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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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Highlighter by Bloom Farms

This one is just exciting to look at! Highlighter was a project taken on by a San Fransisco based agency named Pavement. The overall goal was to completely change the game in the medical/rec industries, and have certainly set a new bar for packaging and presentation quality in the industry. If the goal is to make the product feel like a special treasure to be kept forever, they've certainly achieved it IMO!   Check out the article by Theresa Christine Johnson. Addresses some of the new trends in the industry, and highlights some of the problems with the old approaches that were, and still are all to common. https://beta.thedieline.com/blog/2016/4/26/package-design-in-the-cannabis-industry

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Pure Green

This is a brand put out by a group called Pure Green. I've yet to find the designer, but the work speaks for itself! Very clean, concise, and direct approach to packaging design. Has somewhat of a modern slant on the old apothecary labels you'd see in a local pharmacy. Don't necessarily agree with the centering of the upper logomark, but overall, a very recognizable and solid piece of design work.

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KIVA

This is a brand developed by a branding, packaging, and web designer named Jamie Lee in collaboration with Nathan Sharp. For me personally, this one really changed the game as far as branding and design approach in the industry. The layout is solid, the font choices agree, the use of open space harmonizes beautifully, and it completely stands out among it's competition. Center shelf material all day! Def check out her work, she's an amazing artist!   https://jamiesayshello.squarespace.com/

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naturalizm

 

New studies about cannabis report possible medical benefits

Cannabis use and the support of cannabis use continues to grow. Most recently, Canada decided to legalize cannabis nationally, with the law going into effect on Canada Day, July 1st, 2018. In the United States, 32 states have legalized marijuana for medical use, with only a handful of states keeping the drug illegal. Proponents of legalization claim that the drug has many medical benefits for a variety of conditions. From pain relief, to relief for anxiety and PTSD, to relief for those suffering from seizures and irritable bowel syndrome, people are saying that medical cannabis is working for them. However, some people, especially those in the medical and scientific community remain skeptical. The federal government still classifies cannabis as having no medical benefit whatsoever. Some recent studies, however, say differently. Two studies recently published in the journals Frontiers in Pharmacology and Medicine respectively, point to the fact patients with chronic pain and insomnia saw “statistically and clinically therapeutic benefits” when they used medical cannabis. Releaf App The press release citing the studies came from the University of New Mexico, where researchers studied data obtained through the Releaf App. The Releaf App, which was developed by several of the authors of the study, as almost 100,000 entries of user-entered on the consumption and effect of cannabis use in the United States. The app is designed to allow the users and those gathering the data how marijuana use affects their symptoms, any side effects, as well as the type of marijuana, dosage, and consumption methods that work best. The study that was published in Frontiers of Pharmacology reported that cannabis users suffering from 27 different health conditions which had symptoms ranging from seizures to depression reported a lessening of their symptoms. The amount that the symptoms were reduced were rated on a scale from zero to ten points. A mean reduction in symptoms from 2.8 to 4.6 points on that scale was reported after consuming cannabis is various forms, including topicals and vaporizing concentrates. In the second study, reported in the journal Medicine, users rated their reduction of insomnia symptoms as an average of 4.5 points on the same scale of ten. Overall, 94% of cannabis users reported that the intensity of their symptoms was lessened after the consumption of the drug. Pain relief For those looking for chronic pain relief, a review study published in the American Journal of Surgery had two researchers confirm the impact of cannabis use on surgery patients. The researchers found that the active cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant reduced intestinal motility, gastric acid secretion, and nausea. The two researchers also confirmed that cannabis can help to control pain, reduce inflammation, and increase appetite. Addiction For those looking to see if cannabis use can help to treat other addictions, a new study may provide some answers. Preliminary findings in a study indicate that cannabidiol, also known as CBD, could effectively combat an addiction to methamphetamine. The study found that extremely high doses of CBD (20 mg/kg to 80 mg/kg) in laboratory rats reduced the motivation to consume methamphetamine in rats that had been trained to self-administer the stimulant. These doses are higher than most people consume daily, which is 12mg. The next step would be to see if CBD has any benefit to meth-addicted humans. When it comes to the ways of administering cannabis, patients have a variety of ways in which to choose. Some patients choose to smoke the dry herb via pipes or joints. Others choose what is argued to be a healthier method, vaporization. Patients can vaporize dry herb with a portable vaporizer or use a vape pen to consume concentrate oils or waxes. Other popular administration methods are topicals, edibles, and tinctures. It should be noted that as methods of consumption, the patients who utilized the Releaf App to report cannabis use and reduction of symptoms reported that vaporization gave them more relief and fewer side effects. Hopefully, as marijuana becomes more acceptable, restrictions that prevent the thorough study of this plant as a medicine will relax. Only then will medical doctors and scientists be able to fully explore the medical properties of this all-natural medicine.
  Author Michael is a marketing and creative content specialist at GotVape.com with a primary focus on customer satisfaction. Technology and fitness combined with healthy lifestyle obsession are his main talking points
   

Michael Jacobs

Michael Jacobs

Komorn Law recommends keeping medical marijuana card and protections.

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."

