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Macc Files Federal Appeal


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http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2011/06/advocates_of_michigans_medical.html

 

Advocates of Michigan's medical marijuana law challenge federal judge's ruling

 

GRAND RAPIDS – Michigan Association of Compassions Clubs today filed notice to appeal a federal judge's ruling that granted federal drug agents access to records of certain medical-marijuana patients under investigation in the Lansing area.

 

More at the link

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Going to the Federal Court of Appeals on this issue. The issue of releasing the information on the card you get to show the police to prevent arrest for marijuana. It is this worth losing the law over? Just curious.

 

Your driver's license information must be presented to the police, it is not released to the general public.

Your medical records can be released to the police with a court order, as can your HIV status and other information.

Is the information on an MMMA Registration Card any different?

 

Is this the question we want to take to a federal court and run the risk of having the entire act declared invalid due to federal supremacy?

 

Dr. Bob

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Well, you can get medical records on a court order if the court order says to get medical records. The question is, does it say to retrieve medical records or does it say to retreive records with no mention of medical on there?

 

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Unfortunately, we don't control the MACC and can't coerce them to stop something we think is wrong. They will do what they want to do no matter if it hurts us. They want their money.

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Well, you can get medical records on a court order if the court order says to get medical records. The question is, does it say to retrieve medical records or does it say to retreive records with no mention of medical on there?

 

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Unfortunately, we don't control the MACC and can't coerce them to stop something we think is wrong. They will do what they want to do no matter if it hurts us. They want their money.

 

I just want to let everyone know that the Macc has been one of the biggest donors to the Cannabis Cancer Project and has helped us assist several cancer patients without the Macc those cancer patients that needed the simpson oil would not have gotten it and this the truth and God Bless them

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Going to the Federal Court of Appeals on this issue. The issue of releasing the information on the card you get to show the police to prevent arrest for marijuana. It is this worth losing the law over? Just curious.

 

Your driver's license information must be presented to the police, it is not released to the general public.

Your medical records can be released to the police with a court order, as can your HIV status and other information.

Is the information on an MMMA Registration Card any different?

 

Is this the question we want to take to a federal court and run the risk of having the entire act declared invalid due to federal supremacy?

 

Dr. Bob

 

Got a better idea?

 

Hire a lawyer and do it.

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Got a better idea?

 

Hire a lawyer and do it.

 

I did...do nothing here. That is a pretty good idea.

 

As for hiring a lawyer, I did and am putting the mill that sent out patient information on bright green postcards out of business in one case, and taking the city of Tawas to court over their moratorium in another. Both address very real concerns of the community without risking the Act over a moot point.

 

Dr. Bob

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How can any of you seriously consider just letting a chunk of this law get nullified?

 

There are three persons protected within the registry system.

 

First is the patient, above all else.

Second is the caregiver, without which our system ceases to exist.

 

Third is the doctor. The one of the three that doesn't get identified on the card.

 

All identifying information about the doctor is illegal to pass on. Something that was lost on OcConnell.

 

When he read that section of the law, his mind went blank. He decided to look at the section later. And never considered it again.

 

If everyone goes to jail for identifying the doctor, how is it possible to treat a doctor as the judge suggests?

 

How much of that judges rant becomes invalid when you consider the confidential nature of the identity of the doctor? Most of it.

 

So if it is not possible to compel the doctor to the stand, what would that do for the defendant? At that point the question of the relationship is completely answered by the department when they issue the card. Presenting the card then answers all of the doctor/patient questions. Done.

 

Is it worth it to protect our patients, caregivers and doctors?

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if they're caregivers arnt their patients names on the back of their cards?? if so maybe its about protecting them as well? i dont know, im asking.

 

If they are on the back of the card, any officer can see them when you show you yours. This is no different than a traffic stop with an eighth on the seat next to you. You just show your card and that is that. That is what the card is there for.

 

Dr. Bob

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As far as losing our law because it's in federal court?

 

I beg to differ. State marijuana laws have been in federal courts over and over again. Not once did the federal government say that that state's law was null.

 

Not once in more than a decade of state laws being in federal courts.

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How can any of you seriously consider just letting a chunk of this law get nullified?

 

There are three persons protected within the registry system.

 

First is the patient, above all else.

Second is the caregiver, without which our system ceases to exist.

 

Third is the doctor. The one of the three that doesn't get identified on the card.

 

All identifying information about the doctor is illegal to pass on. Something that was lost on OcConnell.

 

When he read that section of the law, his mind went blank. He decided to look at the section later. And never considered it again.

 

If everyone goes to jail for identifying the doctor, how is it possible to treat a doctor as the judge suggests?

 

How much of that judges rant becomes invalid when you consider the confidential nature of the identity of the doctor? Most of it.

 

So if it is not possible to compel the doctor to the stand, what would that do for the defendant? At that point the question of the relationship is completely answered by the department when they issue the card. Presenting the card then answers all of the doctor/patient questions. Done.

 

Is it worth it to protect our patients, caregivers and doctors?

 

Any information that is available on a card designed to be shown to the police is obtainable by the police. That is what the courts ruled, right or wrong. We were very lucky the act wasn't overturned in federal court. Don't give them a second bite of the apple over a moot point. By the way, the doctor information is no protected, whats more, the only way for a patient to prove a section 8 defense is to produce the doctor and or medical information that supports the condition. So are you saying the patient CAN give up the doc and that is ok, but to have the state do the same thing is not from the aspect of the doctor?

