by local county or state government agencies.   At the hearing today it was this compliance check issue that was flushed out and ultimately the constitutional violation the resulted in the court holding that the consent to search was not valid. Because of that issue, the court found that the police did not constitutionally validate the warrantless search. The issue of consent to search has an abundance of jurisprudence both in Michigan and the federal court system. The concept of consent has been written about often, and raises various issues, charges, defenses etc. regarding police officers interactions with citizens. The States intrusions of citizens rights, or what would be described as unconstitutional, is of no consequence if the citizen, suspect or accused consents to that government behavior.    However, consent must be unequivocal. It can’t be wishy washy and it can’t be based upon false or misleading information. Consent must be unequivocal and it must be given knowingly, voluntarily without threat or coercion. The capitulation to the government’s request can’t be based upon trickery or a lie.    The circumstances of my client’s case today were about the consent, or shall i say consent that was not unequivocal or constitutionally valid.   I read from the transcripts from the preliminary exam ( quoting from the testimony of the officers) where the officers had testified that the last statement made to my client before entering his house was that they the investigator/ detectives needed to do a medical marihuana compliance check. These same officers admitted they were not part of the MMFLA task force or investigators ( and were not even sure that they were even aware of the existence of that agency). I pointed out to the judge that there exists no legal authority by these officers to do a compliance check. A compliance check is not the same as consent to search. By asking, suggesting even implying that they had this legal authority is obtaining consent by trick, by misrepresentation or whatever you may want to call it, it was not “ knowing, voluntary and or without duress” consent.    It was this behavior by the government actors the Court found to be the constitutional violation. The court found that my client’s consent, which was allegedly obtained, was invalid, and the warrantless search of the residence and the seizing of the property and “evidence” was unconstitutional. Thus the evidence seized was done so illegally and the court suppressed the evidence and all the charges were dismissed.    The lesson learned here, and the take away is simple.    1.  Don’t be fooled into believing that there exists a legal authority for police officers or drug task force officers to check or determine you compliance with the MMMA    2.  Never, Ever, Ever consent to a search.    The often forgotten 4th amendment got some love today, and my joy is that this Court today had the courage and wisdom to make the correct ruling.   
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Mom tries medical marijuana for child with epilepsy

Published on Mar 1, 2018 Muskegon Mother finds non-toxic and safe Cannabidiol CBD from medical marijuana is a better treatment for epilepsy than liquid Valium.

In phase 1 of the study, 3 mg/kg daily of cannabidiol (CBD) was given for 30 days to 8 health human volunteers. Another 8 volunteers received the same number of identical capsules containing glucose as placebo in a double-blind setting. Neurological and physical examinations, blood and urine analysis, ECG and EEG were performed at weekly intervals. In phase 2 of the study, 15 patients suffering from secondary generalized epilepsy with temporal focus were randomly divided into two groups. Each patient received, in a double-blind procedure, 200-300 mg daily of CBD or placebo. The drugs were administered for along as 4 1/2 months. Clinical and laboratory examinations, EEG and ECG were performed at 15- or 30-day intervals. Throughout the experiment the patients continued to take the antiepileptic drugs prescribed before the experiment, although these drugs no longer controlled the signs of the disease. All patients and volunteers tolerated CBD very well and no signs of toxicity or serious side effects were detected on examination. 4 of the 8 CBD subjects remained almost free of convulsive crises throughout the experiment and 3 other patients demonstrated partial improvement in their clinical condition. CBD was ineffective in 1 patient. The clinical condition of 7 placebo patients remained unchanged whereas the condition of 1 patient clearly improved. The potential use of CBD as an antiepileptic drug and its possible potentiating effect on other antiepileptic drugs are discussed.
   

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Medical Marijuana remains the best option for Epilepsy

We've known for forty years that Cannabidiol (CBD) from the Cannabis Sativa aka Marijuana aka Hemp plant vastly reduces many different kinds of seizures and epilepsy in humans. It is a travesty that patients and parents of children with epilepsy are prohibited from using this non-toxic plant to prevent and stop seizures. Tens of thousands of epileptics have died because they were unable to access this life saving safe non-toxic medication. Abstract In phase 1 of the study, 3 mg/kg daily of cannabidiol (CBD) was given for 30 days to 8 health human volunteers. Another 8 volunteers received the same number of identical capsules containing glucose as placebo in a double-blind setting. Neurological and physical examinations, blood and urine analysis, ECG and EEG were performed at weekly intervals. In phase 2 of the study, 15 patients suffering from secondary generalized epilepsy with temporal focus were randomly divided into two groups. Each patient received, in a double-blind procedure, 200-300 mg daily of CBD or placebo. The drugs were administered for along as 4 1/2 months. Clinical and laboratory examinations, EEG and ECG were performed at 15- or 30-day intervals. Throughout the experiment the patients continued to take the antiepileptic drugs prescribed before the experiment, although these drugs no longer controlled the signs of the disease. All patients and volunteers tolerated CBD very well and no signs of toxicity or serious side effects were detected on examination. 4 of the 8 CBD subjects remained almost free of convulsive crises throughout the experiment and 3 other patients demonstrated partial improvement in their clinical condition. CBD was ineffective in 1 patient. The clinical condition of 7 placebo patients remained unchanged whereas the condition of 1 patient clearly improved. The potential use of CBD as an antiepileptic drug and its possible potentiating effect on other antiepileptic drugs are discussed. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7413719   Abstract A high dose of Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main Cannabis sativa (cannabis) component, induces anxiety and psychotic-like symptoms in healthy volunteers. These effects of Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol are significantly reduced by cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabis constituent which is devoid of the typical effects of the plant. This observation led us to suspect that CBD could have anxiolytic and/or antipsychotic actions. Studies in animal models and in healthy volunteers clearly suggest an anxiolytic-like effect of CBD. The antipsychotic-like properties of CBD have been investigated in animal models using behavioral and neurochemical techniques which suggested that CBD has a pharmacological profile similar to that of atypical antipsychotic drugs. The results of two studies on healthy volunteers using perception of binocular depth inversion and ketamine-induced psychotic symptoms supported the proposal of the antipsychotic-like properties of CBD. In addition, open case reports of schizophrenic patients treated with CBD and a preliminary report of a controlled clinical trial comparing CBD with an atypical antipsychotic drug have confirmed that this cannabinoid can be a safe and well-tolerated alternative treatment for schizophrenia. Future studies of CBD in other psychotic conditions such as bipolar disorder and comparative studies of its antipsychotic effects with those produced by clozapine in schizophrenic patients are clearly indicated. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved) http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2006-05687-001   Abstract BACKGROUND The Dravet syndrome is a complex childhood epilepsy disorder that is associated with drug-resistant seizures and a high mortality rate. We studied cannabidiol for the treatment of drug-resistant seizures in the Dravet syndrome. METHODS In this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, we randomly assigned 120 children and young adults with the Dravet syndrome and drug-resistant seizures to receive either cannabidiol oral solution at a dose of 20 mg per kilogram of body weight per day or placebo, in addition to standard antiepileptic treatment. The primary end point was the change in convulsive-seizure frequency over a 14-week treatment period, as compared with a 4-week baseline period. RESULTS The median frequency of convulsive seizures per month decreased from 12.4 to 5.9 with cannabidiol, as compared with a decrease from 14.9 to 14.1 with placebo (adjusted median difference between the cannabidiol group and the placebo group in change in seizure frequency, −22.8 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], −41.1 to −5.4; P=0.01). The percentage of patients who had at least a 50% reduction in convulsive-seizure frequency was 43% with cannabidiol and 27% with placebo (odds ratio, 2.00; 95% CI, 0.93 to 4.30; P=0.08). The patient’s overall condition improved by at least one category on the seven-category Caregiver Global Impression of Change scale in 62% of the cannabidiol group as compared with 34% of the placebo group (P=0.02). The frequency of total seizures of all types was significantly reduced with cannabidiol (P=0.03), but there was no significant reduction in nonconvulsive seizures. The percentage of patients who became seizure-free was 5% with cannabidiol and 0% with placebo (P=0.08). Adverse events that occurred more frequently in the cannabidiol group than in the placebo group included diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, pyrexia, somnolence, and abnormal results on liver-function tests. There were more withdrawals from the trial in the cannabidiol group. CONCLUSIONS Among patients with the Dravet syndrome, cannabidiol resulted in a greater reduction in convulsive-seizure frequency than placebo and was associated with higher rates of adverse events. (Funded by GW Pharmaceuticals; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02091375.) http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1611618     Muskegon mom hopes medical pot will save daughter, 5   Nina DeSarro, WZZMPublished 9:08 a.m. ET March 1, 2018     Can medical marijuana save Michigan girl? Could something so taboo, something the federal government doesn't recognize as containing medicinal value, be the cure for a 5-year-old girl in Muskegon? (Photo: WZZM) LeAnne Parker is a supermom. Between caring for her two daughters, her dogs and keeping up with her career, she does it all. “For four years my life was normal. My kids were normal. I knew nothing was wrong,” Parker said. That is until January 7, 2017 when her five-year-old daughter, Lily became unresponsive. “Her eyes just slowly start going to the right, almost like poltergeist, to the point where she turned her whole body until she was facing the shower which was behind her,” Parker said. In a panic, Parker immediately called an ambulance. “I didn’t know what to do, I just sat there and cried, I thought I was losing her, I just had the door open and I was just screaming for somebody to please help,” Parker remembered. Lily was taken to the hospital where doctors couldn't figure out what had happened. “They just said, 'if it happens again call us' and sent me home with no answers so we came home with no answers,” Parker said. Two weeks later, it happened again. And then again. “She did testing and testing and everybody said ‘I don’t know, just the brain is…welcome to the brain,’” Parker said. Finally in February, Lily received a diagnosis of epilepsy. “With two seizures that are unprovoked, you get the diagnosis of epilepsy.” She was immediately put on prescription medication, but the seizures continued. Lily had reached the maximum dosage possibly. “Now she’s failed all pharmaceuticals,” Parker said. Not only were the medications ineffective, her physical and mental state began to deteriorate. Five-year-old Lily was high, every day, her mom said.   “I sent her to school the other day, and they called me and they said that she was tired. She was passing out. She fell asleep during circle,” Parker said. She picked Lily up from school after her teachers told her she was walking into walls. The only other option for Lily was brain surgery, if she would even qualify. “I thought, there has to be something else,” Parker said. Brain surgery could mean a loss of Lily’s peripheral vision. “And there’s a chance that it wouldn't even work, so then my daughter is partially blind and still has seizures, how do you make that choice for your kid, I don’t know,” Parker said. She would never be able to drive, never be able to play sports, that’s a really, really hard decision to make as a parent.” Desperate for another solution, Leanne found out about CBD, Cannabidiol. “I started doing my research so instead of doing all of my research about epilepsy, now I was doing all of my research about CBD oil and learning everything I possibly could to learn about the benefits of it,” Parker said.   She went to a meeting in Grand Haven about medical marijuana’s use in treating epilepsy and from that point forward, she was going to give CBD a try. “It’s my daughter, so you can judge me. I feel like we live in a culture where it’s okay to pop Oxycontin, Vicodin and pain killers but we look at CBD oil like it’s awful, I don’t understand that,” Parker said. Nervous, Leanne approached her daughter’s neurologist with the idea. “I brought it up to my doctor hoping and praying that he was on board with it and a lot of people aren’t I’m lucky that I found a doctor that is, because if he wasn’t, I’d have to do it behind his back,” Parker said. Weeks later, she received Lily’s medical marijuana license in the mail. “The sad part is, there’s no doctor to talk to and that is the most frustrating part with me, because I’m like ‘okay I’m on board I want to do this, how, where, what do I do, how do I go about it and how do I even know how to dose my daughter?’” Parker said. Through her research, she found Bloom. The Ann Arbor based medical marijuana facility that offers doctor/patient consulting. “I wish this was option one before the pharmaceuticals, I wish I would have tried this first,” Parker said. It’s still a little too early today, but it’s been 25 days seizure free for Lily. “I am not hopping on a bandwagon of medical marijuana, I’m jumping off of the pharmaceutical bandwagon,” Parker said. So far, this is the longest Lily has gone without having a seizure since July of 2017. https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/03/01/muskegon-medical-marijuana-leanna-parker/384280002/

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

Adding Qualifying Conditions to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act

The public hearing for public comments will be heard on April 27, 2018. Read more about it at http://komornlaw.com/petitions      After the MMMA was enacted by a vote of 63% of Michigan voters in 2008, the legislature has declined to add any new qualifying conditions to protect patients from arrest. Senator Rick Jones even attempted to remove Glaucoma from the MMMP's list of qualifying conditions. Patients , caregivers and other interested parties wrote in opposition to the bill. A handful of petitions have been submitted over the years. LARA (and the previous MDCH department) have used various reasons and tricks to deny these petitions. Only Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has been added as a qualifying condition to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. Autism and Parkinson's disorder petitions were approved by the Michigan medical marihuana review board (the board consists mostly of physicians). These petitions were denied by the LARA director. The petitions were not deficient in any way and should have been accepted by LARA. We resubmitted the Autism petition again, with 20 additional research studies. Now, with the help of numerous patients, researchers, Dwight Z. and Dr. Christian Bogner along with the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association and Michael Komorn, we have assembled a massive amount of peer-reviewed medical research and government data to show that these conditions should be approved to protect patients, caregivers and physicians from arrest for the medical use of marijuana to treat their conditions. This project took months of work. Reading, organizing, searching and collecting thousands of pages of research from all over the world. Including the most up to date medical studies, peer-reviewed patient surveys and the national reviews of all medical marijuana studies by the National Academies of Science. The oldest peer-reviewed medical research paper cited within these petitions was from the first volume of The Lancet in 1889. Birch EA. The use of Indian hemp in the treatment of chronic chloral and chronic opium poisoning. The Lancet. 1889;133:625. Cannabis, Indian Hemp, Marijuana, whatever you call it, physicians were using this non-toxic plant in 1889 to treat chronic opium poisoning and opium addiction. As opioid based prescriptions are addicting and killing approximately 142 Americans each day in 2017, medical marijuana is a non-lethal non-toxic way to avoid "America enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks." The qualifying condition petitions were based primarily on the following: Already approved qualifying conditions in other medical marijuana states. Historical and ancient medical books. Patient self-reports and surveys. US Government Department of Health and Human Services Patent on using marijuana to treat many diseases and injuries, including brain injury on humans. Institute of Medicine 1999 report on medical marijuana. This report was the basis for the MMMA, specifically cited within the Michigan law, MCL 333.26422 (b). National Academies of Science (formerly the Institute of Medicine) 2017 updated report on medical marijuana. Included research not only supports each qualifying condition petition, but also answers questions that the LARA directors, physicians and medical marijuana review panel board members had asked of past petitioners. Reports on dosages, safety profiles of marijuana, statistics from the CDC and Poison Control, and information from NIH, FDA and the DEA are presented in the petitions. This information was included in order to compare the safety, effects and side-effects of medical marijuana with FDA approved prescription medications. All of the patients, caregivers, researchers, the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association and it's president Michael Komorn fully agree that marijuana should be removed from the Controlled Substances Act. Marijuana should continue to be studied as a treatment for every human and animal disease. Marijuana also should be submitted to the FDA for approval as a medicine. We fully support all clinical trials related to using marijuana as a treatment for any condition, disease or injury. As all of the scientific peer-reviewed published clinical trials show, marijuana is an effective medicine. The http://www.nih.gov website was heavily utilized throughout this project for locating scientific peer-reviewed published research, reports and information. The petitions are grouped by similar conditions, symptoms or mechanisms of treatment. Included in this post are some choice quotes from a few studies in each group of petitions. 001.-Anxiety.pdf
004.-depression.pdf
007.-Obsessive-compulsive-disorder.pdf
008.-panic-attacks.pdf
011.-Schizophrenia.pdf
012.-Social-Anxiety-Disorder.pdf Marijuana and Medicine Assessing the Science Base 1999 report from the Institute of Medicine https://directorsblog.nih.gov/2014/04/10/anxiety-reduction-exploring-the-role-of-cannabinoid-receptors/ 
Medical Cannabis in Arizona: Patient Characteristics, Perceptions, and Impressions of Medical Cannabis Legalization.   014.-arthritis.pdf
023.-Rheumatoid-Arthritis.pdf
  Preliminary assessment of the efficacy, tolerability and safety of a cannabis-based medicine (Sativex) inthe treatment of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis
025.-brain-injury.pdf
030.-Treatment-of-spinal-cord-injury.pdf
031.-asthma.pdf
  Effects of smoked marijuana in experimentally induced asthma. Effects of cannabis on lung function: a population-based cohort study Newspaper ad from 1876 selling marijuana cigarettes for treating asthma. You may laugh at a marijuana cigarette as a real medical treatment, but marijuana is a verified bronchodilator similar in strength to albuterol, the standard asthma medication. The medical efficacy of this specific brand of Asthma cigarettes were specifically exempted within the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as created by the United Nations. This means these marijuana cigarettes were still able to be sold after each country banned marijuana. https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/bulletin/bulletin_1951-01-01_4_page002.html https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/bulletin/bulletin_1962-01-01_4_page005.html 036.-diabetes.pdf
  The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research (2017) The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance among US Adults 044.-colitis.pdf
050.-gastric-ulcer.pdf
055.-Inflammatory-bowel-disease-IBD.pdf
064.-Ulcerative-colitis.pdf
Marijuana Use Patterns Among Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program: Patient Experiences from the First Program Year by the MN Department of Health 2016. Cannabinoids and the Urinary Bladder Cannabinoids and gastrointestinal motility: Animal and human studies Medical cannabis – the Canadian perspective Impact of cannabis treatment on the quality of life, weight and clinical disease activity in inflammatory bowel disease patients: a pilot prospective study.