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

Asset Forfeiture is an unconstitutional and unchecked rampant abuse of police and prosecutor power.

Civil Asset Forfeiture is a cruel and unusual as it is executed without due process. Police have superhero power and authority to seize anything and everything they decide is part of a drug crime. The plethora of documented abuses are widespread, persistent and the majority are for seizures under $1,000 in value.   Found within the 2018 Michigan Asset Forfeiture report, the majority of asset forfeiture is without judicial oversight. Without a warrant. Just police taking anything of value.       https://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/nearly-1000-people-not-charged-or-found-not-guilty-lost-their-property-through-forfeiture     You say asset forfeiture is needed to fund our police? Fine. Let the police seize property of the rapists and murderers too. Why should they get special treatment? What about people who commit assaultive crimes? Commit a crime, lose your car? That is one reason why asset forfeiture is unconstitutional, because certain criminal’s assets are seized while other criminals retain their assets.

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

Yes on Prop 1

THIS Saturday October 6 at HIGH Noon!!! This Event is being co-organized by Jesse Riggs, a local activist affiliated with MiLegalize, and Ernie Whiteside, a candidate for state representative with support from the Law Office of Michael Komorn and the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association   Come on out and support our Grassroots, Progressive Cannabis Community!VOTE YES.docx

JR411

JR411

MICHIGAN STILL WANTS TAXES ON ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES

NOTICE REGARDING MICHIGAN TAXES ON ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES 72 (Rev. 4-15) – Issued: September 12, 2018 Michigan’s sales tax is imposed on the retail sale of tangible personal property. Marihuana and other drugs illegal under state or federal law are tangible personal property, the retail sales of which are subject to Michigan sales tax absent an applicable exemption.1 Have you been charged with a drug crime or violation of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act? Remain Silent and Contact Komorn Law Immediately to protect your rights and freedom 800-656-3557.   This includes sales by “dispensaries” or provisioning centers regardless whether licensed under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MFLA).   Only the transfer of marihuana by a registered primary caregiver for compensation in connection with assisting a registered qualifying patient in the medical use of marihuana under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMA) is not subject to sales tax.   In that instance, the patient is liable for use tax based on the purchase price of the marihuana. See RAB 2018-2.   All other retail sellers must report and remit sales tax based on 6% of the sales price of the marihuana or other drug.       Legal and illegal activities are also subject to any other taxes imposed in Michigan, including the income tax and corporate income tax.2 See the official document here   1 Greer v Dep’t of Treasury, 145 Mich App 248. 250-253 (1985). 2 Id. C.F. Lewis v U.S., 348 U.S. 419, 421 (1955).   To register for Michigan taxes please visit https://www.michigan.gov/treasury/.

dwkl

dwkl

Car Insurance rate hikes due to legalization? The last dying breath of prohibitionists claims against marijuana.

In the middle of a debate on the legalization of marijuana, the opponents to legalization made the claim, without any details or statistics, that legalizing marijuana would cause auto insurance to rise. This is another bogus claim, in a long line of bogus claims, used to continue prohibition of a plant. In the long line of false claims made by prohibitionists, the theories seem to be getting weaker and weaker as time goes by. Looking back through the claims made over the last 100 years, it is foolish to continue believing these, or anything else the prohibitionists throw at us. Marijuana causing Mexicans go "loco" and murder everyone like they were assassins. Based upon a fictional story in a book published in the early 1900's. Jazz musicians seducing white women with marijuana. Seems kind of racist against blacks and Mexicans so far. The war on drugs is also, currently to this day, even in legalized states, used to prosecute and arrest more blacks and latino's than whites. Marijuana causing murders and suicides (See Reefer Madness movie) Marijuana causing brain cell death. Marijuana causes you to be a lazy no good beatnik and or a motivational syndrome tree-hugging hippie. Marijuana causing testicular cancer. Marijuana causing lung cancer. Marijuana gateway theory to hard drugs like heroin or crack cocaine. Marijuana causes addiction to marijuana. Marijuana funds terrorism. Marijuana causing drop in IQ points. Legalizing marijuana will not stop the cartels and black markets. Marijuana causes man-boobs. Marijuana turns straight people into homosexuals. Marijuana makes you have lower sperm counts and more trouble conceiving. Marijuana makes you drop out of school and if you ever smoke marijuana you will never become President of the USA (See Bush, Clinton and Obama.) Marijuana makes you crazy and prone to psychosis (We circled back to the 1920's again) Marijuana gives you a heart attack because it increases your pulse temporarily.  Marijuana suppresses your immune system. Marijuana causes crime. (Back to Reefer Madness) Legalized/Medical Marijuana stores cause crime. Prohibition of marijuana (or Alcohol) works. Cannabis causes traffic accidents ( not according to NHTSA's largest ever study on marijuana drivers http://komornlaw.com/35-years-research-reports-driving-cannabis-marijuana/ ) Car Insurance rates increased in Colorado, where marijuana is legal, although it was due to the incredible population increase and a settling of the market after Colorado repealed no-fault insurance. https://www.denverpost.com/2018/02/27/colorado-car-insurance-premiums-rise/    Have you been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or drugs? Remain Silent and Contact Komorn Law Immediately to protect your rights and freedom 800-656-3557.  
Similarly, in Washington, Insurance studies show that the state has some of the worst drivers in the nation. https://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/local/article147026734.html  https://quotewizard.com/news/posts/the-best-and-worst-drivers-by-state 
2012 rates:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimgorzelany/2012/03/08/states-with-the-highest-and-lowest-auto-insurance-rates/  https://www.thezebra.com/insurance-news/3232/states-cheapest-car-insurance/  In 2016, the zebra compared car insurance rates across the USA. By checking legalized states before and after legalization and comparing them to states that do not have legalization , we can compare if legalization of marijuana changed car insurance rates. https://www.insure.com/car-insurance/car-insurance-rates.html 
  Since each website lists a different criteria and price range for nation wide insurance rates, its better to use a consistent data set. https://www.obrella.com/news/will-marijuana-use-impact-car-insurance-rates/    So there you have it. Car insurance rates are dictated by bad drivers, distracted drivers, uninsured drivers, alcohol and prescription drug impaired drivers and the weather. Marijuana is not a factor for any increase in insurance, according to the federal government and the reality of a lot of people smoking marijuana who do not get into accidents.

