When it comes to medical marijuana happenings, we mainly focus on the Colorado Springs area. Still, there's a nation of news out there.
This compilation won't do much to catch you up on all the goings-on, but it will give you a decent view of what others in different states are currently wrestling with. (Hint: We've got it pretty good.)
The lawsuit Gov. Jan Brewer filed against the federal government to get its opinion on whether federal law overrides state law, and whether state employees are vulnerable to prosecution for implementing a state law, is not doing well. On Dec. 12, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton came down hard on the state for failing to argue one way or the other, and almost dismissed the case. "That's how lawsuits work," Bolton reportedly said. "The plaintiff takes a position." She then dismissed the case Jan. 4. (Arizona Republic)
The Los Angeles City Council is proposing to ban MMJ dispensaries within city limits, though members are currently split on the idea. The impetus comes from recent court developments within the state, including a ruling by a district court that the city of Long Beach, when it set up a lottery to decide which dispensaries could open, was violating federal law by essentially allowing the proliferation of an illegal drug. This has called into question whether any city in the state can legally issue licenses, or create regulations. (Los Angeles Times)
At the end of last year, a panel presented two different courses the state could take when considering a future medical marijuana program. First, the state could spend time studying the substance, and tap an educational research institution to give marijuana to select patients. Second, Maryland could allow doctors to prescribe MMJ and create a network of sanctioned dispensaries. This option has already passed a vote by the state Senate. (Baltimore Sun)
The state's MMJ industry has fallen through the floor due to new state laws and the threat of federal raids, several of which occurred here in March and November. The number of registered patients in the state has decreased from a high of 30,036 in June to 10,236 in December, while the number of registered providers has fallen from 4,848 in March to 383 in December. In Missoula, the state's second-largest city, the number of MMJ businesses operating has changed from 63 at the beginning of the year, to 38 at the end. (Missoulian)
Though the state's Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act became law roughly two years ago, little progress had been made in establishing a distribution system until recently. That's when the Breakwater Alternative Treatment Center — one of six authorized dispensaries in the state — notified the town of Upper Freehold (pop. 7,000) of its plans to build its first greenhouse in the area. Unfortunately, the town immediately enacted an ordinance banning zoning permits for activities that violate federal law. (Star-Ledger)