Nevada court strikes down medical marijuana law

Discussion in 'Marijuana Legalization' started by xdog, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. A judge says the distribution law is vague and poorly constructed. The state Supreme Court probably will hear the case.

    By Alicia Gallegos, amednews staff. Posted March 26, 2012

    In a case likely headed to the Supreme Court of Nevada, a district judge has declared the state's medical marijuana distribution law unconstitutional. The statute does not provide a reasonable method for patients to obtain medical marijuana lawfully, the court said.

    A review by the state high court hopefully will bring more clarification to the law after split opinions by lower courts, said Larry Matheis, executive director of the Nevada State Medical Assn. The NSMA was not involved with the case and has not taken a formal position on the distribution law.

    “The inability to create a system for growing and distributing the product has been the problem since the passage of implementing statutes and moots the law as a practical measure,” Matheis said in an email. “The issue lacks clarity, which places physicians and their patients in an uncertain position regarding law enforcement at this point.”

    Nevada residents in 2000 voted to change the state Constitution to allow for medical marijuana production and possession. Qualified patients must have a chronic, debilitating disease and receive a medical marijuana certificate from a doctor. Under the amendment, the Legislature was charged with creating appropriate methods for patients to obtain the drug. But the statutory process set forth by the state was confusing and put patients at risk for criminal prosecution, said Robert M. Draskovich, a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney representing two residents who challenged the law.

    For instance, the law said distributors could not receive compensation for medical marijuana, meaning they would have to grow and give the drug away for free, Draskovich said. The statute, which conflicted with other state laws prohibiting marijuana possession and distribution, also said distributors could possess only enough cannibis for one customer at a time.

    16 states have legalized medical marijuana.

    In his March 2 opinion, Las Vegas District Judge Donald Mosley called the distribution law vague and badly written.

    “The law falls short in providing a realistic manner in which a qualified purchaser and a qualified distributor of marijuana may function, thus frustrating the clear intent of the Nevada constitutional amendment,” he said. “It is apparent to the court that the statutory scheme set out for the lawful distribution of medical marijuana is either poorly contemplated or purposely constructed to frustrate the implementation of constitutionally mandated access to the substance.”

    In striking down the law, Mosley dismissed charges against two Nevada residents who were accused of drug trafficking. A spokeswoman for the Clark County prosecutor's office declined to comment on the ruling.

    The decision is a victory for medical marijuana patients and distributors who were constantly in fear of being arrested for exercising their rights under state law, Draskovich said. The decision also provides peace of mind for doctors who write medical marijuana recommendations for patients, he said. Although the law said doctors who recommend patients for the drug are exempt from prosecution, Draskovich said there still was concern among physicians that they could land in legal trouble for certifying some patients. He hopes the ruling will compel the state to rewrite the law.
    Because Mosley's decision conflicts with another lower court's opinion, the state high court ultimately is likely to decide the issue. At this article's deadline, the state Supreme Court had not yet been asked to take the cases.
    Calif. high court to review similar case

    The Supreme Court of California has agreed to hear four cases related to medical marijuana dispensaries. State courts have been split over whether localities can crack down on marijuana shops.

    California is one of 16 states that have legalized medical marijuana. Many of the statutes have been subject to legal challenges asserting that state prerequisites for obtaining medical marijuana are too strict.

    “It's chaos,” Dale Gieringer said of the contradictory court opinions. He's director for the California National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, which supports legalization. “We're going to have to wait for the [California] Supreme Court to sort this out.”

    Several governors, as well as the California Medical Assn., are pushing to reclassify marijuana. In October 2011, the CMA said reclassification will give physicians access to more research on the drug in order to counsel patients better.

