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Mmj Dispensary Owners To Continue Court Fight


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Amid the bustling foot traffic on East Michigan Avenue on Wednesday afternoon, the door remained closed at the Compassionate Apothecary.

 

A week after a court decision forced the Lansing medical marijuana dispensary to close, the future remains uncertain for its co-owner, Ken VanEvery, and 20 or more other Lansing dispensaries that also are shuttered.

 

"It's tough. It really is tough," VanEvery said. "You're scared. What are you going to do next? How are you going to provide for your family? How are my patients going to make out? Are they going to the back alley?"

 

Such are the concerns facing Lansing dispensary owners as attorneys prepare for the next stage of the battle before the Michigan Supreme Court.

 

Last week, a state appeals court struck down dispensaries as a violation of a 2008 state ballot measure that authorized medical marijuana use.

 

Meanwhile, medical marijuana advocates were dealt another blow Wednesday by another appeals court ruling. It ruled medicinal marijuana patients or caregivers must generally wait up to a month after applying for a state-issued card before growing plants.

 

Under state regulations, the application is considered approved in that time frame unless the applicant is notified of a rejection.

 

For now, however, the focus remains on last week's court ruling.

 

Next steps debated

 

Matt Newburg, a lead attorney in the appellate case on behalf of dispensaries, said he still is debating whether to appeal the decision immediately to the Supreme Court or first ask the high court for an emergency order staying the ruling.

 

Newburg believes a stay likely would allow the dispensaries to reopen.

 

"We're gathering information to determine what legal tools we have," the Lansing attorney said.

 

During a meeting of the Greater Lansing Medical Marijuana Association on Tuesday night, dispensary owners agreed to financially support the appeal, partly through a fundraiser at a Sept. 7 rally in Lansing, said Brant Johnson, the association's secretary.

 

"I don't think the ruling took in consideration the patients are going to be without access (to marijuana) and the hardship they will face," Johnson said. "There are two times as many registered patients as there are caregivers. The patients are at a loss."

 

Johnson said nearly all Lansing dispensary owners stopped distributing the drug last week at the direction of Newburg and City Attorney Brig Smith.

 

Fees paid

 

The city recently approved an ordinance governing marijuana dispensaries, and more than 45 dispensaries recently had paid a nonrefundable $1,000 application fee for a city license. The city has not yet approved any licenses.

 

Medical marijuana advocates say the court ruling leaves many dispensary owners locked into leases with no business income to pay the rent.

 

VanEvery's lease on the store at Magnolia and Michigan is up for renewal but he said he expects to pay it on a month-by-month basis as he awaits a Supreme Court ruling.

 

Accepted the risk

 

A former advertising and marketing executive, VanEvery said he knew the risk when he opened the store in August 2010. But he still was surprised last week when the court ruling shut down his business.

 

VanEvery, 53, had lost his advertising and marketing job just months before opening the store. VanEvery, who uses medical marijuana himself for chronic back pain, said he wanted to help fellow users in a state that offered no clear way for patients to acquire marijuana outside of a dispensary.

 

"They don't (know) where to go," VanEvery said. "A lot of my patients are elderly people who don't have the knowledge to grow on their own. They rely on us to provide their education."

 

As a way to generate income, VanEvery said he may allow his store in coming weeks to be used for classes on growing medical marijuana.

 

Until more patients learn to grow the drug on their own, many will be forced to buy it on the street from dealers who sell it illegally, said Robin Schneider, co-chairperson of the Greater Lansing Medical Marijuana Association.

 

"There's a lot of happy drug dealers," said Schneider, referring to last week's court ruling.

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I find the failure to mention the present Caregiver system by the author as disingenuous at best, and without clarification some of the inferences that patients that do not receive meds from dispensaries are forced to "go to drug dealers" as their only other option is extremely misleading and detrimental to the situation that Caregivers, that are not associated with dispensaries, find themselves in; many of whom are caring for their own loved ones. There are inferences that Caregivers are "drug dealers"! Had the article mentioned, even once, that there are legal Caregivers outside of dispensaries, it would be at least somewhat fair. Otherwise, the article is basically stating it is either get meds at dispensaries, or the patients are forced into the streets to buy from "drug dealers" (ie without mentioning that there are actual "legal" Caregivers under the law, the inference is that "all" sources other than "for profit" dispensaries are "drug dealers"). This pushes forward the agenda voiced by the Michigan BAR association that there were "all these little gardens all over the State"...