106.-organ-transplant.pdf https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4541500/ Medical Marijuana and Organ Transplantation: Drug of Abuse, or Medical Necessity?
107.-Non-severe-and-non-chronic-Pain.pdf https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3998228/ LARA statistics show the majority of the 250,000+ patients in the MMMA are using cannabis to treat chronic pain. As we know that the medical use of marijuana can treat “severe and chronic pain” already, it can and should be used to treat regular generic pain that is not severe and chronic. The reports and information from the Minnesota Department of Health on its medical marijuana program are very detailed and informative about patients experiences with medical marijuana. Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program: Patient Experiences from the First Program Year by the MN Department of Health 2016. http://www.health.state.mn.us/topics/cannabis/about/appendixa.pdf 108.-Parkinsons.pdf Other states already approve of medical marijuana for Parkinson's Disease. Including: Georgia, Vermont, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and California http://www.google.com/patents/US6630507 

111.-Tourette's-Syndromequalifying.pdf Tourette’s Syndrome is an approved medical marijuana qualifying condition in Arkansas, Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio. While the MMMA covers persistant and severe Muscle Spasms, Tourette's Syndrome sufferers may not have the severe symptoms that qualify. The 1999 Institute of Medicine report states that marijuana can be used to treat Tourettes
Syndrome.
112.-MMRP-Autism-Petition-2qualifying.pdf Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program lists Autism as a qualifying condition. There are two clinical trials for Autism and cannabis in 2017: Cannabinoids for Behavioral Problems in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Double Blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Trial With Crossover. Cannabidivarin (CBDV) vs. Placebo in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) https://nccih.nih.gov/health/autism https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5473390/ Safety and Efficacy of Medical Cannabis Oil for Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia: An-Open Label, Add-On, Pilot Study. An Open Label Study of the Use of Dronabinol (Marinol) in the Management of Treatment-Resistant Self-Injurious Behavior in 10 Retarded Adolescent Patients   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4648553/     DOWNLOAD ALL PETITIONS ONLY (34MB) DOWNLOAD ALL PETITIONS AND SUPPORTING STUDIES HERE (1.7GB)

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

Detroit fights against marijuana ballot proposals, again.

Detroit has an interesting history of fighting voter ballot proposals. In 2012, The city of Detroit fought the ballot proposal in court , all the way up to the Michigan Supreme Court and lost. Finally these ballot questions would go to the voters! Why did Detroit fight so hard about decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana? Why exactly did they want to keep marijuana illegal and continue the war on drugs and prohibition? 80 years after prohibition of alcohol ended in a huge failure of organized crime, mafia bootlegging and bullet strewn alcohol turf wars on the streets.   http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2012/07/detroit_marijuana_referendum_g.html In 2017, Detroit made an ordinance against the medical marijuana businesses, it's ultimate goal was to destroy the nearly 200 dispensaries that were licensed within the city. The citizens of Detroit then put the question on the ballot for the voters to decide.     https://www.metrotimes.com/detroit/marijuana-proposals-head-to-the-ballot/Content?oid=6169067     Again, in 2018, the city of Detroit continues fighting, this time against the new ballot proposal which the voters approved of, makes the Detroit ordinance in sync with the Michigan Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act. Detroit is going to lose, as it did in 2012, as it did in 2017. Three strikes and you are out, Detroit.     https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2018/02/19/detroit-medical-marijuana-law-appeal/350840002/

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

CBD products seized in Tennessee, state Attorney Generals call CBD illegal

CBD raids Just as a landmark cannabidiol lawsuit headed to court this week, police in Tennessee carried out the largest known CBD raids in history: 23 businesses were closed and 21 individuals were cited for selling illegal marijuana products. The raids, largely at tobacco shops selling candies and vape pens containing CBD, happened outside Nashville. The raids didn’t sweep up any producers or processors, but they put the fledgling hemp industry in Tennessee on notice. Like other states, Tennessee allows hemp growing and CBD production and has a small but thriving extraction industry. But CBD possession in the Volunteer State is limited to those with certain medical conditions. “You bet this is going to spark a few bills” in the state legislature, said Harold Jarboe, a Tennessee hemp grower who wasn’t affected by the raids. “Tennessee has one of those ‘wink-wink, nudge-nudge’ CBD laws, so hopefully this will change that.” Until CBD’s legal status is clarified, Jarboe said, the hemp industry needs to avoid looking like it’s trying to appeal to children and maybe avoid even using the letters C-B-D. “We’re trying to make a health product, so we don’t do vapes, we don’t do candy,” Jarboe said. “We call it ‘hemp extract.’ It saves a lot of headaches.” https://mjbizdaily.com/week-review-alcohol-tobacco-enter-cannabis-sector-detroits-mmj-issues-tennessee-cbd-raids/   https://ag.ks.gov/docs/default-source/ag-opinions/2018/2018-005.pdf   Federal appeals court hears hemp industry lawsuit challenging DEA’s position on CBD PUBLISHED: FEB 15, 2018, 5:24 PM • UPDATED: 3 DAYS AGO By Alicia Wallace, The Cannabist Staff The fate of a federal rule viewed by hemp advocates as an existential threat to their emerging industry is now in the hands of a three-judge panel. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco heard oral arguments Thursday in the Hemp Industries Association’s petition challenging the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s January 2017 rule creating a Controlled Substances Code Number for “marihuana extracts.” DEA officials claim the rule is administrative in nature and helps the agency better track research and meet international drug treaty requirements. Attorneys for a hemp industry trade association and hemp businesses argue that the DEA conflated the terms “marijuana” and “cannabis,” ultimately creating a rule that can be interpreted as scheduling cannabis and cannabinoids as illegal substances. They blame the rule for a rash of seizures of cannabidiol products. The DEA’s rule epitomizes “government overreach” and stands in opposition to intervening legislation, Robert Hoban, a Denver-based attorney representing the hemp industry, told the 9th Circuit Court judges. “There was a seismic shift in United States cannabis policy in 2014 with the enactment of the Farm Bill, specifically Section 7606, involving industrial hemp,” said Hoban, a principal of Hoban Law Group. “And that seems to have created some confusion, perhaps, with the Drug Enforcement Administration.” Hoban claimed that confusion extended to other federal, state and local enforcement agencies, which have since seized products such as hemp-derived, CBD-rich extracts. “We’ve seen this drug code utilized week after week since it’s enactment to seize, to cause criminal enforcement against lawful operators who require no DEA registration,” Hoban said. Sarah Carroll, an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, countered that the language of the rule, follow-up guidance and court briefings expressly state that the code number applies only to the controlled parts of the cannabis plant that are within the Controlled Substances Act definition of marijuana. “It does not apply at all to the parts that Congress exempted,” she said. If other enforcement agencies acted out of step with DEA-issued rules and guidance, the “remedy would be to challenge that seizure,” she said. The judges will review the arguments and briefs filed in the case, which include an amicus brief filed last month by 28 members of Congress. It could be months before an opinion is released, Hoban Law Group attorneys have said. Timeline   Hemp Industries Association et al v. Drug Enforcement Administration   December 2016: New DEA rule on extracts, CBD causes commotion in cannabis industry January 2017: Legal challenge filed against DEA’s new marijuana extract rule April 2017: Hemp lawsuit in federal court alleges DEA overstepped on “extracts” rule June 2017: DEA seeks dismissal of hemp industry lawsuit fighting drug code for “marihuana extracts” July 2017: With DEA digging in its heels on “marihuana extracts,” legality of CBD oil on trial in federal courts July 2017: DEA statement on CBD, hemp products and the Farm Bill July 2017: CW Hemp’s Joel Stanley says DEA position statement on CBD, hemp and Farm Bill “reckless and illegal January 2018: Hemp industry lawsuit challenging DEA’s position on CBD picks up support of 28 U.S. legislators https://www.thecannabist.co/2018/02/15/cbd-hemp-dea-marijuana-extracts-lawsuit-federal-appeals-court/99168/

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

Michigan is licensing marijuana businesses but they still cant use banks.

LANSING, MI - It was chilly on the morning of Dec. 15., but Michigan State Police stood outside a state office building. They were there for safety, ready, as the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation opened its doors, for some applicants to show up with the $6,000 application fee in cash.     Michigan lawmakers authorized a new medical marijuana industry in 2016, and the state began accepting applications to be a part of it on Dec. 15, 2017. But businesses seeking inclusion are already running into a roadblock: banks won't take their money.   "It's not that banks don't want to. It becomes a very significant risk," said Patricia Herndon, senior vice president of government affairs for the Michigan Bankers Association.   Michigan created a $837M medical marijuana industry with nowhere to put its cash Updated Feb 14, 7:46 AM; Posted Feb 14, 7:45 AM By Emily Lawler elawler@mlive.com Federally, marijuana is considered a Schedule I substance, a category that means the government considers it to have no medical use and a high potential for addiction. The revenue from a state-authorized medical or recreational marijuana business can potentially be viewed as drug money by the federal government.   In Michigan, medical marijuana is legal and its industry is projected to expand rapidly. A House Fiscal Agency analysis of the bill lawmakers approved projected it would grow to $837 million annually. As of Feb. 2 there were already 146 businesses who have submitted prequalifications with the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, and another 618 had started the online application process.   But without being able to rely on basic banking services, those medical marijuana business owners are struggling with how to remain above-board.   Paul Samways, an accountant with Cannabis Accounting, said he's currently going out to clients to count their cash. And when the businesses start operating under the new scheme, it only gets more complicated if they can't cut checks or store money.   "These guys aren't hiding stuff in their mattress, they want to be above-board, they want to make sure everybody knows what's going on, they want to pay their taxes... how do you do it without a bank account?" Samways asked.   Banks shy away from marijuana money  Acting as a bank for a medical marijuana business was a thorny issue to begin with, and one that's gotten more difficult in wake of a memo issued by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month.   Banks that want to handle medical marijuana business money have to do a lot of due diligence at a high upfront cost to ensure compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering rules, Herndon said.   But on Jan. 4, Sessions repealed an Obama-era policy known as the Cole memo, which instructed federal prosecutors since 2013 not to prioritize the enforcement of federal anti-marijuana laws in some instances where states had their own marijuana laws on the books. Now, federal prosecutors are using their discretion on the enforcement of federal marijuana laws.   Sessions policy shift on marijuana could have implications for Michigan  "That rescission adds even greater uncertainty to this," Herndon said. "I will say that they continue to look at this, there's been no declaration from the U.S. district attorney that there's going to be an active force in that direction."  Before that move, there had been an uptick nationally in banks serving the medical marijuana industry. According to a report from the federal Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, 400 financial institutions were banking with marijuana businesses in September of 2017, which represented steady growth.   And some states have found ways around needing buy-in from financial institutions. In Hawaii, state officials collaborated with a cashless service called CanPay and Safe Harbor Private Banking, a marijuana-specific financial institution, to let medical marijuana businesses handle transactions.   In Maryland and Florida, banks have quietly popped up to fill the void.   But Florida's bank is backing out now. With Michigan's industry coming online at the same time banks are grappling with the Sessions memo, it's not clear any financial institutions will rush to fill the void.  Samways looked into the possibility of starting a state-chartered credit union that would accept medical marijuana money a few years ago. The problem he ran into, he said, was that he couldn't get a master account in the federal reserve without compromising the medical marijuana money.   "What happens is if you don't have a federal reserve master account, you can't cash checks or take debit cards or transfer money into the money super-highway," he said.   As of now, Herndon said, no Michigan bank has publicly come forward as accepting medical marijuana money.   Lawmakers look for solutions  Rep. Klint Kesto, R-Commerce Twp., is the sponsor of House Bill 5144, which was signed into law last month. It makes several refinements to the medical marijuana law the state passed in December of 2016. Among the changes, it specifies that an accountant or financial institution providing services to someone licensed under the Medical Marihuana Act wouldn't be subject to penalties.  Kesto said the intent was not to hold banks accountable for providing somebody with their banking records.   "Because in order to apply for a license you have to go and get your banking records. So if you went to the teller or the clerk or whoever was going to assist you, then we don't want to subject them to any criminal laws that then may be out there. We specifically codify that," Kesto said.   The same idea applies to certified public accountants, he said.   To apply for a license to be a medical marijuana grower, processer, tester, transporter or dispensary, applicants have to prove they meet a capital requirement, which is often dependent on financial records. It's CPAs who provide an attestation that applicants have met those requirements.     And that's just for the application process. But when marijuana businesses actually start pulling in money, they'll run into another problem, one Kesto acknowledges. Where are they supposed to store it?  "I think that it makes a lot of people nervous. I bet the people who have to hold that cash are nervous, because that makes them a target as well," Kesto said. "Law enforcement is probably nervous because they have to enforce the laws if there's theft, or robberies, or what have you. So I think that we have to be cognizant of that."   Rep. Pete Lucido, R-Shelby Twp., is looking to answer that with House Joint Resolution CC, which would create a state bank capable of handling money from marijuana businesses. Without some kind of solution, he said, Michigan would have a huge industry that basically lacked the ability to put its revenue back into the economy. Right now, he said, people could get stuck keeping it in mattresses and coffee cans.   "What other safe harbor do we have? If the banks can't touch the proceeds and the credit unions can't touch the proceeds from the sale of marijuana, then what do we leave those that are in the business that are regulated by the state as it relates to licensing? Even the labs that test it would be barred from putting the proceeds into the bank or credit union because it violates federal law," Lucido said.   So far, Lucido said, South Dakota is the only other state with a state bank. South Dakonta authorized it close to 100 years ago and don't have medical marijuana. But Michigan has a chance to open their own and be a leader, he said.   He doesn't necessarily think a state bank competing with private banking services is a good idea. But right now, it's what he's got.   "I would surely think that if the banking industry and credit union industry have an alternative, they can sure knock on my door and give it to me," Lucido said.   Magnitude of problem could grow with legalization  Try as state lawmakers might, it's not clear that they have the power to address the issue, at least through regular banks.   "Very little can be done at this point, at the state level, to impact the prohibitions and the obstacles that are put into place that are keeping us from jumping into this," Herndon said.   Right now the state's talking about a potentially $837 million medical marijuana industry with banking issues. But if a ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana for adult use passes, even more businesses and more dollars could have trouble accessing traditional banking systems.   Josh Hovey, a spokesperson for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the group pushing for legalization, said based off what other states have experienced, "We're thinking that once the market is fully established that Michigan could be generating anywhere from $100 million to $200 million a year in tax revenue."     That's a lot of money to think about collecting from a cash-only business. But he's hopeful Congress will broker a federal solution.   "I think it's something that Congress is starting to look at and realizing that there's a whole lot of money out there that the IRS needs to be collecting, that state governments need to be collecting," Hovey said.   But absent that - or any potential state action - Michigan's marijuana industry will likely be a cash one.       http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/02/michigan_created_a_837m_medica.html

