Jump to content

Judge Dismisses Marijuana Lawsuit

Recommended Posts

Judge dismisses marijuana lawsuit





AWayne County Circuit judge has ruled in favor of the city of Livonia in its banof medical marijuana facilities.


CircuitJudge Wendy Baxter granted the city's motion for summary disposition Friday.


TheAmerican Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, which filed the suit in December onbehalf of Linda and Robert Lott of Birmingham, plans an appeal.


TheACLU sued the cities of Livonia, Bloomfield Hills and Birmingham regarding theauthority of communities to prohibit medical marijuana use or sales on thegrounds that marijuana possession violates federal law. The Lotts own a portionof a property in Livonia where they said they wanted to grow medical marijuana,according to the ACLU.


TheACLU had argued in court that Livonia could not enact laws that violate statelaws.


Michiganvoters approved the use of medical marijuana in 2008. The city of Livonia laterenacted an ordinance that did not mention medical marijuana, but prohibitedactivities that violate federal law.


Attorneysfrom the city of Livonia's Law Department and the state attorney general arguedin court that federal law pre-empts state law.




OnFriday, Baxter agreed with the city of Livonia and dismissed the lawsuit.


“Livonia'sordinance directly conflicts with and is preempted by the Michigan MedicalMarihuana Act, which regulates the use, distribution and maintenance of medicalmarijuana and ‘occupies the field of regulation,'” Baxter wrote in her ruling.


“However,the MMMA is preempted by the Controlled Substances Act, which completely bansthe use of marihuana and bans its use by physicians for a medical purpose.Therefore, plaintiffs have failed to state a claim for which relief can begranted and ‘no factual development could possibly justify recovery.'”


DonKnapp, Livonia's city attorney, expects an appeal. “Obviously, I'm satisfiedwith her ruling so that's up to the ACLU,” Knapp said about a possible appeal.“We're playing with the lead.


“I'mvery gratified with the judge's decision. It shows the council and the mayormade a good decision. But this ruling doesn't end the process.”




DanKorobkin, staff attorney with the ACLU of Michigan, said the ACLU would filewithin the next few weeks. He believes the judge didn't make the “correct legaljudgment,” he said. “It's disappointing to have to file the appeal. These casesare being watched by the thousands of patients who would be affected by localordinances like Livonia's.”


Thatordinance undermines the will of Michigan voters who support compassionate carefor patients suffering from pain, Korobkin said.


“LindaLott and other patients should not be forced to make an untenable choicebetween health care and freedom,” he said.


LindaLott is a registered medical marijuana patient with multiple sclerosis. Sheuses medical marijuana to get rid of back spasms. Prescription drugs don't workon the pain, according to her husband Robert.


Korobkinsaid the Lotts are ready for a long legal battle. “They understand that this isa long-term struggle and long-term process. They're in it for finding relieffor Linda's pain.”


kabramcz@hometownlife.com (313) 222-2591



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't understand this Federal Law Trumps State Law. Here is a decision back in 2007/2008.



Last Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court Monday quietly, but overwhelmingly destroyed the allegations by state law enforcement that, "Federal law trumps state laws on medical marijuana."


The Supremes declined to review a lower court decision that ordered Garden Grove, California, police to return marijuana seized from a medical marijuana patient.


In November 2007, the California Fourth District Court of Appeal had ordered the marijuana returned, finding that "it is not the job of local police to enforce federal drug laws."


This was the fourth shot the Supremes had at bringing down Prop. 215 and, instead, the high court handed us a silent, but deadly victory. It may be a win by default, but it is most certainly a huge win, perhaps our greatest win to date.


Felix Kha was pulled over by Garden Grove police in 2005 and cited for marijuana possession despite showing officers his medical marijuana documentation. The case was subsequently dismissed, and the Orange County Superior Court ordered the police to return Kha's wrongfully seized quarter-ounce of marijuana.


Police and the city of Garden Grove refused to return the pot, and appealed the ruling, but lost in the state appeals court last year.


Incredibly, the Appeals Court correctly assessed the federal and state laws on medical marijuana and found NO conflict. The justices found that the federal laws were intended to stop drug ABUSE, while the state laws rightfully addressed MEDICAL use, as provided under the concept of Federalism.


Here is how the three Appeals Court judges put it:


"Congress enacted the CSA to combat recreational drug abuse and curb drug trafficking. Gonzales v. Oregon, supra, 546 U.S. at p. 271; Gonzales v. Raich, supra, 545 U.S. at pp. 10-13.) Its goal was not to regulate the practice of medicine, a task that falls within the traditional powers of the states. (Gonzales v. Oregon, supra, 546 U.S. at p. 269.)


Speaking for the majority in Gonzales v. Oregon, Justice Kennedy explained, "The [CSA] and our case law amply support the conclusion that Congress regulates medical practice insofar as it bars doctors from using their prescription-writing powers as a means to engage in illicit drug dealing and trafficking as conventionally understood. Beyond this, however, the statute manifests no intent to regulate the practice of medicine generally." (Ibid., italics added.)"