 

The purposeful omission of the current Caregiver system is not very becoming of the author; at least it is not blatantly anti-Cannabis, but it is obviously pro-Dispensary and anti-Caregiver.

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I find the failure to mention the present Caregiver system by the author as disingenuous at best, and without clarification some of the inferences that patients that do not receive meds from dispensaries are forced to "go to drug dealers" as their only other option is extremely misleading and detrimental to the situation that Caregivers, that are not associated with dispensaries, find themselves in; many of whom are caring for their own loved ones. There are inferences that Caregivers are "drug dealers"! Had the article mentioned, even once, that there are legal Caregivers outside of dispensaries, it would be at least somewhat fair. Otherwise, the article is basically stating it is either get meds at dispensaries, or the patients are forced into the streets to buy from "drug dealers" (ie without mentioning that there are actual "legal" Caregivers under the law, the inference is that "all" sources other than "for profit" dispensaries are "drug dealers"). This pushes forward the agenda voiced by the Michigan BAR association that there were "all these little gardens all over the State"...

 

The purposeful omission of the current Caregiver system is not very becoming of the author; at least it is not blatantly anti-Cannabis, but it is obviously pro-Dispensary and anti-Caregiver.

 

Thank you for the observation, a reading between the lines, thanks again.

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I realize these dispensary owners are feeding their families but the law has put a caregiver system in place. Any experienced caregiver can tell you they don't run out of meds for their patients. I did have a patient sign on with me because their caregiver often ran short and this patient found out by a slip from the caregivers own mouth he was making bigger $$$$$$ from selling to a dispensary as opposed to the patients donations. We need to get back to the private caregiver aspect of the law. I've said it before, if they want to legalize dispensaries let them go through the proper protocol and put it on the ballot. It was never written in our law for store fronts.

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I realize these dispensary owners are feeding their families but the law has put a caregiver system in place. Any experienced caregiver can tell you they don't run out of meds for their patients. I did have a patient sign on with me because their caregiver often ran short and this patient found out by a slip from the caregivers own mouth he was making bigger $$$$$$ from selling to a dispensary as opposed to the patients donations. We need to get back to the private caregiver aspect of the law. I've said it before, if they want to legalize dispensaries let them go through the proper protocol and put it on the ballot. It was never written in our law for store fronts.

Good point and so true. Us caregivers don't run out, we have extra TO TRANSFER. I say we need to FREE THE TRANSFERS, which is the updated, politically correct, version of FREE THE WEED, and it does THE SAME THING.

 

FREE THE TRANSFERS! Add the amendments!

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I find the failure to mention the present Caregiver system by the author as disingenuous at best, and without clarification some of the inferences that patients that do not receive meds from dispensaries are forced to "go to drug dealers" as their only other option is extremely misleading and detrimental to the situation that Caregivers, that are not associated with dispensaries, find themselves in; many of whom are caring for their own loved ones. There are inferences that Caregivers are "drug dealers"! Had the article mentioned, even once, that there are legal Caregivers outside of dispensaries, it would be at least somewhat fair. Otherwise, the article is basically stating it is either get meds at dispensaries, or the patients are forced into the streets to buy from "drug dealers" (ie without mentioning that there are actual "legal" Caregivers under the law, the inference is that "all" sources other than "for profit" dispensaries are "drug dealers"). This pushes forward the agenda voiced by the Michigan BAR association that there were "all these little gardens all over the State"...

 

The purposeful omission of the current Caregiver system is not very becoming of the author; at least it is not blatantly anti-Cannabis, but it is obviously pro-Dispensary and anti-Caregiver.

 

 

How is a new patient, having a new caregiver, supposed to get meds for the first 6 months? I understand some folks don't like the dispensaries, but in many ways they are integral to the system. Less than caregivers and patients themselves of course, but still integral. The challenge now is, without p2p sales, how exactly is a new caregiver or patient growing for themselves, to obtain a seed or clone? Using BlueBerry's posts from another thread concerning the obligations of the courts to "liberally construe" public infinitives in favor of more rights rather than less, and the current elimination of p2p sales, the system by its own rules must allow either cg2 any p, or cg2cg not allowing either form of transfers effectively invalidates the law. Which supposedly judges are NOT allowed to do with public initiatives. Or course we all know they aren't playing by the rules, but still.