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

BUSTED: Forfeiture Laws Encourage Policing For Profit

BUSTED: Forfeiture Laws Encourage Policing For Profit By Charmie Gholson Published Fall 2010 The Midwest Cultivator   Ed Boyke, a former General Motors employee who served in the Navy, became disabled in 1996 after undergoing two brain surgeries due to a tumor and epilepsy.  Boyke was approved for medical marijuana due to severe sciatica due to a pinched nerve. He was diagnosed by the Mayo clinic in Minnesota and is caregiver for himself and for one additional patient. On April 15, Boyke stepped outside of his Saginaw Township home and was surrounded by Saginaw County Sheriff’s deputies and U.S. DEA Agents. With weapons drawn, they served Boyke with a federal warrant to search his residence, based on confidential information that he had violated marijuana laws. They handcuffed Boyke while they executed the warrant. The DEA agents surveyed his home, said they wouldn’t pursue the case and left. The Saginaw County sheriffs department stayed to “see if he’d broken any state laws,” and according to Boyke, “started tearing the place apart.” They smashed his grow operation and a humidifier, dumped out dresser drawers and emptied closets in two rooms. They taunted him about who he voted for in the last presidential election. When the officers left, they took with them:  two lawn mowers, a leaf blower, an air compressor and generator from his garage, his 2008 Chevy Impala, $62 from his wallet, his marijuana plants, hunting rifles and ammo, his harvested marijuana, Boyke’s medical marijuana card and paperwork, a generator, a paint sprayer, a dehumidifier, growing apparatuses, scales and a 42-inch Panasonic TV. “They asked me for the key to my girlfriend’s car too, but I didn’t have it,” he says. “They told me I was lucky ‘cause they would have taken that too.” The deputies returned the next day and asked Boyke how much money he had. “When they came back the next day threatening to take a lien on my house,” Boyke recalls, “I called this one lawyer, Tom Frank in Saginaw and asked him about the $5,000 they wanted from me. He said, ‘I’ll run over and talk to them.’” Frank didn’t call him Boyke back; instead the detectives called and asked if he had the money. “I was worried because they were threatening to take my house,” he says. “That Sheriff said ‘Make sure it’s cash, then we’ll bring your stuff back.’” Boyke gave them $5,000 in cash, and they returned his car, the lawn mowers, leaf blower and air compressor but they didn’t return his TV or rifles. He says everything except the car was old junk from the garage. One of the rifles, however, was a present and heirloom. Boyke’s wife passed away at the age of 36 and the rifle had been a gift from her father. He says he pleaded with the department to return, “ just that rifle, but they told me, ‘your guns are gone.’” “They didn’t give me a receipt,” he says. “I had to go down and get that myself.” The receipt is for storage and impound charges. Michigan forfeiture laws require contesting property owners to file a claim with the county clerk within 20 days of a seizure, a copy of the claim with the prosecutor’s office, and pay a bond, ranging between $250 and $5,000, which is reimbursed if they appear in court. When Boyke learned this, and after reading in the paper that he had received legal advice prior to paying his “impound and storage” charges, he was furious. He hadn’t received legal advice. He drove to Franks' office. “Frank told me he didn’t tell the sheriff he was my lawyer,” Boyke says, “but Frank could have told me I had twenty days, the detectives could have told me, I would have disputed it, but they didn’t tell me bunny muffin. I don’t know those laws, I’m not a lawyer, and that lawyer never called me back.” Saginaw County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Randy F. Pfau told the Saginaw times that no one forced Boyke to pay for the return of the items. Property owners “have every right to take it to a formal hearing with a judge,” Pfau said. “By coming in and paying that $5,000, he’s waiving that right.” Saginaw County Sheriff William L Federspiel says medical marijuana users are not his department’s targets. “I wish we could just say, ‘Hey, this guy’s got a card, don’t even bother with it,’ but unfortunately we don’t have that option,” Federspiel told The Saginaw News. “So we follow through, because you know what, it’s still against the law, unless you have the medical marijuana card.” But Boyke did have a medical marijuana and caregiver card, until police confiscated it during the raid. Pfau also said it is department protocol for deputies to destroy or seize all marijuana-growing related items when they perform a search or seizure at a suspected grow operation. Federspiel maintains the department’s investigation indicated Boyke was in violation of the law, illegally possessed marijuana and was thereby subject to forfeiture law. To date, however, Boyke has not been charged with any crime. According to Michigan state forfeiture laws, he may never be. GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT Michigan’s civil asset forfeiture laws are some of the most egregious in the country. In March 2010, The Institute for Justice released Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture, the most comprehensive national study to examine the use and abuse of civil asset forfeiture, and the first study to grade the civil forfeiture laws in all 50 states and the federal government. Only three states receive a B or better. Michigan received the lowest score possible: D-. Americans are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but civil forfeiture turns that principle on its head. With civil forfeiture, your property is guilty until you prove it innocent. The report chronicles how state and federal laws leave innocent property owners vulnerable to forfeiture abuse. These laws encourage law enforcement to take property to boost their budgets. The report finds that by giving law enforcement a direct financial stake in forfeiture efforts, most state and federal laws encourage policing for profit, not justice.    In Michigan, law enforcement receives all proceeds of civil forfeiture to enhance law enforcement efforts, creating an incentive to pursue forfeiture more vigorously than combating other criminal activity. The report says Michigan multi-jurisdictional task forces work extensively with district attorneys and police departments to forfeit property, resulting in more than $149 million in total forfeiture revenue from 2001 to 2008. Americans accused of using drugs also have much to fear from informants, such as the “concerned citizen” that tipped police to Ed Boyke’s “illegal activity.” Asset forfeiture laws allow police to seize money and property from anyone merely accused of drug activity. In 2007, Saginaw Sheriffs and Prosecutors reported earning $53,797 net proceeds from their multijurisdictional drug task forces, like the ones who raided Boyke. 2008 proceeds totaled $75,598.    

Charmie

Charmie

 

Medical marijuana used to treat autism-related disorders

I can only imagine how difficult it is as a parent to have a child within the autism spectrum. I am friends with parents of autistic children and have met many others. These parents would move mountains for their children. They have taken every step possible to try to help alleviate their child's pain and suffering. They have tried every treatment that their doctors have suggested. Every single prescription the physicians can think of, even off-label uses of other prescriptions that have never been studied on children. Some of these prescriptions have serious side effects. All parents want to do is to be able to try medical marijuana for their kids. After all, marijuana is non toxic and there are no known deaths from it. Many parents whose autistic children have other qualifying conditions are able to get medical marijuana for their children, and report that medical marijuana works wonders for aggressive behavior, self-injurious behavior and chronic irritability. Also reported is that the child is able to communicate better after medical marijuana treatment because of not being constantly distracted by every triggering event that sends them into a tizzy. With the help of expert physician Dr Christian Bogner and researcher Joe Stone and The Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, a petition to add Autism to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program was submitted in 2015. Although it was rejected twice, we are submitting it again. Other states have added Autism to their medical marijuana programs and we feel that this medicine is obviously less toxic than all other prescriptions that are currently prescribed to children. Simply as a choice that a parent and child can try medical marijuana to see if it helps them.     https://www.dea.gov/druginfo/drug_data_sheets/Marijuana.pdf Overdose effects: No death from overdose of marijuana has been reported.     https://www.kshb.com/news/health/autism-and-medical-marijuana- Medical marijuana used to treat autism-related disorders
Michael Williams
9:56 PM, Feb 5, 2018
2:03 PM, Feb 6, 2018
PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Abigail Dar’s son, Yuval, is 24-years-old, and she says he is severely autistic. Mollie Ryckman Barrett’s youngest daughter, Sumer, is 13-years-old and has Asperger Syndrome. This is the story of two moms looking for answers to help their children. "Medication helps, at times. Sumer, who is doing well in seventh grade, takes two of them," Barrett said. “One helps her focus with her brain and one relaxes her brain a little bit.” Always, though, there is the nagging worry. “How safe really is the medication we are giving our children today?” asked Barrett. Dar gave her autistic son higher and higher doses of pharmaceutical prescription medications for years in a bid to control his anxiety and aggressiveness. Dar complained, “They just give medication hoping it will give an answer, which it doesn’t, and I get my kid crazier and crazier.”     Amid that frustration, Dar had an alternative within reach.  “Israel is much more liberal regarding medical cannabis,” Dar said.   Dar spoke from her home outside Tel Aviv, Israel, where she is at the forefront of medical marijuana research. “I gave him (Yuval) his first dose and it was a miracle,” she remembered.    The dose she talked about was a strain of medical cannabis she and her son’s psychiatrist settled on after trial and error. Yuval became calmer, less anxious, more attentive. “It’s a game changer,” Abigail said, “it gave us quality of life.” Barrett said she wants the same opportunity for her daughter, but their home in West Palm Beach, Florida is far removed from the access, and attitudes, available in Israel. “We should have a right to decide in our home what is in the best interest of our children, what is the safest alternative option for them,” Barrett said.  She said she hopes to someday use cannabis derived oils for Sumer, but her child’s doctor does not agree with the idea. “He just says,” Barrett recalled, “that he doesn’t feel it’s a safe option and she seems OK on her medicine and there really are no side effects.” The American Academy of Pediatrics does not support medical marijuana use for autism-related disorders. One big issue, experts say, is the fact that there are many strains of cannabinoids in marijuana. Dr. Norina Ocampo is a South Florida pediatrician. “The other issue is they think probably all these compounds work synergistically with each other to help, so how do you pick which one will be the right compound,” she said.  Dar is working with Israeli doctors, pushing for much more extensive research on that prime question. “Today we have over 300 kids having access to medical cannabis,” she said. 

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

Michigan Medical Marijuana Expert Defense Attorney Michael Komorn gets grilled by House Committee while supporting asset forfeiture reform.