The California Supreme Court refused to review the case in March. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court has followed suit. The refusals to hear the appeal means the two high courts have accepted the state appeals court's reasoning that California's medical marijuana law is not preempted by federal law and finally lays to waste the bogus claim that state police can ignore state law and arrest patients, or keep their medicine under federal law.


This is a huge win for all of us, because it removes one of the most basic foundations of law enforcements recalcitrance in obeying state marijuana laws and in upholding the rights of medical marijuana patients.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wendy M. Baxter should not be a sitting judge in Michigan or ANYWHERE!


Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission


In 2001, Baxter was questioned by the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission for allegedly trying to illegally influence the outcome of a murder case and covering up her actions. The complaint accused her of contacting the lawyer of Adrian Bell in a 1995 murder case. Baxter allegedly told her clerk to tell Bell's lawyer that she believed the prosecutor had overcharged the teenager, which led the defendant's attorney to waive his right to a jury trial. She then found Bell guilty of first-degree murder. According to the complaint filed with the Judicial Tenure Commission, Bell's family was not advised of their rights, and Baxter was accused of falsifying documents.[3]


On September 11, 2001, the Judicial Tenure Commission voted to censure Baxter.[4]




Wendy M. Baxter is a judge of the 3rd Circuit Court (Civil Division) in Wayne County, Michigan. She was appointed to this position by Gov. Blanchard in 1986. She was most recently re-elected in 2006 to a 6-year term that expires in January of 2013.[1][2]




Baxter received her B.A. degree from Eastern Michigan University in 1973 and her J.D. degree from the University of Detroit in 1978.[1]


Legal career


Prior to her judicial appointment, she was a private practice lawyer, working for General Motors, the Michigan State Court Administrator's Office and the State Appellate Defender. She was appointed to the Circuit Court in 1986.


She is a member of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association.[1]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many people forget it took years to ratify the Constitution until the issue of State Vrs Federal rights were appeased once before . There was not one of the original 13 States who ceded to superiority of a Federal Authority believing it could lead in time back to a Monarchy . Patrick Henry championed the bill of rights and noted other Anti Federalists were Madison , Monroe , and though removed from the argument of the time by assignment in France Jefferson . The Republican Party has it's roots in Michigan and in Anti Federalism . Its not a dirty word it's what strengthens the Union by building a ply-able interconnection of the States into one Nation . Differences in State Vs Federal Law preserve freedom and are one of many complex mechanisms of checks and balances in our land . Sadly in this time of change people are looking for simple answers to enforce their own agendas through position . Unchecked by the Citizens and voters this may very well lead to a overpowering Federal Government that dominates instead of sits on a level playing feild with each State encouraging co-operation and to serve the people as intended .

Edited by Croppled1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We can complain about this and say we will follow Cali, but until it is overturned it is the law HERE. The best way to approach this is to be very careful about the questions we ask the court to decide, increase our numbers and educate primary care doctors to write certifications. Main stream it.


Drug companies have entire teams of detail people out educating doctors about this drug or that drug. We need to take a lesson and do the same. Once I get some nurse practitioners to help me with my practice, I may spend a few months traveling around to talk directly to physicians and medical associations, hospital staffs, etc to try and increase the awareness of MMJ as a legitimate treatment of a variety of conditions.


Dr. Bob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you live in Wayne County, note that Wendy Baxter 3rd Circuit Court seat is up for vote in 2012. Baxter is a graduate from U of D law school, so she does not process the best education.


In the 1990’s, Judge Wendy Baxter ruled on the murder case against Kylleen Hargrave-Thomas. The hearing took 7 days, but those days were spread out over five months. In delivering her verdict, Baxter said, “I finally came to believe the testimony of the witness, whose name escapes me right now. The woman who, very surprising to me, pointed you out in court. I didn’t expect that in her testimony. I’m trying to think of her name.” During the trial, the judge noted a sense of skepticism with the prosecution’s witness. There was no positive proof against Hargrave-Thomas.


On September 11, 2001, the Judicial Tenure Commission voted to censure Baxter. She was charged with trying to influence the outcome of a murder case, and then trying to cover her actions. Please see: http://www.clr.org/Baxter-Wendy.html and http://www.michbar.org/opinions/supreme/2001/091101/12334.html


Baxter is not the person to be in front of, if you want fair treatment.

Edited by Ms Chocolate
Link to comment
Share on other sites

With the potential for billions in pure net profit we have our work cut out for us... Of course they're not ready to deal with our tenacity and intelligence either by the way.


Is Big Pharma set to corner the American market on medical marijuana? (well duuuhhh)





The American Independent has previously reported on the growing corporatization of the incipient medical marijuana industry at a time when medical marijuana dispensaries scrabble to hold on to their businesses in the face of a multi-pronged federal crackdown. But there are signs afoot that it just may become ever more corporate if a Big Pharma push to get the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to recognize a cannabis-derived drug is successful.


Last week, British prescription drug manufacturer GW Pharmaceuticals announced a licensing agreement with drug giant Novartis, maker of Ritalin and Excedrin, to begin selling GW’s drug Sativex in markets across Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Middle East. The medication is already available in Britain, where it’s produced and marketed by Bayer, and in Canada and Spain. It’s on the market in those countries as a liquid that patients spray under the tongue and is prescribed primarily for sufferers of multiple sclerosis and cancer.