 

I understand people will still "find ways" but those ways short of giving it away for free, which is not enforceable and should not be applicable to law, are illegal. It will be literally impossible for any new caregivers to act under the law, because they will not be able to legally obtain a seed or clone.

Edited by Natural Remedies MGR
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A new patient can sign up with an established caregiver allowing time for their caregiver of choice to start their grow. You have the right to change caregivers. There is a serious need to stay within the law while fighting for our rights. It does us no good to argue about p2p or dispensaries right now. We need to preserve what we have before its to late. They don't believe are are working within the law now as it is.

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I actually think dispensaries are a productive resource, however, my point "in the specific article" above is that it purposely omits any mention of the "legal" Caregiver system; and thus infers (actually it "directly states"!!!!) any access beyond dispensaries is only via "drug dealers". This is a notable trend in several articles and LETs of late. And again, it reinforces the opposition in their efforts to eliminate "the little gardens all over the State" as discussed in the State BAR association meeting.

 

 

How is a new patient, having a new caregiver, supposed to get meds for the first 6 months? I understand some folks don't like the dispensaries, but in many ways they are integral to the system. Less than caregivers and patients themselves of course, but still integral. The challenge now is, without p2p sales, how exactly is a new caregiver or patient growing for themselves, to obtain a seed or clone? Using BlueBerry's posts from another thread concerning the obligations of the courts to "liberally construe" public infinitives in favor of more rights rather than less, and the current elimination of p2p sales, the system by its own rules must allow either cg2 any p, or cg2cg not allowing either form of transfers effectively invalidates the law. Which supposedly judges are NOT allowed to do with public initiatives. Or course we all know they aren't playing by the rules, but still.

 

I understand people will still "find ways" but those ways short of giving it away for free, which is not enforceable and should not be applicable to law, are illegal. It will be literally impossible for any new caregivers to act under the law, because they will not be able to legally obtain a seed or clone.

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How is a new patient, having a new caregiver, supposed to get meds for the first 6 months? I understand some folks don't like the dispensaries, but in many ways they are integral to the system. Less than caregivers and patients themselves of course, but still integral. The challenge now is, without p2p sales, how exactly is a new caregiver or patient growing for themselves, to obtain a seed or clone? Using BlueBerry's posts from another thread concerning the obligations of the courts to "liberally construe" public infinitives in favor of more rights rather than less, and the current elimination of p2p sales, the system by its own rules must allow either cg2 any p, or cg2cg not allowing either form of transfers effectively invalidates the law. Which supposedly judges are NOT allowed to do with public initiatives. Or course we all know they aren't playing by the rules, but still.

 

I understand people will still "find ways" but those ways short of giving it away for free, which is not enforceable and should not be applicable to law, are illegal. It will be literally impossible for any new caregivers to act under the law, because they will not be able to legally obtain a seed or clone.

We will have dispensaries when we do the right thing and make them legal with amendments. Then the dispensaries will have some rules to follow and the prosecutors will have rules to follow, instead of both parties making them up as they go. This whole dispensary debacle has taught us why clear rules are so important to sick patients. No patient wants their supply jerked around. The only solution is what Rhode Island did. Until we do that, be prepared to keep being jerked around.

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A new patient can sign up with an established caregiver allowing time for their caregiver of choice to start their grow. You have the right to change caregivers. There is a serious need to stay within the law while fighting for our rights. It does us no good to argue about p2p or dispensaries right now. We need to preserve what we have before its to late. They don't believe are are working within the law now as it is.

 

Not an option for many people. Not every caregiver can afford to grow for 5 patients. You aren't likely to appease the people that think we are outside of the law, that we are in fact inside the law anyways. Its like trying to convince a tiger not to eat your foot after it ate your toes already. Good luck.

 

On even further consideration, your notion that they just use a different caregiver until theirs is ready... again where does that new caregiver get a seed or clone LEGALLY? And again they can't just wait for the CG of choice to get his grow going, he CAN'T grow unless he has patients, so that means they must wait.

Edited by Natural Remedies MGR
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I actually think dispensaries are a productive resource, however, my point "in the specific article" above is that it purposely omits any mention of the "legal" Caregiver system; and thus infers (actually it "directly states"!!!!) any access beyond dispensaries is only via "drug dealers". This is a notable trend in several articles and LETs of late. And again, it reinforces the opposition in their efforts to eliminate "the little gardens all over the State" as discussed in the State BAR association meeting.