Michael Komorn is dedicated to defending his clients from both criminal charges and civil asset forfeiture. During a committee meeting on House Bill 4158, a bill to reform asset forfeiture, House Committee member Triston Cole tried to find any possible way to attack Komorn's client testimony. With Michael's 9 years of dedicated experience to medical marijuana , he was ready to get deep into analyzing each question. Finally turning the questions around on Mr. Cole and defending his clients, once again, but this time in the public eye of a committee meeting. Watch below as Michael knows every nook and cranny detail of the Michigan Medical Marijuana program, and uses that knowledge to support the bill.       But Lucido's bill may be in trouble. Police and prosecutor unions including PAAM are fighting tooth and nail to keep those assets and any auctions they run to sell off peoples property. Police have been relying on asset forfeiture which has encouraged them to abuse the system. The majority of forfeitures were for $1000, who would hire a $3500 lawyer to fight to get $1000 back? Most people walk away from their own property forfeitures because the economics of it.   Lucido Wants To Finish The Job On Reform of Civil Asset Forfeiture Rep. Peter LUCIDO (R-Shelby Twp.) says he wants to finish the job of reforming civil asset forfeiture in Michigan and has introduced  HB 4158 to prohibit its use by police unless a person has been convicted of a crime.   He told the House Judiciary Committee today that improvements made last year require police to report how much property they seize and end residents needing to post bond to get their property back. However, he wants more (See "No Bond Needed To Get Seized Property Back Under Passed Bill," 3/22/16).     "Last year, Michigan law enforcement agencies seized over $15 million and change, along with 2,037 vehicles. They seized 806 weapons, 276 financial securities, and 15,160 other pieces of personal property," Lucido told the committee. Before that, agencies weren't required to report seizures, so it is not known how much property police confiscated, he said.    Police use civil asset forfeiture as a way to battle drug trafficking. The process allows police to seize property believed to have been used in the course of committing a crime, like the vehicle that drugs are transported in or cash from drug deals.    Lucido said no one should profit from criminal activity, but he contends the process is being used in some cases excessively, and in some cases to supplement police department budgets.    "No one was charged with a crime in 523 cases of those 5,290 cases," Lucido said about last year's statistics. "Ten percent of the crimes, that they claim were crimes, but (people were) never charged, never convicted, and lost their property without even being charged as a criminal. Another 196 people were charged but never convicted."    Committee Chair Jim RUNESTAD (R-White Lake) held an extended session of the committee meeting, but didn't call a vote on the bills. He said he would take more testimony on the proposal in the coming week. Today's testimony was all from individuals in support of ending the practice. He expects law enforcement agencies will testify next week in defense of the use of civil asset forfeiture. He said the committee has to hear from both sides.    Attorney Michael KOMORN brought several of his clients before the committee to tell of their experiences with civil asset forfeiture. Amanda JOSLIN, a medical marijuana user, said police raided her home in 2015, seizing her home, car, a game system and her son's paychecks from his job. She said they even took a steam mop.    Eventually, charges were dismissed against her, but she got none of the property back.    Joslin contended that while civil asset forfeiture may have been intended to combat drug dealing, police have concluded "they can take money from the low-hanging fruit, which is the medical marijuana community."    Ted NELSON, who is retired from the Michigan State Police, spoke in favor of eliminating civil asset forfeiture. He said it was intended to battle drug smuggling and to confiscate the cash generated by drug sales. Now it is being used excessively.    "If they needed a couch for their office, they would take a couch. In my opinion, that is not was civil asset forfeiture was intended to do," Nelson told the committee.       Former State Trooper: Cops, Prosecutors Misuse Problematic Asset Forfeiture Law ‘Civil asset forfeiture erodes the public trust in law enforcement’ By EVAN CARTER | Feb. 8, 2018 |  Follow Evan Carter on Twitter Editor's Note: This article was updated to note that when civil asset forfeiture first began to be used in Michigan, narcotics enforcement would obtain the proceeds of criminal activity. The Michigan State Police detective who helped train the state police in how to conduct civil asset forfeiture says the police are misusing it. Former Michigan State Police Detective Sergeant Ted Nelson, who developed a curriculum on civil asset forfeiture for the department and taught it for more than a decade, made those comments to the state House Judiciary Committee on Feb. 6. The committee hearing was the first of many which are scheduled to be heard on House Bill 4158 over the next couple weeks. After that, the committee may vote on whether to send the bill to the full state House of Representatives. The bill would require police officers and other law enforcement officials to convict someone in a criminal court before they could take ownership of cash and other assets they seize, for property valued at $50,000 or less. “Law enforcement is an extremely important vocation in our society and it is as important today as yesterday,” Nelson told the committee. “I believe that the policy and procedures of civil asset forfeiture erodes the public trust in law enforcement.” Nelson told Michigan Capitol Confidential that during his 26 years with the department, he saw law enforcement officials receive by forfeit items, such as furniture, that they believed could be used in department offices or sold for a profit. Nelson, who supports HB 4158, said this type of behavior wasn’t the reason civil asset forfeiture was introduced. Nelson said he first received training on civil asset forfeiture in the late 1980s when the practice was considered part of the war on drugs. At the time, civil forfeiture was used mainly for major drug crimes, in which narcotics enforcement would obtain the proceeds of criminal activity. Nelson developed a curriculum to teach the state police’s drug teams. He was the expert state police troopers called when they seized money and they weren’t sure it could be tied to a drug crime. “We’re the foot soldiers of the Constitution and sometimes we forget that,” Nelson said. Nelson said he doesn’t believe enacting HB 4158 would change how police officers do their job, but he believes it would change how prosecutors do their job. Shelby Township Republican Rep. Peter Lucido is the primary sponsor of the legislation. At the hearing, he said law enforcement officials can use mechanisms other than civil asset forfeiture to ensure that those believed to have participated in criminal activity cannot make a profit from ill-gotten gains or get rid of illicit substances. “We lost the war on drugs, and civil asset forfeiture has penalized the poor,” Lucido said to the committee. “Officers were sworn to protect, and not take.” Attorney Michael Komorn, who is president of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, attorney John Shea and national civil asset forfeiture expert Lee McGrath also testified in support of the bill. Not everyone who appeared before the committee supported the bill, however. Waterford Police Chief Scott Underwood said that while he wouldn’t directly offer an opinion on the legislation being discussed, he believes civil asset forfeiture is a useful tool for law enforcement. “I would say that for the most part, that civil asset forfeiture comes from good police work,” Underwood said to the committee. “The numbers with asset forfeiture don’t lead, they follow.” Lucido said in an interview that while he doesn’t want to imply police officers are corrupt, he believes that civil asset forfeiture is too easily abused. “If even one cop abuses it, it’s too much,” Lucido said to Michigan Capitol Confidential. “I had cops who took kid’s piggy banks and dart boards and I’m done with it.” Currently, law enforcement officials do not need to convict, prosecute, or even charge a person of a crime before they can get ownership of seized property through civil asset forfeiture procedures. In 2016, one out of every 10 Michigan residents whose property was taken by law enforcement using civil asset forfeiture was never charged with a crime.  According to a Michigan State Police report, more than 700 people were either not charged with a crime, or charged with a crime but not convicted. Since 2000, the state has taken possession of forfeited property worth $20-$25 million annually. The legislation may be part of a larger package aimed at reforming the state’s civil asset forfeiture law. If the measure passes and is signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder, Michigan will join the 14 states (along with the District of Columbia) that already require a conviction for law enforcement to take possession of seized property.     http://www.record-eagle.com/news/local_news/state-lawmakers-eye-forfeiture-reform/article_63727629-81b7-5091-ac45-0e87ddec26fa.html State lawmakers eye forfeiture reform Local officials support 'common sense' legislation BY KYLE KAMINSKI kkaminski@record-eagle.com   TRAVERSE CITY — A bill aimed at protecting property rights of the accused is amassing support from local officials as it gains steam among state lawmakers. House Bill 4158 — introduced this month by Republican state Rep. Peter Lucido — would safeguard residents from court-ordered property seizures unless they’ve been convicted of a crime. Lucido contended its passage would affect hundreds annually. “We have people that get their property taken by police who are not detached, neutral magistrates or judges,” Lucido said. “That’s violation of property rights 101. … It’s called due process under the Fourth amendment and the 14th amendment.”   Lucido noted law enforcement — specifically through task forces like the Traverse Narcotics Team — have been overly empowered by laws that allows police to confiscate property from those suspected to be involved with drugs. Michigan’s law enforcement agencies collected more than $244 million in gross forfeiture proceeds between 2001 and 2013, averaging about $19 million per year, according to a report from the Institute for Justice. And none required a conviction. Police agencies, in turn, are authorized by law to offload those assets and keep a portion of the proceeds to buy equipment and “enhance all law enforcement activities.” Records show TNT seized at least $400,000 during the past six years. The bill would prohibit forfeitures unless a suspect is found guilty of a crime in court, amending a section of an existing state law. It would take effect next year if passed into law, and would only apply to seizures under $50,000. “$50,000 is a little bit much to have in your pocket,” Lucido explained. Local and state officials — including those who soon could be stripped of their authority to confiscate property — have praised the spirit of the bill. Others, while recognizing need for further reform, were hesitant to endorse the changes. “It would be easier for us and more fair to those who are having their property forfeited to have a criminal conviction,” said Grand Traverse County Undersheriff Nate Alger. “Our system is based on being innocent until proven guilty.” Attorney General Bill Schuette this week said conviction before seizure is a “good principle” to maintain. County Prosecutor Bob Cooney noted most local forfeiture cases include a criminal conviction but said current laws force them to continue. “I wish the state would better fund narcotics teams and not incentivize them in anyway to go after forfeiture dollars,” Cooney said. “At the same time, those laws were set up to take away profits from those selling illegal drugs. That’s the idea.” Lucido’s bill eliminates the requirement people negotiate for the return of their possessions but some officials — like Kalkaska County Prosecutor Mike Perreault — are concerned it could unfairly entwine property seizures with plea bargains. His office tries to avoid forfeiture altogether. The bill could connect those cases with criminal matters and force him into the business regardless, he suggested.   “I’m a little concerned that by tying them to a criminal conviction, it’s going to bring me people who try to barter their way out of things,” Perreault said. “I could also see the argument then that we’re only prosecuting people to take their stuff.” Advocacy groups for years have lobbied against statutes that allow civil forfeiture cases to proceed. Some contended they disproportionally impact lower income residents because of often costly legal battles attached to reclaiming property. Others have said seizures lead to “policing for profit” because police, in most cases, can keep the proceeds for their own department. Michigan State Police officials have contended the concept helps save taxpayer dollars and deprives criminals of cash. State Rep. Larry Inman said he supports Lucido’s bill and noted police shouldn’t be able to keep property without a conviction. Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel said “common sense” dictates police first need to prove someone guilty of a crime. “I know forfeiture is a huge asset, especially for drug enforcement teams. There’s never enough money to fund those things,” Schendel said. “But I like to err on the side of the people and the Constitution.” A legislative analysis contended the bill would have an indeterminate fiscal impact for law enforcement. It noted its passage likely would result in declined forfeiture-related revenues and impact federal revenue sharing for Michigan State Police. The bill — introduced last week in the House — was recently referred to the Committee on Judiciary. Lucido said lawmakers soon will hear testimony as it pushes forward in the legislature. Visit record-eagle.com for continued coverage.

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

Michael Komorn Fights Against Asset Forfeiture in Michigan

Michael Komorn has worked tirelessly for his clients at Komorn Law PLLC to return property seized and forfeited to the police. The items and property seized often has absolutely no medical marijuana (or any crime at all) connection whatsoever. Just looking at the list of things seized, none of it makes sense. 4 wheeler? Gas generator? 401k retirement account? Cars purchased 20 years ago and restored. Ladders, children's birthday money taken out of their Hallmark birthday cards. iphones, ipads, computers, cash, gold rings, guns. The police will take anything of value that they can in any medical marijuana case.   As an expert in civil asset forfeiture, Michael Komorn and Komorn Law PLLC attorney Jeff Frazier educate other lawyers on the steps and pitfalls of forfeiture cases on ICLE.     Michael Komorn and Jeff Frazier discuss with Rachael Sedlacek about the procedural requirements in a civil asset forfeiture case. Criminal defense can often involve recovering property seized by the police. Civil asset forfeiture cases require navigation of unique procedural rules and complex negotiations.   LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) - You have seen the movies.  Police seize the stuff of crime bosses to stop a network of criminals, but could it happen to the average person? Could your stuff be seized even if you aren’t charged with a crime?  Defense attorneys say it is happening all the time here in Michigan, especially to medical marijuana users.When police seize stuff they believe was bought or is money made from a crime, they start what is called a civil asset forfeiture process.   Rep. Lucido says bill would prevent police from seizing innocent people's stuff Kim Russell 11:28 PM, Jan 30, 2018     LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) - You have seen the movies.  Police seize the stuff of crime bosses to stop a network of criminals, but could it happen to the average person? Could your stuff be seized even if you aren’t charged with a crime?  Defense attorneys say it is happening all the time here in Michigan, especially to medical marijuana users.  When police seize stuff they believe was bought or is money made from a crime, they start what is called a civil asset forfeiture process.   “It allows law enforcement and benefits everybody, to remove the profit motive from drug dealing,” said Robert Stevenson, the Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police.  Police say they only seize stuff they truly believe is connected to crimes. Often people are never charged with a crime or their belongings are kept after charges are dropped.   “I did not get bound over by the judge but they still have my stuff,” said Ginnifer Hency  as she testified before state lawmakers in 2015.  She said she has multiple sclerosis and is a medical marijuana patient.  She said even after a judge cleared her of any crime, the prosecutor fought to  keep her valuables. Lawmakers changed the law to raise the burden of proof, but people are still voicing complaints.  “I felt robbed, like a highway robbery,” said John Hamann of what happened to him and his dad Ron Hamann.  The Hamanns say they believe it is about making money for law enforcement.  When medical marijuana became legal, they applied for cards to be caregivers and patients.   “I thought everything was legal,” said Ron.  “Everything you are supposed to do. I followed all the weights, all the counts and everything like that, but it doesn’t matter. They take everything and say gotcha,” said John.  They say almost three years ago police seized all their valuables.  They say about two years later, only when they came close to winning their belongings back, were they charged with manufacturing marijuana. To them, it felt like a shakedown.  “WCPO’s longstanding office protocol is that any civil forfeiture case and the associated criminal cases are kept separate. In other words WCPO has a  fire wall in place..The civil and criminal cases are completely independent from one another,” said Maria Miller of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office in a statement.  The prosecutor’s office says the Hamann's face the charges because it is alleged  that they had over 20 pounds of marijuana and 69 marijuana plants. Komorn, their attorney says that doesn’t make sense as a legal allegation.  Ron had a patient card and proof he was a caregiver for two patients.  He was allowed to possess 36 plants.  John had a patient card and was a caregiver for 4 patients.  He was allowed to possess 60 plants.  As for the weight, Komorn says pictures submitted as evidence show the marijuana weighed was unusable in that it was wet and included stalks thrown in the garbage.  Komorn says only usable marijuana is supposed to count in weight limitations.  The Hamanns say what was seized has nothing to do with marijuana.  They say police seized their 401Ks, which they contributed to through their jobs at a home remodeling company. Police told them they could because the money was from drugs.  “I don’t understand it at all. It is on my paystub. It shows where my money comes from.  It is all legal,” said John Hamann.  “All the money is traceable from his job into his 401k,” said Rep. Peter Lucido (R-36th District).  “There is no logic or reason for the police to do what they are doing. But they have the right to do it under state law.” Representative Peter Lucido has introduced House Bill 4158. He says police all too often seize property from the innocent.Taking a look at the numbers.  The state’s asset forfeiture report says in 2016 police seized more than 15 million dollars in property.  In about ten percent of those cases no one was charged.  He wants the law changed, so that police would only be able to keep your stuff if there is a conviction, forcing police to at least charge people in order to keep their belongings. “They have a right to seize it and put it into an evidence locker, but if they don’t charge the person, what did the person do wrong under the law?” asks Lucido.  “It does put people in a tough spot.  It puts a person in a tough spot if those proceeds are from illegal activity,” said Stevenson.  Law enforcement leaders, like Stevenson, say If someone wants to get their stuff back, all they have to do is answer the questions investigators have.  It has the potential to be a powerful tool in the fight against crime. “One of the things you have to do in a civil case, which you do not have to do in a criminal case, is you have to answer questions,” said Stevenson. Michael Komorn argues that it hurts justice.  He says he takes on clients who can’t afford his services,  because their assets are seized.  “The idea that the government just takes it, and the idea that by possessing it it becomes theirs, and the burden shifts to the owner of it to prove that the property is not guilty or that they got it legally, goes against the grain of what people expect from our legal system,” said Komorn. John and Ron Hamman says they believe they will be found not guilty - but in the meantime are being punished.  Rep. Lucido will have the chance to make his case that this law needs to be changed during a hearing in Lansing on February 6.      https://www.wxyz.com/news/rep-lucido-says-bill-would-prevent-police-from-seizing-innocent-peoples-stuff http://www.fox2detroit.com/news/vibrator-taken-during-marijuana-police-raid-says-woman   Read more about criminal asset forfeiture and civil asset forfeiture on my blog.   http://komornlaw.com/does-freezing-defendants-untainted-assets-violate-right-to-counsel-of-choice/ http://komornlaw.com/how-a-sex-toy-put-spotlight-on-michigan-civil-asset-forfeiture-laws-targeted-for-reform/  http://komornlaw.com/civil-asset-forfeiture-guilty-until-proven-innocent/  http://komornlaw.com/editorial-court-puts-limit-on-police-stealing/  http://komornlaw.com/feds-using-forfeiture-to-their-advantage/  http://komornlaw.com/mich-cops-seized-24m-in-2014-in-drug-cases/  http://komornlaw.com/house-speaker-michigan-must-reform-asset-forfeiture/  http://komornlaw.com/court-pot-as-tip-no-reason-for-police-to-seize-car/  http://komornlaw.com/vibrator-taken-during-marijuana-police-raid-says-woman-fox-2/  http://komornlaw.com/police-ransack-charges-dropped/  http://komornlaw.com/2015-michigan-state-police-asset-forfeiture-report-final/    Meet Some Law Enforcement Officers Who Support Forfeiture Reform Michigan Legislature should strengthen property rights By JARRETT SKORUP | Feb. 14, 2018 |  Follow Jarrett Skorup on Twitter   While many interest groups representing law enforcement employees oppose reforming civil asset forfeiture to require a criminal conviction before the state can take ownership of a person’s property, some law enforcement officers support the changes. In the Traverse City Record-Eagle, reporter Kyle Kaminski gets comments from a variety of law enforcement officials about forfeiture generally and about a bill that would reform how it's used in Michigan. Here are the responses:   The law enforcement officials are joined by others in their field who support the conviction requirement. House Bill 4158 would do the following: Require a criminal conviction, or plea agreement, prior to any forfeiture taking place for assets under $50,000. Allow for exemptions for people who die, are deported or abandon their property. This properly balances protecting innocent people’s property rights with enabling law enforcement to forfeit property that was either obtained with proceeds from illegal activity or used for illegal purposes.   http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/meet-some-law-enforcement-officers-who-support-forfeiture-reform

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

Warrantless Wiretapping Encourages Constitutional Rights Abuses

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

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

Don’t Beauregard that joint my friend.