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

Best lawyer for possession of marijuana in Michigan! Victory!

Patients and Caregivers are discriminated upon in many facets of life, be it employment, housing, education, student loans, banking, travelling, medical care, prescription medical care, parental rights... and in this case, Emergency Medical Care!   My client is a Michigan Medical Marijuana patient who was having an emergency. An ambulance picked him up, and against his hospital preference, the ambulance took him to the U of M Ann Arbor Hospital.   While at the hospital, the patient, my client, in response to the standard medical care question of "list any other medications you are currently taking", was honest and replied that he uses a topical marijuana oil. He used the oil at the recommendation of his primary care physician to help with his cancer and chronic pain. He had the oil in his belongings when he was brought to the hospital.   The Registered Nurse at the hospital then called the Hospital Security Officer, who then confiscated the patients medical marijuana oil and called the police.   Why is the Physician - Patient privileged relationship being violated like this? My client told his nurses that he was a MMMA patient, those same nurses told the HSO and police officer he told them he was a MMMA patient as well.   So what gives? The police have the discretion to investigate or talk to people instead of making a case out of something. Why waste time on investigating a medical marijuana patient? The police officer sent the topical marijuana oil to the Michigan State Crime Lab for testing, coming back positive for THC. The police officer forwarded the lab report to the Washtenaw County Prosecutors Office for prosecution. The WCPO then filed charges against this MMMA patient. All for .5 oz of topical oil marihuana-infused product that the patient had in his bag.     Of course the prosecutors office did not blink an eye, nor did they use prosecutorial discretion. They issued the charges and sent the warrant to me so that I could have my client turn himself in. This is called a pre-arrest investigation at my office. If you ever have a police interaction but are not arrested, it means they are waiting on lab results. After they get the lab results back , they send out the warrant and arrest you wherever they can find you. Be it at your Home, work, school or driving on the road. When they arrest you at Home, they search your house. When they arrest you at work, you may have to explain to your boss what happened. When they arrest you at school you will be embarrassed. When they arrest you on the road, either you have to get someone to pick up your car or they will tow it. They will search your car as well. Then you have to post bond to get out of jail too. So hiring an attorney that will handle all of that, so you can turn yourself in, not speak to the police, and be arraigned and have usually a personal recognizance bond (meaning you don't have to pay anything, just have to show up at your next court date) is helpful in avoiding a bad situation.   This is happening in Ann Arbor of all places? The city that decriminalized Marijuana down to a $25 civil infraction fine? U of M is state property, since it gets state funding.   My Advice? If you are a Patient or Caregiver (or not a patient/caregiver) , never admit to anyone that you are possessing marijuana. Marijuana is currently still illegal and currently there are still people who WILL CALL THE POLICE ON YOU for having marijuana.   In this case the patient did not have his card at the time he was hospitalized, but registered with the state afterwards. We prepared a Section 8 defense to the crime of possession of marijuana and were ready to battle in court.   Instead of our Section 8 evidentiary hearing, instead of the prosecutor wanting to cross examine my client's physician, instead of testifying and all of the pain of a Section 8 defense, we went with a quick Section 4 dismissal. The prosecutor was SHOCKED that my client could not be prosecuted due to having his card now.   Judge agreed and the case is dismissed. If you were charged with marijuana possession or manufacture, give me a call. I will fight to get the charges dismissed. 18006563557 http://www.komornlaw.com 

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

Victory against unconstitutional search and seizures.

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.   

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

New York State recommends legalizing marijuana in long awaited report

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

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

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

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

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

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

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

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

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

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

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

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

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

dwkl

dwkl

 

Regulatory Panel Recommends 10 New Medical Marijuana Use Conditions

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

Symbiotic_Box

Symbiotic_Box

 

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

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

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

Schizophrenic bureaucrats and legislators battle medical marijuana laws.

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

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

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

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

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn

 

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

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

Michael Komorn

Michael Komorn



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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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