 

 

Fair enough. Though he does state the large cap between registered patients and caregivers.

Edited by Natural Remedies MGR
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Fair enough. Though he does state the large cap between registered patients and caregivers.

 

 

Look, I'm not trying to start a pissing match here. I work in government, I'm a politician on a local level, so I know how they think and what their opinions are and how they are hand feed information from special interest groups. One big bunch of over paid people that can't think on their own because they might not get re elected if they say or do the wrong thing in their financial backers eyes! . All I'm saying now and what I said long before this came down is, if it is not in black and white clearly written into the law they will assume the activity no matter what it is is illegal. If there is no public act to govern the local ordinance then it is considered illegal and our public act does not address a dispensary. Until such a time when this issue is settled one way or the other there is no other choice other than to use a private caregiver system and that my friends is specifically written into our law. I have no opinion of dispensaries one way or the other. I want my rights as a patient and caregiver protected first because that is what I voted for and then the dispensary owners can lobby for their cause...but my greatest fear is because the store front dispensaries are so controversial right now it it could put our entire law into jeopardy. I'm not sure why individual patients can't temporarily sign up with a caregiver and most caregivers can help out with the transfer fee when their caregiver of choice becomes established. Just another point, I have as of yet had a patient who needs what a continuous 12 plant grow provides. How many of us really use 2.5 oz or more a week? I have cancer patients that can't consume 2.5oz a week.... We need to find a temporary way to provide meds until we get through this and preserve the current law and then work on any additions to it.

 

 

 

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Look, I'm not trying to start a pissing match here. I work in government, I'm a politician on a local level, so I know how they think and what their opinions are and how they are hand feed information from special interest groups. One big bunch of over paid people that can't think on their own because they might not get re elected if they say or do the wrong thing in their financial backers eyes! . All I'm saying now and what I said long before this came down is, if it is not in black and white clearly written into the law they will assume the activity no matter what it is is illegal. If there is no public act to govern the local ordinance then it is considered illegal and our public act does not address a dispensary. Until such a time when this issue is settled one way or the other there is no other choice other than to use a private caregiver system and that my friends is specifically written into our law. I have no opinion of dispensaries one way or the other. I want my rights as a patient and caregiver protected first because that is what I voted for and then the dispensary owners can lobby for their cause...but my greatest fear is because the store front dispensaries are so controversial right now it it could put our entire law into jeopardy. I'm not sure why individual patients can't temporarily sign up with a caregiver and most caregivers can help out with the transfer fee when their caregiver of choice becomes established. Just another point, I have as of yet had a patient who needs what a continuous 12 plant grow provides. How many of us really use 2.5 oz or more a week? I have cancer patients that can't consume 2.5oz a week.... We need to find a temporary way to provide meds until we get through this and preserve the current law and then work on any additions to it.

 

 

No no Im not either man. Sry. I take your meaning and understand your point. With out the patients and CGs there are no dispensaries either. Clearly CG and patients are the most important blocks. I didn't mean to seem like I was attacking you or anything. I apologize for giving off that appearance.

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No no Im not either man. Sry. I take your meaning and understand your point. With out the patients and CGs there are no dispensaries either. Clearly CG and patients are the most important blocks. I didn't mean to seem like I was attacking you or anything. I apologize for giving off that appearance.

 

Nothing taken as personal, as a politician who can't come out I hear the other side and its not pretty. They don't have a very good opinion of us. We have to change their views and then work on other means of supplying patients for now. This is a process and unfortunately it probably will be a long one.

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Nothing taken as personal, as a politician who can't come out I hear the other side and its not pretty. They don't have a very good opinion of us. We have to change their views and then work on other means of supplying patients for now. This is a process and unfortunately it probably will be a long one.

 

Well they will get to see how many of there on the 7th. We are pumped to go and stand with our fellows.

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I want to point out a few things:

 

To find a decent caregiver you must find a site like this. Craigslist? Good luck with that. The best caregivers usually will not have any openings for new patients.

 

Storefronts are how our country works. A law is passed, people start businesses to serve that group, the government takes tax, sales, property etc... everyone wins.

 

When government intervenes and shuts businesses down. This is unAmerican and everyone loses.