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    

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

Hemp industry fights DEA for right to sell hemp, again.

The hemp industry is fighting the DEA again for its right to sell hemp products, including CBD. The Drug Enforcement Agency and US Attorney Generals have spent considerable resources on hemp farmers, state hemp projects, even attacking, raiding and destroying hemp crops in Native American tribal land. Members of congress have joined in the lawsuit against the DEA. Does the DEA even know what it is doing? Why did Eric Holder say hemp was schedule 1, prosecute hemp growers his entire tenure, only to retire and say that the laws should be changed? In Olsen v Holder 2009, some interesting facts about scheduling were reported:   DEA Clarifies Status of Hemp in the Federal Register in 2001.   Wait, Marijuana is the leaves and flowers and hemp is the stalks and seeds? What?   Defining “Industrial Hemp”: A Fact Sheet The federal Congressional Research Service issued a report March 2017.     Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity Renée Johnson Specialist in Agricultural Policy March 10, 2017 What about Cannabidiol? Since the DEA has been attacking Cannabidiol hemp products, some states have been claiming CBD is illegal. Department of Public Health Position Statement CBD Product Availability in Iowa   Nebraska AG issued a memo on Cannabidiol products.   Indiana AG issued an opinion of CBD , while the Indiana Governor said stores will have 60 days to destroy or remove CBD products from its stores. The FDA tested some CBD products and found some products contained no CBD, some contained higher than .3% THC and other products fluctuated with percentages of CBD. Also, the FDA has stated that because CBD is being investigated as a new drug, it cannot be marketed as a dietary supplement. The FDA is ignoring history when it says CBD is a "new drug". CBD was an ingredient of Extract of Cannabis, a formulation in the US Pharmacopia dating back to 1851.
  The fight against hemp, marijuana, cannabis continues. https://mjbizdaily.com/congress-members-defend-cbd-blast-deas-hemp-decision/ Congress members defend CBD, blast DEA’s hemp decision Published January 12, 2018 | By Kristen Nichols In a bold show of support for the hemp industry and CBD, 28 members of Congress are asking a federal appeals court to reject the Drug Enforcement Administration’s argument that cannabidiol is a Schedule 1 drug. The Congress members filed the brief Thursday in conjunction with a pending lawsuit against the DEA. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is set to hear arguments in the case Feb. 15. The Congress members – 22 Democrats and six Republicans – argue that the DEA is “blatantly contrary” to the 2014 Farm Bill when it argues that CBD is a marijuana extract and therefore illegal. “The Farm Bill’s definition of industrial hemp includes any part of the plant, including the flower,” the Congress members argue in the brief. The members conclude that the federal agency’s rule about CBD was an “abuse of DEA’s administrative procedure and rulemaking authority.” The lawyer who wrote the brief for the Congress members, Steven Cash, told Marijuana Business Daily that Congress members took the extraordinary step of weighing in on the lawsuit in hopes of seeing the courts resolve the conflict between the Farm Bill and the DEA’s interpretation on the Controlled Substances Act. “Apart from arguing about the relative benefits, flaws and dangers of medical marijuana and hemp, it appears we’re going to solve this (conflict) through traditional avenues, the courts,” Cash said. The DEA said in late 2016 that because CBD cannot be easily extracted from non-flower parts of the cannabis plant, CBD should be considered a controlled substance. The decision brought a hasty lawsuit from the Hemp Industries Association and a CBD business. A lawyer for the hemp companies says the brief will show judges that Congress understood what it was doing when it authorized hemp production, meaning not just the stalks and seeds but the whole plant. “Congress has spoken, yet again,” Bob Hoban said in a statement. “The industrial hemp industry has seen exponential growth … and this case represents the most significant challenge the U.S. hemp industry has seen to date.”

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

Iowa State University blows at least $343,000 attacking marijuana and free speech.

While private internet companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google censor marijuana on their various communication platforms, a publicly funded state university must adhere to the free speech first amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. In this case, Iowa State University objected to a NORML student group using the ISU mascot on their t-shirt. Read the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling here. Read the Iowa Board of Appeals Settlement plan here. Other case files can be found HERE.   http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/40885/ Iowa State pays $343,000 for censoring pro-marijuana students – and it’s on the hook for ‘substantially’ more GREG PIPER - ASSOCIATE EDITORJANUARY 11, 2018     Legal fees for the trial portion haven’t been resolved It’s hard to think of a university that’s had a worse few years in court regarding a First Amendment dispute than Iowa State. It was slapped down for refusing to let a pro-marijuana student group use the university’s name on its club T-shirt (which included a pot leaf), when it let every other student group use its trademarks on their club gear. Last year a federal appeals court confirmed that individual university officials could be heldpersonally liable for violating the “clearly established” constitutional rights of students. Now Iowa taxpayers are finally footing the bill for the university’s litigation adventures – and they’re going to pay even more later. Courthouse News Service reports Iowa State is paying the plaintiffs and their lawyers $343,260 just for the appellate portion of the lawsuit:   In other words, taxpayers are looking at a high six- to low-seven figure payout because the school was afraid people would think it institutionally endorsed pot smoking (inset, the shirt). The original lawsuit was filed more than three years ago. The state finally came to its senses, with the attorney general’s office telling the appeal board last week that it would cost even more to to endure “a trial solely on the question of damages.” The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling that the ISU officials didn’t deserve “qualified immunity” for violating the students’ rights stands in stark contrast to the 10th Circuit’s recent ruling that gave immunity to a University of Kansas administrator for expelling a student based on a private tweet, saying First Amendment law wasn’t “clearly established.”   Ari Cohn of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which sponsored the lawsuit against ISU, writes about the importance of courts holding individual administrators financially responsible: Cohn’s colleague Peter Bonilla noted the settlement was timed well with an upcoming ISU event on freedom of expression, featuring the chancellor of the University of California-Irvine, a staunch public defender of student free speech.   Read the Courthouse News Service article and FIRE post.

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

The most comprehensive marijuana driving research from all over the world says.... marijuana drivers drive slower to compensate for being high.

Read on to see the consensus from research spanning 50 years from USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and everywhere else. Just under 300 studies along with independent and government reports were collected, yet the research keeps pointing to the same thing. People driving after using cannabis drive a little bit slower. States with Legalized and Medical Marijuana have fewer fatal car accidents. My guess is that the fewer fatal accidents are due to substituting alcohol and other medications for cannabis. Marijuana makes drivers drive slower. That's about it. Don't believe me, take the official government word directly from NIDA: NHTSA 2017 Marijuana-Impaired Driving A Report to Congress   The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did its own tests in 2015 and found that THC showed no increased crash risk.   Crash Fatality Rates After Recreational Marijuana Legalization in Washington and Colorado.   CANNABIS USE AND DRIVING: Evidence Review Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (CDPC) Simon Fraser University   NHTSA The Incidence and Role of Drugs in Fatally Injured Drivers 1992 NHTSA Marijuana and Actual Driving Performance 1993 CRASH CHARACTERISTICS AND INJURIES OF VICTIMS IMPAIRED BY ALCOHOL VERSUS ILLICIT DRUGS University of Michigan Study 1997   CANNABIS: OUR POSITION FOR A CANADIAN PUBLIC POLICY REPORT OF THE SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ILLEGAL DRUGS 2002   Psychomotor Performance, Subjective and Physiological Effects and Whole Blood D9 -Tetrahydrocannabinol Concentrations in Heavy, Chronic Cannabis Smokers Following Acute Smoked Cannabis   Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption Marinol Patient Information Marinol Patient Information   See the full studies here: http://komornlaw.com/driving-research/ Grab all of the studies here, 200mb http://komornlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/marijuana-driving-research.zip

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

The war on marijuana defies logic, science and reasoning, according to the government.

