CANADIAN COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Current – Compassion clubs and other medical marijuana distributors should have restrictions on them lifted, a British Columbia Supreme Court judge ruled. To the delight of a packed courtroom in Vancouver, Justice Marvyn Koenigsberg said federal regulations that limit people’s access to medicinal cannabis are “constitutionally invalid” and gave the government a year to amend the rules.

Medical Marijuana Advocates Get Calif. DMV Change Qualified Patients No Longer Subject to Arbitrary License Revocation

The ASA legal team saw the fruits of another big victory for patients in March, when the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issued a new policy on driver’s licenses that ends discrimination against state medical marijuana patients.

ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford
As of March 2, the DMV Driver Safety Procedure Manual now says that “use of medicinal marijuana approved by a physician should be handled in the same manner as any other prescription medication which may affect safe driving.” The change means that medical marijuana use now “does not, in itself, constitute grounds for a license withdrawal action,” as it had in the past.

The change in DMV policy stems from a lawsuit filed by ASA on behalf of Rose Johnson, 53, whose driving license was revoked because she uses medical marijuana on the advice of her doctor. Despite having driven for 37 years without an accident or a ticket, the DMV revoked Johnson’s license last July. According to the DMV, Johnson was no longer able to safely operate a motor vehicle “because of…[an] addiction to, or habitual use of, [a] drug.” Their evidence? Her doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana.

ASA filed suit on Johnson’s behalf in November, and DMV announced their new policy in January, before her case was heard. Johnson was given a driving test, which she passed, and DMV reinstated her license.

“The new DMV policy is a significant change,” said ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford, who handled the action. “Drivers will no longer have their licenses suspended or revoked simply because of their status as medical marijuana patients.”

ASA had reports that the DMV had targeted medical marijuana patients in at least eight California counties, including Alameda, Butte, Contra Costa, Glenn, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, and Sonoma. License suspensions and revocations by the DMV were done under cover of calling the drivers “drug abusers,” though they were based on nothing more than the person’s status as a state-qualified medical marijuana patient.

“This DMV policy change represents a victory for patients, which puts us closer to full implementation of California’s medical marijuana law,” said Elford.

First Steps

It’s the hardest part of anything worth doing: taking that first step.

But for anyone who’s paying attention to what’s going on in the world—the intensification of global poverty and food insecurity, deteriorating public health, species extinction, rising sea levels and extreme weather events, refugees fleeing drought and famine, escalating geopolitical tensions—inaction isn’t an option.

It’s time to step up. It’s time to embrace hope. And our best hope is regeneration.

The paradigm shift from degenerative food, farming and land-use practices toward regenerative practices—those that regenerate soil, biodiversity, health, local economies and climate stability—is arguably the most critical transformation occurring throughout the world today.

But that transformation won’t happen fast enough, unless we all step up. And the best place to take that first step is in our own communities.

In “First Steps: Build a Regeneration Movement in Your Local Community,” OCA’s Ronnie Cummins offers suggestions for how to build a local core group to advance the regeneration movement.

Read Ronnie’s essay