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A new patient can sign up with an established caregiver allowing time for their caregiver of choice to start their grow. You have the right to change caregivers. There is a serious need to stay within the law while fighting for our rights. It does us no good to argue about p2p or dispensaries right now. We need to preserve what we have before its to late. They don't believe are are working within the law now as it is.

 

 

"First they came for the communists,

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

 

Then they came for the trade unionists,

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

 

Then they came for the Jews,

and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

 

Then they came for me

and there was no one left to speak out for me."

Martin Niemoller

 

Sticking your long cowardly neck in the sand never works, we need to rise above our own petty fears and interests and grasp what is honorable and right, or suffer as above...

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I want to point out a few things:

 

To find a decent caregiver you must find a site like this. Craigslist? Good luck with that. The best caregivers usually will not have any openings for new patients.

 

Storefronts are how our country works. A law is passed, people start businesses to serve that group, the government takes tax, sales, property etc... everyone wins.

 

When government intervenes and shuts businesses down. This is unAmerican and everyone loses.

 

Not to mention that the current package of bills in the legislature outlaws caregivers advertising their services. So there will be no way for new patients to legally access meds unless they already know a caregiver/grower.

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"First they allowed for the patients,

and I rejoiced that patients were off the battlefield"

 

Then they allowed for caregivers,

and I rejoiced for the compassionate caregivers.

 

Then they allowed for physicians,

and I rejoiced for the physicians protections.

 

Then they came for the dispensaries,

and they were never allowed to exist anyway."

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Not to mention that the current package of bills in the legislature outlaws caregivers advertising their services. So there will be no way for new patients to legally access meds unless they already know a caregiver/grower.

 

House Bill No. 4854

 

Opinion: DUH! Is it me or do I see 1st amendment violations that we now are going to "try" to outlaw a caregiver from advertising for patients?

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"First they allowed for the patients,

and I rejoiced that patients were off the battlefield"

 

Then they allowed for caregivers,

and I rejoiced for the compassionate caregivers.

 

Then they allowed for physicians,

and I rejoiced for the physicians protections.

 

Then they came for the dispensaries,

and they were never allowed to exist anyway."

Then they came for the caregivers that supplied the dispensaries,

and we all shed a tear.

 

Then the patients that were counting on the caregivers who dumped their overages at the dispensaries wondered what they should do now.

And they knew the only answer was to grow their own.

 

And push like they never have pushed before, for fair amendments to clarify the law they loved and would/will die for.

 

To be continued...

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Petition for a 7 judge "conflict panel"?

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan_Court_of_Appeals

 

"Cases are heard by panels of 3 judges, similarly to the U.S. Courts of Appeals. Like most appellate courts, the Court of Appeals observes the principle of stare decisis, where a court's reasoning in its past precedents binds its present decisions. When a panel of the court disagrees with a prior precedent, it must abide by the earlier decision in deciding the case at hand. When a panel expresses its disagreement with a prior precedent, there is a mechanism to convene a special 7-member "conflict panel" (similar to the en banc procedure in the U.S. Courts of Appeals) that would resolve the conflict between the earlier decision and the expressed desire of a panel of the court's judges to depart from that precedent."

I believe there is enough circumstantial evidence to show a back room agreement between some of the judges on this panel. I speculate something like:

If you back my nomination for senate I will get you the ruling that allows you further your fight against medical marijuana where a win will put you in the Governors mansion.

 

I guess my question is how do you petition for a conflict panel?

Edited by Ten4GoodBuddys
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"First they allowed for the patients,

and I rejoiced that patients were off the battlefield"

 

Then they allowed for caregivers,

and I rejoiced for the compassionate caregivers.

 

Then they allowed for physicians,

and I rejoiced for the physicians protections.

 

Then they came for the dispensaries,

and they were never allowed to exist anyway."

 

 

And without p2p sales where do you propose new patients get their meds while waiting 6 months for their crop to come in? Find an established caregiver? And when there are none? When you need a new caregiver? What then? How will they obtain a clone or a seed? And they will have to wait a decent 6 months for meds... I'm sorry but the system was better with dispensaries than without.

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I've said it before, if they want to legalize dispensaries let them go through the proper protocol and put it on the ballot. It was never written in our law for store fronts.

 

Diz .. thank you for everything you do for our community.

 

Dispensaries are already legal. They have never been illegal.

 

Before the mmj law was passed they were legal as long as there was no cannabis at the location.

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