Governments from around the world have conducted exhaustive studies on Marijuana / Hemp / Cannabis and have found the exact same results each and every time, consistently over the last 120+ years. Likewise, the governments have attacked, ignored, buried and outright shunned every one of these reports for the last 120 years. The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report India 1893-1894 The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report, completed in 1894, was a British India study of cannabis usage in India. The Commission report and all recorded testimony was over 3,000 pages long spanning 8 volumes. The Summary of conclusions regarding effects of cannabis is found in the first volume of the report, on pages 263 and 264. 552. The Commission have now examined all the evidence before them
regarding the effects attributed to hemp drugs. It will
be well to summarize briefly the conclusions to which
they come. It has been clearly established that the occasional use of hemp
in moderate doses may be beneficial; but this use may be regarded as medicinal
in character. It is rather to the popular and common use of the drugs that the
Commission will now confine their attention. It is convenient to consider the
effects separately as affecting the physical, mental, or moral nature. In regard to
the physical effects, the Commission have come to the conclusion that the moderate
use of hemp drugs is practically attended by no evil results at all. There may be
exceptional cases in which, owing to idiosyncracies of constitution, the drugs in
even moderate use may be injurious. There is probably nothing the use of which
may not possibly be injurious in cases of exceptional intolerance. There are also
many cases where in tracts with a specially malarious climate, or in circumstances
of hard work and exposure, the people attribute beneficial effects to the habitual
moderate use of these drugs; and there is evidence to show that the popular
impression may have some basis in fact. Speaking generally, the Commission
are of opinion that the moderate use of hemp drugs appears to cause no
appreciable physical injury of any kind. The excessive use does cause injury.
As in the case of other intoxicants, excessive use tends to weaken the constitu-
tion and to render the consumer more susceptible to disease. In respect to the
particular diseases which according to a considerable number of witnesses should be associated directly with hemp drugs, it appears to be reasonably estab-
lished that the excessive use of these drugs does not cause asthma; that it may
indirectly cause dysentery by weakening the constitution as above indicated;
and that it may cause bronchitis mainly through the action of the inhaled smoke
on the bronchial tubes. In respect to the alleged mental effects of the drugs, the Commission have
come to the conclusion that the moderate use of hemp drugs produces no inju-
rious effects on the mind. It may indeed be accepted that in the case of special-
ly marked neurotic diathesis, even the moderate use may produce mental
injury. For the slightest mental stimulation or excitement may have that
effect in such cases. But putting aside these quite exceptional cases, the moder-
ate use of these drugs produces no mental injury. It is otherwise with the
excessive use. Excessive use indicates and intensifies mental instability. It
tends to weaken the mind. It may even lead to insanity. It has been said by
Dr. Blanford that "two factors only are necessary for the causation of insanity,
which are complementary, heredity, and stress. Both enter into every case: the
stronger the influence of one factor, the less of the other factor is requisite to
produce the result. Insanity, therefore, needs for its production a certain insta-
bility of nerve tissue and the incidence of a certain disturbance." It appears
that the excessive use of hemp drugs may, especially in cases where there is
any weakness or hereditary predisposition, induce insanity. It has been shown
that the effect of hemp drugs in this respect has hitherto been greatly exag-
gerated, but that they do sometimes produce insanity seems beyond question. In regard to the moral effects of the drugs, the Commission are of
opinion that their moderate use produces no moral injury whatever. There
is no adequate ground for believing that it injuriously affects the character of the
consumer. Excessive consumption, on the other hand, both indicates and inten-
sifies moral weakness or depravity. Manifest excess leads directly to loss of self-
respect, and thus to moral degradation. In respect to his relations with society,
however, even the excessive consumer of hemp drugs is ordinarily inoffensive.
His excesses may indeed bring him to degraded poverty which may lead him to
dishonest practices; and occasionally, but apparently very rarely indeed, exces-
sive indulgence in hemp drugs may lead to violent crime. But for all practical
purposes it may be laid down that there is little or no connection between the use
of hemp drugs and crime. Viewing the subject generally, it may be added that the moderate use of
these drugs is the rule, and that the excessive use is comparatively exceptional.
The moderate use practically produces no ill effects. In all but the most excep-
tional cases, the injury from habitual moderate use is not appreciable. The
excessive use may certainly be accepted as very injurious, though it must be admit-
ted that in many excessive consumers the injury is not clearly marked. The
injury done by the excessive use is, however, confined almost exclusively to the
consumer himself; the effect on society is rarely appreciable. It has been the
most striking feature in this inquiry to find how little the effects of hemp drugs
have obtruded themselves on observation. The large number of witnesses of all
classes who professed never to have seen these effects, the vague statements
made by many who professed to have observed them, the very few witnesses who
could so recall a case as to give any definite account of it, and the manner in
which a large proportion of these cases broke down on the first attempt to
examine them, are facts which combine to show most clearly how little injury
society has hitherto sustained from hemp drugs. Letter from the American Medical Association 1937 Re: H.R. 6906 SENATOR BROWN: Before we adjourn, I desire to place in the record a letter regarding the pending bill addressed to Senator Harrison by Dr. William C. Woodward, of the American Medical Association, Chicago, Ill. American Medical Association Bureau of Legal Medicine and Legislation Chicago, July 10, 1937 Hon. Pat Harrison Chairman, Committee on Finance, United States Senate Washington D.C. SIR: I have been instructed by the board of trustees of the American Medical Association to protest on behalf of the association against the enactment in it present form of so much of H.R. 6906 as relates to the medicinal use of cannabis and its preparations and derivatives. The act is entitled "An Act to impose an occupational excise tax upon certain dealers in marihuana, to impose a transfer tax upon certain dealings in marihuana, and to safeguard the revenue therefrom by registry and recording." Cannabis and its preparations and derivatives are covered in the bill by the term "marihuana" as that term is defined in section 1, paragraph (b). There is no evidence, however, that the medicinal use of these drugs has caused or is causing cannabis addiction. As remedial agents, they are used to an inconsiderable extent, and the obvious purpose and effect of this bill is to impose so many restrictions on their use as to prevent such use altogether. Since the medicinal use of cannabis has not caused and is not causing addiction, the prevention of the use of the drug for medicinal purposes can accomplish no good end whatsoever. How far it may serve to deprive the public of the benefits of a drug that on further research may prove to be of substantial value, it is impossible to foresee. The American Medical Association has no objection to any reasonable regulation of the medicinal use of cannabis and its preparations and derivatives. It does pretest, however, against being called upon to pay a special tax, to use special order forms in order to procure the drug, to keep special records concerning its professional use and to make special returns to the Treasury Department officials, as a condition precedent to the use of cannabis in the practice of medicine. in the several States, all separate and apart from the taxes, order forms, records, and reports required under the Harrison Narcotics Act with reference to opium and coca leaves and their preparations and derivatives. If the medicinal use of cannabis calls for Federal legal regulation further than the legal regulation that now exists, the drug can without difficulty be covered under the provisions of the Harrison Narcotics Act by a suitable amendment. By such a procedure the professional use of cannabis may readily be controlled as effectively as are the professional uses of opium and coca leaves, with less interference with professional practice and less cost and labor on the part of the Treasury Department. It has been suggested that the inclusion of cannabis into the Harrison Narcotics Act would jeopardize the constitutionality of that act, but that suggestion has been supported by no specific statements of its legal basis or citations of legal authorities. Wm. C. Woodward, Legislative Counsel Whereupon at 11:37 AM Monday, July 12, 1937, the subcommittee adjourned. The marihuana problem in the city of New York 1944 by New York (N.Y.). Mayor's Committee on Marihuana   In a 220 page report, the  La Guardia Committee on Marihuana investigated marijuana users, school children, and even conducted clinical studies on the effects of cannabis on 77 humans. Conclusions From the foregoing study the following conclusions are drawn:
1. Marihuana is used extensively in the Borough of Manhattan but the problem is not as acute
as it is reported to be in other sections of the United States.
2. The introduction of marihuana into this area is recent as compared to other localities.
3. The cost of marihuana is low and therefore within the purchasing power of most persons.
4. The distribution and use of marihuana is centered in Harlem.
5. The majority of marihuana smokers are Negroes and Latin-Americans.
6. The consensus among marihuana smokers is that the use of the drug creates a definite
feeling of adequacy.
7. The practice of smoking marihuana does not lead to addiction in the medical sense of the
word.
8. The sale and distribution of marihuana is not under the control of any single organized
group.
9. The use of marihuana does not lead to morphine or heroin or cocaine addiction and no effort
is made to create a market for these narcotics by stimulating the practice of marihuana
smoking.
10. Marihuana is not the determining factor in the commission of major crimes.
11. Marihuana smoking is not widespread among school children.
12. Juvenile delinquency is not associated with the practice of smoking marihuana.
13. The publicity concerning the catastrophic effects of marihuana smoking in New York City is
unfounded. Marihuana users accustomed to daily smoking for a period of from two and a half to sixteen
years showed no abnormal system functioning which would differentiate them from the nonusers. There is definite evidence in this study that the marihuana users were not inferior in
intelligence to the general population and that they had suffered no mental or physical
deterioration as a result of their use of the drug. Addiction and Tolerance As our group of subjects included 48 users of marihuana, opportunity was afforded for some
conclusions concerning marihuana addiction and tolerance. Practically all of our group of
users stated that they could and often did voluntarily stop the smoking for a time without any
undue disturbance from the deprivation. In the sociologic study reported by Dr. Schoenfeld it
was found that smokers had no compelling urge for marihuana. If "reefers" were not readily
available there was no special effort made to obtain them from known sources of supply. Dr.
Walter Bromberg, Psychiatrist-in-Charge, Psychiatric Clinic, Court of General Sessions in
New York, states: "The fact that offenders brought up on marihuana charges do not request
medical treatment on their incarceration (with its cessation of drug supply) argues for the
absence of with drawal symptoms.''(1) From interviews with several hundred marihuana users
he concludes that true addiction was absent.
(1) Bromberg, W. "Marihuana: a psychiatric study." J.A.MA. 113:4, 1939.=20
The evidence submitted here warrants the conclusion that as far as New York City is
concerned true addiction to marihuana does not occur.   Drug addiction: crime or disease? Interim and final reports.  USA 1961  Author: Joint Committee of the American Bar Association and the American Medical Association on Narcotic Drugs. In 1955-56 the American Bar Association and the American Medical Association appointed a Joint Committee on Narcotic Drugs to explore the problem. It issued a 173 page interim draft report of its findings in 1958, and sent it to the Bureau of Narcotics for review. In 1959,  a comprehensive attack upon the ABA/AMA draft report was published by Harry J Anslinger at the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Titled "Comments on Narcotic Drugs: Interim Report of the Joint Committee of the American Bar Association and the American Medical Association on Narcotic Drugs" by Advisory Committee to the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, U.S. Treasury Department, Bureau of Narcotics. The Department of Treasury, after seeing the draft report conclusions contradicted their Bureau of Narcotics, then threatened the AMA, ABA and the funders of the study with losing their tax-exempt status and other threats if they dared to publish the study reports.  Alfred R. Lindesmith , professor at the University of Indiana then published the report 3 years later in 1961.   On the basis of its studies and deliberations, the joint committee has reached the following conclusions concerning narcotic addiction and methods of dealing with narcotic addicts, which it submits for the purpose of indicating the need for further studies along the lines recommended above, and with the hope that these conclusions, although subject to reappraisal in the light of additional data, will be serviceable guides: 1. There appears to have been a considerable increase in drug addiction in the United States immediately following World War II; the increase was most apparent in the slum areas of large metropolitan centers and especially among minority groups in the population. 2. As a result, the federal government and many states passed legislation imposing increasingly severe penalties upon violators of the drug laws, as a means of dealing with the apparent increase in addiction. 3. This penal legislation subjects both the drug peddler and his victim, the addict, to long prison sentences, often imposed by mandatory statutory requirements without benefit of the probation and parole opportunities afforded other prisoners. 4. Though drug peddling is acknowledged to be a vicious and predatory crime, a grave question remains whether severe jail and prison sentences are the most rational way of dealing with narcotic addicts. And the unusual statutory basis of present drug-law enforcement, substantial federal domination in a local police-power field established by means of an excise measure enforced by a federal fiscal agency, invites critical scrutiny. 5. The narcotic drug addict because of his physical and psychological dependence on drugs and because of his frequently abnormal personality patterns should be as much a subject of concern to medicine and public health as to those having to do with law enforcement. But the ordinary doctor is not presently well equipped to deal with the problems of the narcotic addict, and even his authority to do so is in doubt. 6. The role of medicine and public health in dealing with drug addiction and the drug addict should be clarified. There must be a new determination of the limits of good medical practice in the treatment of drug addiction, and an objective inquiry into the question whether existing enforcement policies, practices and attitudes, as well as existing laws, have unduly or improperly interfered with good medical practice in this area. As part of this evaluation, consideration should also be given to the possibility of helping both the addict and persons formerly addicted through open clinic facilities as well as in closed institutions such as Lexington and Fort Worth. 7. It can be stated emphatically that no acceptable evidence whatsoever points to the indiscriminate distribution of narcotic drugs as a method of handling the problem of addiction. On the contrary, the use of such drugs, except for legitimate medical needs, should be discouraged by the best available means. Individuals who have become addicted should be given the benefit of all known medical and paramedical procedures to encourage them to withdraw from dependence on narcotic drugs voluntarily; those who have withdrawn should be given psychiatric and social-agency help as long as necessary to assure against relapse. We need much more information than is presently available about the best means of handling addicts who, despite the best professional efforts, continue to be dependent on drugs. An experiment conducted by experts (as proposed above in this report) should be charged with getting information on this point. 8. There is a high rate of relapse on the part of addicts who have been in the care of narcotics hospitals and installations for the treatment of addiction. The real reasons for this must be determined. Factors to be considered include the physical and personality make-up of the individual, the social pressures applied to him, both adverse and constructive, and the attitude and sophistication of medicine and the law regarding addicts and addiction. 9. some responsible authorities state that the physical and psychological dependence of addicts on narcotic drugs, the compulsion to obtain them, and the high price of the drugs in the illicit market are predominantly responsible for the crimes committed by addicts. Others claim that the drug itself is responsible for criminal behavior. The weight of evidence is so heavily in favor of the former point of view that the question can hardly be called a controversial one.-But this point is so fundamental to the development of a sound philosophy of management of the problem that any residue of reasonable doubt must be resolved. )In this connection the joint committee deplores the hysteria which sometimes dominates the approach to drug addiction problems by persons in positions of public trust. In terms of numbers afflicted, and in ill effects on others in the community, drug addiction is a problem of far less magnitude than alcoholism. Crimes of violence are rarely, and sexual crimes are almost never, committed by addicts. In most instances the addicts' sins are those of omission rather than commission; they are ineffective people, individuals whose great desire is to withdraw from the world and its troubles into a land of dreams. 10. It appears that neither compulsory hospitalization of all addicts nor permanent isolation is practicable at the present time. Hospital facilities to deal with narcotic addicts are not adequate in numbers, staff or program, and the permanent isolation of addicts, even if feasible, would not be a solution but only a temporizing maneuver--the very antithesis of the medical and scientific approach to the physical and behavioral problems of man. The foregoing recommendation and report will be submitted to the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association with resolutions similar to those appended hereto, merely conformed to adapt the language of the resolutions to A.M.A. purposes. The object of the resolutions is to continue cooperation between the two associations in further mutual efforts along the lines suggested in this report and the joint committee's interim report. It is firmly believed by the joint committee that the work it has already done clearly indicates a need for further joint efforts, carried on by both associations through permanent instrumentalities which have greater continuity, more facilities, and a broader mandate than the joint committee. Accordingly, favorable action on this report and its appended resolutions is respectfully urged.   Even though the AMA knows the "gateway theory" was false, they still used it in the above public service announcement against marijuana.   Wootton Commission Report UK 1968 SECTION VI GENERAL CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 67. The evidence before us shows that: An increasing number of people, mainly young, in all classes of society are experimenting with this drug, and substantial numbers use it regularly for social pleasure. There is no evidence that this activity is causing violent crime or aggression, anti-social behaviour, or is producing in otherwise normal people conditions of dependence or psychosis, requiring medical treatment. The experience of many other countries is that once it is established cannabis-smoking tends to spread. In some parts of Western society where interest in mood-altering drugs is growing, there are indications that it may become a functional equivalent of alcohol. In spite of the threat of severe penalties and considerable effort at enforcement the use of cannabis in the United Kingdom does not appear to be diminishing. There is a body of opinion that criticises the present legislative treatment of cannabis on the grounds that it exaggerates the dangers of the drug, and needlessly interferes with civil liberty.   The Report of the Canadian Government Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs -  Canada 1972 SUMMARY STATEMENT OF CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 1. Although research has not clearly established that cannabis has sufficiently harmful effects to justify the present legislative policy towards it, there are serious grounds for social concern about its use, and this concern calls for a continuing police to discourage its use by means which involve a more acceptable cost, than present policies, to the individual and to society. The focus of our social concern should be the use of cannabis by adolescents, and the principal object of our social policy should be to restrict its availability to them as much as reasonably possible by the methods which appear to be most acceptable on a balance of benefits and costs. The only policy which can impose a significant restriction on availability is a prohibition of distribution. Under a system of administrative regulation or licensing, availability would be virtually unrestricted. A policy of making cannabis available to adults would have the effect of making it more available to minors. This is the lesson of our experience with alcohol. It would also make cannabis appear to be relatively harmless. Further, there is no reason to believe that we could effectively control potency and encourage moderate use by a system of administrative regulation or licensing. People will consume the quantities they require to achieve the desired level of potency or they will seek more potent forms, if necessary in the illicit market. Moreover, our present knowledge about cannabis would not permit a policy of legal availability that could be accompanied by suitable assurances as to what might constitute moderate and relatively harmless use 4. The costs to the individual and society of maintaining a prohibition of distribution are severe but they are justified by the probable effect of such a prohibition on availability and perception of harm, in contrast to the likely effect on both of a policy of legal availability. 5. The costs of a policy of prohibition of distribution are only acceptable, however, if the possible penalties for illegal distribution are reasonable in relation to the relative seriousness of the offence. Having regard to thc potential for harm of cannabis in relation to other drugs, the extent to which young people are involved in its distribution, and the general level of penalties in other countries, the present penalty structure for the illicit distribution of cannabis is grossly excessive. In some cases it does not leave the courts sufficient discretion, and in others it leaves them too much. 6. We recommend the following changes in the law respecting the illegal distribution of cannabis: (a) Importing and exporting should be included in the definition of trafficking as they are under the Food and Drugs Act), and they should not be subject to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment. It might be appropriate, however, to make them subject to somewhat higher maximum penalties than other forms of trafficking. (b) There should be an option to proceed by indictment or summary conviction in the case of trafficking and possession for the purpose of trafficking. (c) Upon indictment, the maximum penalty for trafficking or possession for the purpose of trafficking should be five years, and upon summary conviction, eighteen months. It should be possible in either case to impose fine in lieu of imprisonment. (d) In cases of possession for the purpose of trafficking it should be sufficient, when possession has been proved, for the accused to nise a reasonable doubt as to his intention to traffic. He should not be required to make proof which carries on a preponderance of evidence or a balance of probabilities. (e) Trafficking should not include the giving, without exchange of value, by one user to another of a quantity of cannabis which could reasonably be consumed on a single occasion. 