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Corte Madera Maintains Stand On Marijuana

The Town Council votes to continue its ban on any new medical marijuana dispensaries, but leaves the door open for changes in the future depending on the California State Supreme Court.

Corte Madera Town Manager Dave Bracken says he believes, despite any stigma, the town's only medical marijuana dispensary has been a good citizen — part of the reason Marin Holistic Solutions isn't being asked to leave just yet.

The Corte Madera Town Council on Monday upheld a moratorium on any other medical marijuana dispensaries setting up shop in town. Bracken said he feels the Town Council might be open to changing that moratorium in the future.

"The main reason the Council wanted an ordinance is because the conflict between State and Federal Law right now is not clear," Bracken said. "The Council wants to let that run its course. The Council might introduce another ordinance to allow dispensaries sometime in the future, but that's really up in the air with the State Supreme Court decisions."

There are a number of cases currently being heard before the California State Supreme Court regarding the conflict between Federal bans on marijuana and California's Compassionate Use Law, passed by voters in 1995.

Marin Holistic Solutions will be allowed to continue to operate at least until its business license expires in June 2014. It might still be forced to move, however. California State law requires medical marijuana dispensaries to be at least 1,000 feet away from schools, and Bracken says Marin Holistic violates that ordinance.

But "really nothing is going to change in the immediate future," Bracken said.

Following is an excerpt from March 2011 report by Alyson Geller, MPH, that appeard in Patch:

How the law works here

The Compassionate Use Act legalized medical marijuana possession and use for seriously ill patients, and prohibited any physician from being punished, or denied any right or privilege for recommending marijuana to a patient for medical purposes.

In 2003, Senate Bill (SB) 420 was passed as an extension and clarification of Proposition 215, establishing a voluntary state ID card system administered by county health departments and establishing guidelines as to how much marijuana may be possessed or grown. Learn more about California’s Medical Marijuana program.

Under California’s Compassionate Use Act, seriously ill residents who have the approval or recommendation of a physician, can use marijuana without fear of criminal liability for serious medical conditions including the following:

· Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)

· Anorexia

· Arthritis

· Cachexia

· Cancer

· Chronic pain

· Glaucoma

· Migraine

· Persistent muscle spasms

· Seizures, including, but not limited to, seizures associated with epilepsy

· Severe nausea

· Any other chronic or persistent medical symptom that either substantially limits the ability of the person to conduct one or more major life activities as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; or if not alleviated, may cause serious harm to the patient's safety or physical or mental health 

How does marijuana work to ease physical symptoms

There are several cells in the brain and other organs that contain specific protein receptors (called cannabinoids) that recognize and respond to THC and other compounds found in the marijuana plant. These receptors, found in the brain, spinal cord and periphery, as well as in immune system tissue, function to help lessen pain and impact a wide range of physiological functions, such as metabolism, appetite, anxiety and immune function.  

For a comprehensive listing of conditions addressed by cannabis, visit the Americans for Safe Access Website.

Haggis November 09, 2012 at 04:02 PM
I think the Town Council is taking a reasonable and prudent course, but the recent referenda in states like Colorado regularizing recreational use of marijuana shows that thinking on the subject is changing.
Jillian Galloway November 09, 2012 at 04:43 PM
We, the American people, have to change federal law. Federal marijuana law doesn't stop people using marijuana and therefore returns nothing of value to us while causing tremendous harm to a great many people. If we love our children and want them to be safe from drug dealers and unnecessary police searches then we have to contact our federal representatives and just tell them that we support legalizing marijuana like beer and wine at the federal level.
Hppy Hippi November 21, 2012 at 09:01 PM
The town council cowards have no more right to control cannabis than they do aspirine. Maybe less, since aspirine overdose is deadly, while cannabis is harmless, at ANY dosage. The town is a creature of the state, and the council members are not federal agents.
sal January 11, 2013 at 10:03 PM
Unhappy patient. There is nothing good about Marin Holistic solutions. They only want to pay their patient providers $ 2300 in recovery cost for the cannabis they purchase and charge over $9000 no compassion at this dispesary! With their unfair market/ trade practices they should have their permit revoked and given to some one who will run an honest bussiness and treat sick patient with respect.

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