Sativex: Liquefied marijuana


If the name “Sativex” rings a distant bell, that’s because it’s derived from Cannabis sativa, the scientific name for the plant from which both hemp and marijuana are harvested. It’s an appropriate name because, unlike other cannabinoids produced for recreational and medicinal use (and plagued by side effects not present in natural cannabinoids), Sativex is not a synthetic concoction, but essentially liquefied marijuana. It’s an extract of whole-plant cannabis that includes the psychoactive agent THC as well as cannabidiol (CBD), the chemical thought to be responsible for some of the anti-nausea and cancer-cell-killing effects of medical marijuana.


While the official word from GW is that the THC and CBD balance each other out to provide marijuana’s medicinal effects without an accompanying high, cannabis expert and professor emeritus of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School Dr. Lester Grinspoon has said just upping the dosage would provide the same effects as recreational marijuana.


Early in Sativex’s development, GW hired Dr. Andrea Barthwell as a consultant to sing the drug’s praises, although she’s no longer in the employ of GM. Barthwell was a deputy drug czar under George W. Bush and is the former president of the American Society for Addiction Medicine (ASAM). In a recent ASAM press release, Barthwell denounced medical marijuana but — significantly — only because it was unregulated by the federal government.


“The safety and advisability of any prescriptive medicine should depend on years of careful scientific scrutiny, not whims at the ballot box by individuals who lack the qualifications to make such decisions. Allowing cannabis to circumvent FDA approval sets a dangerous precedent and puts us on a slippery slope,” Barthwell says in the release.


“There’s certainly an inconsistency in the fact that she speaks publicly about the negative impact of marijuana even though she’s been paid by a company that sells it,” says Steve Fox, chief lobbyist for the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA). “It would be one thing if she were representing the American Society Against Bronchitis and said, ‘I am so concerned that people are smoking a substance that’s not good for their bronchial tubes.’ But she’s speaking for the ASAM.”


Meanwhile, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Congress’s top recipient of campaign funds from the pharmaceutical industry, has come out against state medical marijuana laws, despite being an advocate of states’ rights on issues like allowing offshore drilling. The likes of Barthwell and Burr have drawn the ire of supporters for the reform of marijuana laws who believe that they represent the pharmaceutical industry’s goal for medical marijuana: demonize it, prosecute it, shut it down, then grab the market.


(Neither Barthwell nor Burr was available to comment for this story at the time of publish.)


Certainly, such a fight would benefit from proclamations like Barthwell’s distinction between government-approved drugs derived from cannabis and unregulated cannabis itself, as well as the National Cancer Institute’s recognition (later qualified) of the medical benefits of marijuana. That could be exactly what GW is banking on as it works with companies to expand the availability of Sativex around the world. And the one major market left untapped by either Novartis or Bayer (GW’s partners in making and selling Sativex) is the United States. That’s where Otsuka Pharmaceutical comes in.


Otsuka, America’s potential Sativex supplier


Otsuka is an international prescription drug company based out of Japan. In 2007, GW and Otsuka announced that the latter company would be taking on clinical trials for Sativex in the U.S. In November of last year, Otsuka wrapped up its Phase II trials testing the drug’s efficacy and safety and met with the FDA to discuss the next step in getting the drug recognized by the federal agency. Phase III was then set to begin, though Otsuka’s website for the Phase III trials indicates that they’re still being set up.


Otsuka declined to comment to The American Independent on how close Sativex is to FDA approval or how far along the Phase III trials are, but Phase III is typically the final step in a drug’s path to pharmacies. Even getting to Phase III means the FDA has signed off on earlier test results and needs to see them confirmed in a large-scale study before advancing the drug. For its part, the FDA does not comment on ongoing clinical trials.


Pharmaceutical insiders would claim that Sativex is simply a regulated, tested cannabinoid that is demonstrably safe in ways that black-market and state-legal whole-plant medical marijuana isn’t. And yet by its very definition (PDF), Sativex is marijuana, albeit with a lower THC count in the recommended dose than is present in the raw plant.


Can pharmaceutical clout bring FDA approval? (does a duck quack)


So how are pharmaceutical companies looking to succeed where medical marijuana dispensaries are failing in getting marijuana recognized by the FDA without any federal agencies breathing down their necks? One answer could be in the clout the industry holds in Washington.


The pharmaceutical industry is far and away the biggest spender on federal lobbying. Between 1998 and 2010, Big Pharma spent more than $2 billion sending lobbyists to the capital to fight for industry-friendly legislation and regulations. This is over half a billion more than the amount spent in the same period by pharmaceuticals’ closest competitor, the insurance industry, and nearly twice what oil and gas companies spent. The medical marijuana lobby, less than six months old and consisting almost entirely of Steve Fox (backed by NCIA director Aaron Smith and a handful of dispensary owners and enthusiasts), could never compete.


All this puts the surging federal clampdown on medical marijuana in a new light. As nationwide support for medical marijuana reaches record levels, it may just be the pharmaceutical industry that rides that wave of support to huge profits.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...