7. The costs to a significant number of individuals, the majority of whom are young people, and to society generally, of a policy of prohibition of simple possession are not justified by the potential for harm of cannabis and the additional influence which such a policy is likely to have upon perception of harm, demand and availability. We, therefore, recommend the repeal of the prohibition against the simple possession of cannabis. The cultivation of cannabis should be subject to the same penalties as trafficking, but it should not be a punishable offence unless it is cultivation for the purpose of trafficking. Upon proof of cultivation, the burden should be on the accused to establish that he was not cultivating for the purpose of trafflcking, but it should be sufficient for him, as in the case of possession for the purpose of trafficking, to raise a reasonable doubt concerning the intent to traffic. 9. The police should have power to seize and confiscate cannabis and cannabis plants wherever they are found, unless the possession or cultivation has been expressly authorized for scientific or other purposes.     Marihuana: a signal of misunderstanding; first report 1972  by United States. Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse The Commission recommends only the following changes in federal law: • POSSESSION OF MARIHUANA FOR PERSONAL USE WOULD NO LONGER BE AN OFFENSE, BUT MARI- HUANA POSSESSED IN PUBLIC WOULD REMAIN CON- TRABAND SUBJECT TO SUMMARY SEIZURE AND FORFEITURE. • CASUAL DISTRIBUTION OF SMALL AMOUNTS OF MARIHUANA FOR NO REMUNERATION, OR INSIG- NIFICANT REMUNERATION NOT INVOLVING PROFIT WOULD NO LONGER BE AN OFFENSE. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR STATE LAW Private Activities • POSSESSION IN PRIVATE OF MARIHUANA FOR PER- SONAL USE WOULD NO LONGER BE AN OFFENSE. • DISTRIBUTION IN PRIVATE OF SMALL AMOUNTS OF MARIHUANA FOR NO REMUNERATION OR INSIGNIF- ICANT REMUNERATION NOT INVOLVING A PROFIT WOULD NO LONGER BE AN OFFENSE. Public Activities • POSSESSION IN PUBLIC OF ONE OUNCE OR UNDER OF MARIHUANA WOULD NOT BE AN OFFENSE, BUT THE MARIHUANA WOULD BE CONTRABAND SUB- JECT TO SUMMARY SEIZURE AND FORFEITURE. • POSSESSION IN PUBLIC OF MORE THAN ONE OUNCE OF MARIHUANA WOULD BE A CRIMINAL OFFENSE PUNISHABLE BY A FINE OF $100. • DISTRIBUTION IN PUBLIC OF SMALL AMOUNTS OF MARIHUANA FOR NO REMUNERATION OR INSIGNIF- ICANT REMUNERATION NOT INVOLVING A PROFIT WOULD BE A CRIMINAL OFFENSE PUNISHABLE BY A FINE OF $100. • PUBLIC USE OF MARIHUANA WOULD BE A CRIMINAL OFFENSE PUNISHABLE BY A FINE OF $100. • DISORDERLY CONDUCT ASSOCIATED WITH PUBLIC USE OF OR INTOXICATION BY MARIHUANA WOULD BE A MISDEMEANOR PUNISHABLE BY UP TO 60 DAYS IN JAIL, A FINE OF $100, OR BOTH. Drug use in America: problem in perspective; second report 1973 by United States. Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse   The recommendations included: All public and private institutions should sponsor research and objective evaluation of drug-related issues, programs, and policies. Congress should create a single Federal drug agency. The accomplishments should be reexamined four years after its creation; and the agency, by law, should disband within five years. Each state should establish a unified drug agency on the same model as that proposed for the federal government. Congress should establish a commission four years hence to determine which measures have justified their costs and which have not and to propose new policies. The Single Convention Treaty should be redrafted to make clear that each nation is free to determine which domestic uses of drugs it will allow. Cannabis should be removed from the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961), since this drug does not pose the same social and public health problems associated with the opiates and coca leaf products. The American Medical Association should determine cocaine's therapeutic benefits.   If no unique therapeutic use remains, the government should eliminate manufacture altogether. Except where the Commission has specifically recommended a change, the present levels of control on availability of psychoactive substances should be maintained.  With respect to the drug trafficking laws, the trafficking offenses and penalty structure presently in force should be retained.  The unauthorized possession of any controlled substance except marihuana for personal use should remain a prohibited act. The primary purpose of the possession laws should be detection of those persons who would benefit by treatment or prevention services, rather than criminal punishment. Federal criminal investigative agencies should concentrate primarily on the top level of the illegal drug distribution network. State enforcement should concentrate on the lower levels of both licit and illicit distribution networks. Criminal investigation activities at the federal level should not have regional offices, as BNDD and Customs have now but instead should deploy strike forces.  Each state should have a separate unit charged with the responsibility of investigating any evidence of corruption in drug law enforcement agencies.  Local police should receive appropriate training in dealing with the medical needs of drug-dependent persons, including alcoholics. The government should continue to prohibit heroin maintenance. Each state should establish a comprehensive statewide drug dependence treatment and rehabilitation program, with confidentiality-of-treatment laws. Drug abusers who are suffering from emergency medical conditions should not be refused treatment in hospitals, solely because of their drug abuse. The states should provide by law for emergency detention and treatment of persons (not to exceed 48 hours) so incapacitated by use of a drug that they cannot intelligently determine whether they are in need of treatment. Drug use prevention strategy, rather than persuading or "educating" people not to use drugs, should emphasize other means of obtaining what users seek from drugs, means that are better for the user and better for society. The government role should be limited to providing accurate information regarding the likely consequences of the different patterns of drug use. A moratorium should be declared on the production and dissemination of new drug information materials, including all drug education programs in the schools. State legislatures should repeal all statutes which now require drug education courses to be included in the public school curriculum.  Government should not interfere with private efforts to analyze the quality and quantity of drugs anonymously submitted by street users. The government should not support programs which compel persons to undergo drug testing, except in limited situations. Government should remove legal and bureaucratic obstacles to research into the possible therapeutic uses of currently prohibited substances, such as marihuana and hallucinogens. Schools of medicine, pharmacy, nursing, and public health should include the social and medical aspects of drug use in their curriculum. Drug companies should end the practice of sending doctors unsolicited samples of psychoactive drugs. The business community should not reject an applicant solely on the basis of prior drug use or dependence, unless the nature of the business compels it.  Industry should consider alternatives to termination of employment for employees involved with drugs.  The business community should adopt  "employee assistance" programs for drug problems. College and universities should make their policies and practices regarding drug use, including alcohol, explicit, unambiguous, and readily available to all students.   Even those colleges and universities which strongly disapprove of student drug-use behavior should expand their counseling services rather than rely upon disciplinary measures alone.    U.S. Senate Hearing on Juvenile Delinquency and Marijuana Decriminalization, including  4 years of research during 1971-1975. OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR BIRCH BAYH, CHAIRMAN Senator Bayh. We meet today to consider legislation relating to the appropriate legal sanctions for the private possession of small amounts of marihuana. Throughout the Subcommittee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency's 4-year investigation of drug traffic and abuse I have noted with concern the growing number of arrests for marihuana possession. Arrests have increased from 188,682 in 1970 to 420,700 in 1973. It may go as high as 500,000 for 1974. This is not nearly as dramatic as the 1,000 percent increase between 1965-70 from 18,815 to 188,682; but it is rather astonishing that this 3-year increase of 232,018 is more than 12 times the total marihuana arrests just 10 years ago.   Additionally, the number of marihuana arrests as a percentage of all drug arrests has increased substantially. In 1970 these arrests amounted to 45.4 percent of total drug arrest= During the 1970-73 period 1,127,389 of the total 2,063,900 drug arrests were for marihuana. And in 1973, the most recent year for which records are available, 67 percent of all drug arrests were for marihuana. Available studies and research to date have found that the majority of those arrested are otherwise law-abiding young people in possession of small amounts of marihuana. In fact, a Presidential commission found that the vast majority of users are essentially indistinguishable from their nonuser peers by any criteria other than its use. During these last 4 years, I have likewise been especially concerned about the ever-escalating level of serious crime. The recently released FBI report on the trends in crime for 1974 presents a frightening picture of the rising tide of criminal activity in America. Serious crime in the United States rose 17 percent last year, the highest, annual increase since the FBI began collecting data 45 years ago. In fact, the increase for the final quarter of 1974 had reached 19 percent. The suburban increase for last year was 20 percent while crime in rural areas increased by 21 percent. In smaller communities—under 10,000— crime increased by 24 percent last year while robbery alone went up 30 percent. ALLOCATING CRIME FIGHTING RESOURCES The rising tide of serious crimes inevitably raises the question of whether we are properly allocating our crime fighting resources and aggressively pursuing the arrest and criminal prosecution of the 13 million American users of marihuana. It is estimated that the prosecution of these cases costs $600 million annually. In 1969 and 1970 the subcommittee considered the adequacy of penalties for marihuana with the result that thenew Controlled Substances Act provided that simple possession or distribution of a small amount of marihuana for no remuneration were both designated misdemeanors, not felonieb. punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or up to a $5,000 fine. It was the view of many members that the sanctions should be further reduced. Some suggested that the sanction be eliminated for such conduct. In order to permit a thorough assessment of these issues the subcommittee recommended the creation of a Presidential commission. The Congress agreed and provided for the establishment of the Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse in part F of the Controlled Substances Act. This body known as the Sliafer Commission, after its distinguished chairman, conducted an in-depth study of the issues and concluded that marihuana was not dangerous enough to the user or to the general public for its private possession and use to remain a criminal offense. In the last several years a growing list of organizations and individuals have endorsed the Shafer Commission recommendations, including the following: American Bar Association. Consumer Union, publishers of Consumer Reports. National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. American Public Health Association. National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals. National Council of Churches. The Governing Board of the American Medical Association.
National Education Association.
B'nai B'rith. Canadian Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical use of
Drugs [Le Dain Commission],
San Franciso Committee on Crime. Mayor's Advisory Committee on Narcotics Addiction
[Washington, D.C.]. John Finlator, retired Deputy Director, Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, U.S. Department of Justice. William F. Buckley, Jr., syndicated columnist, author, TV host and editor of National Review. James J. Kilpatrick, syndicated columnist, Washington Evening Star. The subject of our hearing S. 1450, the "Marihuana Control Act of 1975" introduced by Senators Javits, Cranston, Brooke, and Nelson, reflects the general recommendation of the Shafer Presidential Commission. It adopts an approach similar to that undertaken by the State of Oregon which abolished criminal penalties for simple possession of marihuana and substituted a civil fine of up to $100 for possession and nonprofit transfers of up to 1 ounce of marihuana. Criminal penalties for sale of the drug for profit would remain intact. Thus, this approach maintains a policy of discouragement toward marihuana use while recognizing the current inappropriate use of law enforcement resources and the destructive impact of criminal records for such common conduct.   Australian Royal Commission of Inquiry into Drugs, Australia 1979 On page A63, the report states: At present it appears that intermittent use of cannabis in low
dosages does not produce any permanent brain damage. While there is no
definite proof, to date, that long-term chronic high dosages of cannabis
produce any lasting brain impairment this needs further study. There
have been suggestions that cannabis might cause prolonged abnormalities
of mental function, including personality disorders and a cannabis
psychosis. There is no proven evidence that such disorders are caused
by cannabis. Acute Toxicity
THC has a wide safety margin, much more so than does alcohol. It is
almost impossible to get a lethal dose of THC from smoking marihuana
joints. Tolerance and Physical Dependence
Tolerance does occur if cannabis is administered regularly over a
long interval. While mild withdrawal symptoms (such as irritability,
restlessness and insomnia) occasionally develop in those who have
regularly taken a high dose of THC, there is not a typical abstinence
syndrome and there are no withdrawal effects from the usual low-dose,
'recreational' use of the drug.
At the present time, it would not seem that infrequent
'recreational' use of cannabis produces any severe direct consequences
to health. As already mentioned, there is impairment of driving
ability. Higher doses and frequent chronic use may constitute a
significant degree of risk to the user, but further research on this is
needed. Later, in Book C, Page C215, the following is stated on cannabis and health. CANNABIS AND HEALTH
Limitations on Scientific Investigation
Mr A. W. Parsons, Director of the Cannabis Research Foundation,
presented evidence to the effect that cannabis had been the subject of
considerable scientific probing. He stated:
Dr Lorna Cartwright, senior tutor in Pharmacy, University of
Sydney, stated in her address to the 1977 Cannabis Conference
that marihuana is one of the most thoroughly investigated drugs
in the history of scientific research. Eighty-four years of
scientific study has been unable to find any adverse health
effects of moderate cannabis use which impel a particular
legislative policy. This is not to say that more research is
not needed. 1t is always possible that certain harmful side
effects may be discovered, but considering the medical
information at hand and the social costs of the present laws,
scientific clairvoyance has been used for too long by the anti-
marihuana lobby to justify the present laws pertaining to
cannabis use. The Commonwealth Department of Health report previously mentioned
stated that although prolonged cannabis psychosis has been reported in
Eastern literature as occurring under conditions of unusually heavy use,
it is often difficult to isolate the causative role of marihuana from
that of pre-existing psychopathology or other drug use. Three research
studies of heavy chronic users conducted in Jamaica, G·reece and Costa
Rica failed to detect evidence of cannabis psychosis. However the small
numbers in each sample and the comparative rarity of this syndrome may
mean that such a consequence was missed (Open exhibit 636).
Professor R. T. Jones stated that persons with schizophrenia show a
marked psychosis when using marihuana but that this psychosis disappears
when marihuana use is discontinued (OT 18132--33). Mr A. W. Parsons, Director of the Cannabis Research Foundation,
agreed that marihuana impairs the ability to drive, but stated that the
size of the threat which cannabis poses to road safety is a matter of
conjecture (OT 2453). Mr J. Billington,founder of the Cannabis Research
Foundation, said in evidence that while inexperienced user/drivers may
cause problems for themselves and the rest of the community, the
problems are nowhere as great with experienced user/drivers (OT 10839).
Professor R. T. Jones (OT 18140--41) and Dr G. B. Chesher (OT 10474)
agreed that more experienced users drive with less impairment than
persons unfamiliar with the combination of marihuana and motor vehicles. Witnesses indicated that other possible medical applications of
cannabis are being examined. Researchers are investigating anti-tumor
activity, anti-anxiety and hypnotic effects, and analgesic and anti-
depressant effects. Some investigators have speculated that cannabis
may be useful in treating alcohol dependence. Professor N. Blewett, Past President of the South Australian Council
for Civil Liberties summarised this line of argument succinctly in a
paper entitled 'Marihuana: The Most Victimless Crime of All?'. This
paper, which was part of a submission by the Council to the South
Australian Royal Commission into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs, later
incorporated into the transcript of evidence of this Commission, said:
The law is simply an ass if, in seeking to protect a person
from his own actions, it imposes upon him far greater agreed
harm than anything likely to result from the prohibited
actions. Medical Use
Some witnesses argued that the existing laws had the effect of
preventing the use of cannabis for legitimate scientific and medical
purposes. On behalf of the Cannabis Research Foundation, Mr A. W.
Parsons stated:
We have had personal reports from patients who need cannabis,
particularly those suffering from internal cancer, epileptics
and patients suffering from glaucoma. We have had approaches
from their doctors saying, 'We need cannabis because none of
the other drugs work and this does. We are in a drought
situation. The Health Department will not give us any, nor
will the Drug Squad. What can you do for us?' This is
ridiculous when they are handing out amphetamines and such
things---it is ridiculous that we cannot get hold of cannabis
for simple therapeutic use.
(OT 2480)
The potential medical application of cannabis has been discussed
already in this chapter. It has also been noted that the law permits
the use of cannabis for legitimate scientific research. After finding that cannabis is non-toxic, non-addictive, has no evidence of any harms WHATSOEVER, has medical value in a number of different diseases, the committee said that cannabis should be prohibited forever. As you can see, the science, logic, reasoning, and evidence is ignored, buried, shunned and attacked. Book C, page C269.   An Analysis of Marijuana Policy National Research Council of the National Academy of Science. 1982 At the same time, the effectiveness of the present federal policy of complete prohibition fails far short of its goal--preventing use. An estimated 55 million Americans have tried marijuana, federal enforcement of prohibition of use is virtually nonexistent, and 11 states have repealed criminal penalties for private possession of small amounts and for private use. It can no longer be argued that use would be much more widespread and the problematic effects greater today if the policy of complete prohibition did not exist; The existing evidence on policies of partial prohibition indicates that partial prohibition has been as effective in controlling consumption as complete prohibition and has entailed considerably smaller social, legal, and economic costs. On balance, therefore, we believe that a policy of partial prohibition is clearly preferable to a policy of complete prohibition of supply and use.   UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Drug Enforcement Administration
In The Matter Of
MARIJUANA RESCHEDULING PETITION
Docket No. 86-22
OPINION AND RECOMMENDED RULING, FINDINGS OF
FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND DECISION OF
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE
FRANCIS L. YOUNG, Administrative Law Judge
DATED: SEPTEMBER 6, 1988 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDED DECISION Based upon the foregoing facts and reasoning, the administrative law judge concludes that the provisions of the Act permit and require the transfer of marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II. The Judge realizes that strong emotions are aroused on both sides of any discussion concerning the use of marijuana. Nonetheless it is essential for this Agency, and its Administrator, calmly and dispassionately to review the evidence of record, correctly apply the law, and act accordingly. Marijuana can be harmful. Marijuana is abused. But the same is true of dozens of drugs or substances which are listed in Schedule II so that they can be employed in treatment by physicians in proper cases, despite their abuse potential. Transferring marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II will not, of course, make it immediately available in pharmacies throughout the country for legitimate use in treatment. Other government authorities, Federal and State, will doubtless have to act before that might occur. But this Agency is not charged with responsibility, or given authority, over the myriad other regulatory decisions that may be required before marijuana can actually be legally available. This Agency is charged merely with determining the placement of marijuana pursuant to the provisions of the Act. Under our system of laws the responsibilities of other regulatory bodies are the concerns of those bodies, not of this Agency, There are those who, in all sincerity, argue that the transfer of marijuana to Schedule II will "send a signal" that marijuana is "OK" generally for recreational use. This argument is specious. It presents no valid reason for refraining from taking an action required by law in light of the evidence. If marijuana should be placed in Schedule II, in obedience to the law, then that is where marijuana should be placed, regardless of misinterpretation of the placement by some. The reasons for the placement can, and should, be clearly explained at the time the action is taken. The fear of sending such a signal cannot be permitted to override the legitimate need, amply demonstrated in this record, of countless suffers for the relief marijuana can provide when prescribed by a physician in a legitimate case. The evidence in this record clearly shows that marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record. The administrative law judge recommends that the Administrator conclude that the marijuana plant considered as a whole has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, that there is no lack of accepted safety for use of it under medical supervision and that it may lawfully be transferred from Schedule I to Schedule II. The judge recommends that the Administrator transfer marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II. Dated: SEP 6 1988 Francis L. Young Administrative Law Judge Legislative options for cannabis use in Australia Commonwealth of Australia 1994 No best single option for cannabis legislation exists. What is most appropriate will depend upon what goals both policy makers and the community are seeking to achieve. Our review suggests that two of the five legislative options discussed above are inappropriate in contemporary Australian circumstances. They are the options which we have characterised as total prohibition and free availability. Australia experiences more harm, we conclude, from maintaining the cannabis prohibition policy than it experiences from the use of the drug. We also reject the legislative option of the free availability of cannabis. Our society is one that accepts that governments and others have both the right and the responsibility to intervene in diverse ways to protect people from harm and to advance the common good. It would be unreasonable, therefore, to argue that cannabis should be available in an uncontrolled manner. We conclude that cannabis law reform is required in this country. Many options for policy, legislation and implementation processes exist within the broad categories of prohibition with an administrative decision that it is inexpedient to prosecute people for minor cannabis offences, prohibition with civil penalties, partial prohibition and regulated availability. We believe, on the available evidence, that widely accepted social goals, well attuned to the needs of contemporary Australian society, will be attained through the adoption and implementation of policies which lie within these options.   CANNABIS: OUR POSITION FOR A CANADIAN PUBLIC POLICY REPORT OF THE SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ILLEGAL DRUGS 2002