    A CMA spokeswoman said the association had not heard an update on its request from the government. A Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman said the agency continues to review the petition.
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    Case at a glance

    Is a Nevada law outlining distribution rules for medical marijuana constitutional?
    The Clark County District Court of Nevada said no. The court ruled that the distribution law was too vague and did not provide a reasonable method for patients to obtain medical marijuana lawfully.
    Impact: The case may be considered by the Nevada Supreme Court. Medical marijuana supporters hope the law will be changed to allow doctors and patients to recommend and obtain medical marijuana more easily and without fear of criminal prosecution.
    The State of Nevada v. Nathan Hamilton and Leonard Schwingdorf, Clark County District Court of Nevada, March 2
  2. Great post. Let's hope this goes well. I know patients and have heard many stories of people unable to grow their own. Some are physically unable, with no available caretaker. I personally would love to have a grow business, think prices could be driven down with enough legal grows and that would benefit many who are unable to afford what they need.
  3. I'm thinking a state-run dispensary/delivery with prices at no more than $70/oz, which should cover production, supervision and documentation costs. Keep the fucking money out of it.
  4. I'd rather not see state run, maybe state regulated. State run give the gov way too much control. Legal private businesses could offer better variety, eliminate bureaucracy and be self sustaining. The gov can't run parks that they charge for.

  5. yep
    Gov ran would get very pricy...after the cost of all the bureaucracy, that the politicians would create soon after taking over, is added, a joint would cost over a trillion bucks...:mad:
  6. Why let the gov't distribute it, it's not like they know shit about cannabis as it is(or atleast their claims show this). It'd be much better privately owned and competed in open market so people could choose those with good quality/prices. I also think they should only be able to get so big so they have good overseeing of all the crop and not too much power/money to bribe/deceive/cheat.

  7. now think about this from a "legal grower's business " side. let's say your growing legal and it your making a nice chunk of change. everything is going great, no more bills, you have a nice bank account. basically your perfect business. now. lets turn this around. lets say the state/government decided to completely legalize it. meaning no more prohibition. your able to walk into a store and buy it from the counter or wherever and the price is very very cheap. that would ruin your business, wouldn't it? you see, that's why so many of these so called "collectives" and their "oh, we love mj, we believe in it, we love our customers" bullshit is what's keeping the plant illegal. they are not a huge force, but they are something that adds to the fire. if you get my drift, and i bet you would be pissed, for people trying to legalize it.

    im just saying. some food for thought
  8. just a little to clarify. i think collectives are wolves in sheep's clothing.
  9. [quote name='"scorpiozodiac"']just a little to clarify. i think collectives are wolves in sheep's clothing.[/quote]

    Agreed. Most are run by people who are just there to make money. Compassion clubs? Where is the compassion in a $60 eighth? If fully legal it would be more like farmers market prices for tomato. It is currently still a big risk to run a grow op.

  10. yeah, but if you keep it for yourself and don't sell to ANYONE!. then you should be fine.
  11. Yeah, but if they changed the law I could grow enough for family that are also patients. As it is if you are a patient you cannot also be a caregiver. Also if you have problems with your grow you can't go buy anywhere legal. With the limits now if your plants die you are screwed, if they yield crap you are screwed, any problems and you are screwed. I do believe we should all be self sufficient, but not everyone can under our current laws.
  12. That's what happened out here. There were just enough of them to tip the scales against Prop 19. :mad:

  13. fuck collectives. just a bunch of money hungry thieves. the whole lot of them.

  14. Govts overhead costs (beurocracy) would be higher than those of an independent grower.. Except of course if it were regulated, then govt wouldnt have to comply while the independent would, raising his overhead, pricing him out. If govt was the only distributor (monopoly), for sure it would be ridiculous expensive.
    Legalized would be great if it could be done in a free market, but we all know that if govt made it legal, they'd put a TON of red tape and regulations that would price out the everyday person from making a little side money with it.
    Still, legalize it... but keep regulations to a minimum like no sale to minors and shit like that. None of this BS get a license crap, or be a registerd distributor. Thats just paying for the PRIVLEDGE to do business, not actively participating in a free market.
    If the big commercials want to throw a bunch of deadly chemicals in the their product fine. I would be in the high quality market, not the commercial schwag. itd almost be like GMO vs Organic

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