 

There are those that don't like to put their SSN on forms (I am one), but if you want the card, you have to. Period.

 

Same with the information that is printed on the card, it is designed to be shown to law enforcement for confirmation of protection under the MMMA. Don't want to have to show a card to the police? Don't get a card. Then they will just take most of the same information off your drivers license. If you refuse to show them the the card, they can get the same information from the database, so just show them the card. It is the price of admission.

 

Dr. Bob

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As far as losing our law because it's in federal court?

 

I beg to differ. State marijuana laws have been in federal courts over and over again. Not once did the federal government say that that state's law was null.

 

Not once in more than a decade of state laws being in federal courts.

 

Judge Sommers did in a lower court. Just because they haven't doesn't mean they wont. You willing to risk the law for everyone in here over a moot point? What is the federal position on states that allow dispensaries? Want to force that issue and see what happens?

 

How about we all take a deep breath, get 400,000 folks certified in this state, add about a dozen states to the list of MMJ approved, then start dictating terms to the man? Being overanxious, loosy goosy interpretation of the Act to suit our own purposes, is going to push this into the wrong judge's hands and bad things will happen. Relax, fight on our terms, not theirs. Never get into a turning fight with a Mig when your plane does best with fast hit and run attacks. Make them fight our fight, not theirs.

 

Dr. Bob

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The way I see it is that our law is about giving up that information to state LEO. The federal judges don't give as rats donkey about our law, as they don't have to abide by it.

 

The MACC is good and bad. Good because they have the money to get crap done. Bad because they are overzealous, and try to use loopholes in the law to make a profit. I have no doubt that they have a financial interest in winning this case, and I suspect that their involvment is pretty deep in it.

 

In the end, as Dr bob says it is a moot point. If the feds really want it, they can claim national security because they believe it is part of interstate transport of a schedule 1 drug and come in and seize it all. And by it all, I mean all of it, every record.

 

Even if the MACC wins the case, you can't stop the feds from taking it. Look into the patriot act, they can, and do, anything they darn well please. No warrant wire taps? Check. Seizing someone and holding them for months, without even charging them with a crime? check. Warrantless "sneak and peek" searches? check. Using a cell phone as a "bug"? check. Warrantless GPS tracking using cell phones? Check...

 

They can do whatever they want. Not to mention the points about NO records being safe from a federal judge if they want them.

 

Cedar

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You guys make my point well. The information is available to LEO, especially the feds, if they want it. Even the medical records are available if they order them to be. So the ruling in GR was essentially correct. The downside is that every time one of these cases goes to the COA or the Supreme Court, much less Federal Court which is no friend of what they consider an illegal substance, we run risks. Examples.

 

Patient to Patient- In State v McQueen (compassionate apothecary in MP) we are looking at the issue of patient to patient and the locker transfer system. Benefit- good case, good argument, courts are seeing problems with the AG's view of things. Risk- if the COA specifies P2P is not legal, right or wrong, it is done until it is successfully appealed (remember you have to have the permission of a higher court to appeal something in most cases- they can easily dodge the issue and say they don't want to hear the case).

 

John T. has a case out in Federal Court now with a motion to remove the DEA and the Feds from the equation. His argument essentially says, my guy violated the the MMMA and will be prosecuted by the state for that violation. There is no compelling reason the feds need to come in, as it is being handled under state law. Brilliant- does not put the MMMA and Federal Law in direct conflict, making the courts decide which rules (answer is of course Fed trumps State), but instead indirectly asks the court to confirm the MMMA by deferring to it and saying it is able to handle the problem and the intervention of 'big brother' DEA isn't needed. We can handle our our problems. That is the benefit of the motion, the risk is that the courts wont grant it and big brother intervenes as it wants to. That is the current situation anyhow, so really we lose nothing by trying.

 

My case in Tawas against the Town of Tawas. In response to a ban on medical practice, I am going to try and give them a bloody nose. The MMMA is not the issue, restricting medicine is, so there is NO risk to the Act. Though it is strictly a moratorium on certain aspects of medical practice, it is over MMJ in a way that doesn't involve MMJ directly. If I win, other cities will think twice about restricting MMJ or the doctors that recommend it. That will have far reaching implication. Risks of the case, I lose and am out the cost of a lawyer. Maybe spend a night or two in the slam for violating the moratorium and tweeking my nose at the powers that be. Minimal risk.

 

Compare those cases to the MACC appeal.

 

Does a state law override a federal law? No. In fact if they are in conflict, the state law can be nullified or voided.

 

Are the Feds asking to do anything out of the ordinary? No, even our own state prosecutors/leo do it all the time and get the same information. Furthermore, the same information is the type released routinely with a court order in malpractice cases, personal injury cases, workman's comp cases and pension cases.

 

MACC doesn't even have standing in the case, and apparently didn't make a very good presentation the first time.

 

so in all the Benefits of winning the case- basically we get to 'stick it to the man' and refuse to show our cards (and get arrested for not using the defense they offer us). If we lose, at best we get our feelings hurt, at worse they invalidate the MMMA.

 

Again the question remains, is this the case we are willing to risk our Act over? Is the MACC the champion we want to make this fight? I am not familiar with any cases that have gone before the Feds in Cincinnati, are they pro or anti mmj? Will they liberally interpret the will of the people or hang on every phrase and word as written in the Act? Do we really want to test the waters with a moot point that really doesn't help the cause?

 

Dr. Bob

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