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

Will teens no longer go to jail in Michigan for minor in possession of alcohol?

Minor in Possession (of alcohol) was never supposed to put the minor in jail. It has been a travesty of justice for at least the past 20 years that minors and adults 18-20 were thrown in jail solely for drinking alcohol. Even in 2004 , the law was not supposed to put minors in jail. But judges found ways around the laws to put minors in jail for this offense. The legislature changed the MIP law, over and over again in attempts to keep minors out of jail for this offense, to no avail.   The ACLU wrote up a guide for knowing your rights in relation to Minor in Possession of alcohol. Last year, Senator Rick Jones made a bill to change the law from a misdemeanor to a Civil Infraction for 1st offense. In my opinion this was done because someone’s Rich and Important  child got in trouble and finally this terrible law was changed for everyone, not just the rich and powerful.   LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday signed Sen. Rick Jones’ legislation to make Minor in Possession (MIP) a civil fine for the first offense. “This reform balances the need to deter young people from drinking with the understanding that kids make mistakes,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “On some college campuses, students were stopped while walking home, given a breathalyzer and then charged with MIP. “As a former sheriff, I know all about the terrible and often tragic effects of underage drinking, but this was always about fairness and smarter justice. With this change, students who make a mistake will not end up with criminal records that follow them for the rest of their lives.” Under Senate Bills 332 and 333, now Public Acts 357 and 358 of 2016, the first violation by a person under age 21 for purchasing, possessing or consuming alcohol or having any bodily alcohol content will be a civil infraction of $100 rather than a misdemeanor. Repeat MIP violations will remain misdemeanor offenses. A second offense will be punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $200 fine. The penalties will increase to up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine for subsequent violations. At each time, the judge will be able to order substance abuse treatment or community service. “The problem with the old Minor in Possession law was that it was clogging up our courts, putting kids in jail and jeopardizing the chances of some young people to get into college or get a job,” Jones said. “Under this new law, we will give young people one — and only one — chance to get their lives in order and avoid a criminal record.”

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

Michigan State Police Medical Marijuana Investigation Section MMIS

The Michigan State Police are hiring! They are looking for a “Narcotics Intelligence Analyst” to  “Focus on providing assistance to the Medical Marihuana Investigation Section (MMIS) with marihuana investigations related to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, and Marihuana Tracking Act.” There is also a position available for a combination Marihuana and Tobacco Tax Investigation Section within the State Police. One of the duties of this MSP Trooper Tax Enforcer position is to coordinate with Federal enforcement agencies and prosecutors. Maintain a working relationship with courts, prosecutors and other enforcement agencies at federal, state and local levels. Initiate positive interaction with court personnel, federal, county and state prosecutors. Assist federal, state and local law enforcement agencies on complaints related to theft of cigarettes and all tobacco
smuggling. It is interesting that the Michigan State Police are now getting on board with Medical Marihuana in Michigan. Official statements and policy by the MSP in the past have all been against the MMMA and MMFLA at multiple points. https://www.southbendtribune.com/news/local/new-laws-in-michigan-shake-up-the-marijuana-industry/article_21fd1838-50a3-5281-a65a-06ebba9ca838.html   http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/01/01/medical-marijuana-enforcement-grants-michigan/109087886/   When the MMMA became law, police officers were not trained how to handle medical marijuana situations. Ken Stecker from the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan authored a reefer madness type propaganda power point presentation around the state explaining the MMMA to various law enforcement agents and organizations. Ken Stecker included propaganda such as this in his “updated presentation” on Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Program. Why was a person, not affiliated in any way with the State of Michigan, going around doing talks with local, county and state police officers about a medical law? What is this Medical Marijuana Investigation Section? The House Legislative Analysis explains what HB 4209 (Public Act 281 of 2016) aka the MMFLA does for law enforcement: The Department of State Police (MSP) would provide 34.0 FTEs for criminal enforcement activities related to medical marihuana at an annual cost of $6.0 million. This assumption is based on the personnel employed by the MSP to provide criminal enforcement activities for the Michigan Casino Gaming Board (MGCB). The Department of Attorney General (AG) would provide 4.0 FTEs for legal and prosecutorial support related to medical marihuana at an annual cost of $500,000.   After being against the MMMA, the MMFLA, patients, caregivers, and everything possibly to do with medical marijuana,  the Michigan State Police now have to regulate and enforce it.   Compliance Checks? Marijuana Tracking ACT ? The Seed to Sale , or Marijuana Tracking ACT is a law in Michigan to track and report all sales, transfers, processes, manufacturing and cultivation within the MMFLA. It allows law enforcement agencies to verify and enforce regulations in the MMFLA, including the tracking of patient and caregiver purchases within the retail state-licensed MMFLA dispensaries. Ultimately, the police have inserted themselves between you and your doctor. The police asked for these regulations during the MMFLA law drafting committees and senate and house hearings on these bills. The police want to look at the MMFLA registry and if you have bought too much marijuana from the system within some random arbitrary  window of time, they are going to want to investigate you. Just for the medical use of marijuana as granted by the State of Michigan. It is sad that the police are enforcing patient’s medication with jail time.

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

Lt Gov Calley / Governor Rick Snyder limits opioid prescriptions

Just two days after Christmas, the Lt. Governor signed SB 0274, a bill to limit opioid based pain prescriptions for people in “acute pain”. Governor Rick Snyder and Michigan Attorney Bill Schuette also are working to reduce opioid addiction, abuse and overdoses. President Obama at the National Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit made similar comments on opioids. http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2017-SB-0274 http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2017/12/27/calley-signs-opioid-bills/108948644/  According to Poison Control, adults aged 45–54 had the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in 2015. http://www.poison.org/poison-statistics-national  Key findings Data from the National Vital Statistics System, Mortality The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2015 (16.3 per 100,000) was more than 2.5 times the rate in 1999 (6.1). Drug overdose death rates increased for all age groups, with the greatest percentage increase among adults aged 55–64 (from 4.2 per 100,000 in 1999 to 21.8 in 2015). In 2015, adults aged 45–54 had the highest rate (30.0). In 2015, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths among non-Hispanic white persons (21.1 per 100,000) was nearly 3.5 times the rate in 1999 (6.2). The four states with the highest age-adjusted drug overdose death rates in 2015 were West Virginia (41.5), New Hampshire (34.3), Kentucky (29.9), and Ohio (29.9). In 2015, the percentage of drug overdose deaths involving heroin (25%) was triple the percentage in 2010 (8%). Deaths from drug overdose have been identified as a significant public health burden in the United States in recent years (1–4). This report uses data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) to highlight recent trends in drug overdose deaths, describing demographic and geographic patterns as well as the types of drugs involved. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db273.htm  With the current nationwide epidemic of opioid abuse, dependence, and fatalities, clinicians are being asked by federal agencies and professional societies to control their prescribing of narcotic medications for pain. Federal guidelines emphasize tapering, discontinuing, and limiting initiation of these drugs except in provision of end-of-life care. Reducing reliance on opioids, however, is a massive task. According to one estimate, more than 650 000 opioid prescriptions are dispensed each day in the United States. Unless the nation develops an increased tolerance to chronic pain, reduction in opioid prescribing leaves a vacuum that will be filled with other therapies. Enter cannabis. As of August 2016, the District of Columbia and 25 states have legalized cannabis for medical use. Recreational use of cannabis has been legalized in 4 of these states and Washington, DC, and like initiatives are pending in other states. The mandated transition to limit use of opioids, paired with the current climate around liberalizing cannabis, may lead to patients’ formal and informal substitution of cannabis for opioids. Observational studies have found that state legalization of cannabis is associated with a decrease in opioid addiction and opioid-related overdose deaths https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5332546/    The Institute of Medicine in a 1999 report, the same report that the people of Michigan described when creating the MMMA, declared that cannabinoids from the marijuana plant, could be useful for patients “who have developed tolerance to opioids”. President Trump’s ONDCP task force on the opioid prescriptions crisis has recommended calling for a national emergency. Due to the interim report, President Donald J. Trump has instructed his Administration to use all appropriate emergency and other authorities to respond to the crisis caused by the opioid epidemic. 8-10-2017 In Medical Marijuana states, overdoses on opioid prescription painkillers are reduced by 25%. Using data on all prescriptions filled by Medicare Part D enrollees from 2010 to 2013, we found that the use of prescription drugs for which marijuana could serve as a clinical alternative fell significantly, once a medical marijuana law was implemented. The CDC has declared opioid prescription overdoses an epidemic. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html  President Trump has a plan to limit opioid prescriptions. President Obama and President Trump have instructed the FDA and DEA to limit opioid based prescription painkillers. http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2503508  April 19, 2016 CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain—United States, 2016
Deborah Dowell, MD, MPH. Tamara M. Haegerich, PhD. Roger Chou, MD.
JAMA. 2016;315(15):1624-1645. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.1464   https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/among-veterans-opioid-prescription-requests-down-in-step-with-rise-in-medical-pot/article30285591/    Of course medical marijuana can be used as a painkiller in the states with working medical marijuana laws. What about the people who don’t know about medical marijuana? Unfortunately, the limits, burdens and tightening of the rules for doctors and pharmacists to prescribe and dispense pain medication have caused patients’ quality of life to drop. Due to these new rules, patients have been dropped by physicians, denied prescriptions at pharmacies and have been forced to turn to heroin just to attain pain relief. Thousands of people have signed this petition to have some of these rules rescinded so they can get their medications back, to no avail. The reports detailing denials of pain medications were posted to the change.org petition. The reports are heartbreaking. These patients need a replacement therapy after they have been denied prescription opioid analgesics by their physicians and pharmacists. https://www.change.org/p/congress-ease-the-dea-s-grip-on-doctors-allowing-chronic-pain-patients-to-get-the-medications-we-need   Marijuana can prevent the intensity and amount of migraines. Marijuana is also useful as an adjunct therapy to opioid prescriptions because it allows the patient to use fewer opioids to achieve the same pain relief. Physician Guide to Cannabis-Assisted Opioid Reduction
Prepared by Adrianne Wilson-Poe, Ph.D.
Distributed by Congressman Earl Blumenauer  

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

Why was medical marijuana banned?

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.

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

How Michigan Cops and Prosecutors Decrease Public Safety-Kent County

Hello and Welcome To Another Edition Of:   How Police and Prosecutors Decrease Public Safety - Kent County Edition I’m your Host, Charmie Gholson. Let’s get started. Attorney Michael Komorn is arguing a racketeering case in trial this week in Kent County. Here’s an article about it. Never mind the obviously slated reporting, if you can, but go ahead and try to calculate the resources it took to investigate, raid and prosecute this 52-year-old woman.  Remember, she did not commit any violent or non-consensual crime. Now I want you to take a good look at what was going on in Kent County during the time law enforcement was focusing on these consensual, nonviolent, so-called crimes. Here are the arrest rates for the past two years in Kent county, so you can see these numbers don’t change. Where do you think police should be focusing their efforts? KEY First number = number of reported incidents for each crime Second number = number of arrests Confused? Don’t’ be. You see, Michigan is a great place to live if you’re a rapist, but not so much if you’re a legal medical marijuana patient or caregiver. Here’s why: After the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act  (The Act) was passed with overwhelming support in 2008, we saw one after another attacks on patients and caregivers in the forms of horribly violent raids and over the top prosecutions. We honestly thought with the passage of our Act, police and prosecutors would leave us alone. FUN FACT: Michigan has seen a 17% increase in marijuana possession arrests rates since 2008, the year we passed our medical law.   It wasn’t until Grand Rapids City Attorney Catherine Mish spelled out the strategy to remove protections provided in the Act at a Michigan Municipal League Seminar in September 2010 that we understood how brutally dedicated to maintaining the failed drug war our law enforcement is here in Michigan. They were not, under any circumstances, going to respect the will of the people. Here’s that video of Mish’s presentation. She comes in at the 37-minute mark. Mish repeatedly called for arrests and prosecution of medical marijuana patients and caregivers under both state and federal law and urged some 75 municipal leaders in that room to join in a lawsuit to challenge the Act base on Federal Supremacy (meaning that federal law supersedes our state laws). She instructed prosecutors to appeal medical marijuana cases when dismissed in order to work these cases to the highest courts, with the hopes that the courts would redefine the Act in accordance with their narrow interpretation. She also gave suggestions as to what types of offenses police can write in order to create tests cases; such as a when a caregiver’s spouse lives in the house where medicine is grown and has access to the plants, even if they are in a closed, locked facility. It’s been an effective campaign. Case after case has reached the higher courts, and law enforcement continues to arrest, raid, incarcerate and extract thousands of dollars from Michigan families who thought they were protected by the law.  That’s all for me today. Please contact your legislator and share these crime statistics. You can find statewide numbers in this blog right here. Love, Charmie  

Charmie

Charmie



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    • Exactly why I always put it in a gel capsule. You can't taste it.  It all goes to the same place at the same time, the stomach. Totally repeatable and controllable. No repeats because it tastes great and you gotta have some more.  There's no use for making cannabis into candy. That puts cannabis oil into a position to be used incorrectly and abused knowingly or unknowingly. It's a very bad thing for medicine and anything else you should be keeping away from children and/or adults that can't handle keeping their dosage straight and consistent.  We have all seen industries using bad packaging and misconstrued concoctions that invite trouble from everyone especially the opposition. Cannabis doesn't need to go there too but it has, regrettably. It's just plain ignorant at this point.   
    • Doesn't look like art to me. I guess you would have to have a better understanding of art than I do to see it. All I see is false advertising. Fakeness. I guess I see your point having said that. Art doesn't have to be real. It's art because it IS fake. This 'art' stuff is in the eye of the beholder and fake can be what it's all about. 
    • You're on a blog called "The Art of the Marijuana Industry". "Art" as in the graphic and packaging design trends within the industry. Hence the beginning of the sentence you addressed, "I've yet to find the designer...". Let me know if there's anything else I can help out with.
    • Chocolate is outstanding for covering the sometimes unpleasant taste of cannabis. It also allows you to let it slowly dissolve in your mouth making it easier to control how it effects you.
    • If ONE needs chocolate then eat it. It has nothing to do with medical cannabis as a whole.   
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