Volz, Matt 1/1/1997 - 31/12/2018
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1 US MT: Medical Pot Looks To 'Color Inside The Lines'Thu, 05 Sep 2013
Source:Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) Author:Volz, Matt Area:Montana Lines:106 Added:09/07/2013

U.S. Says It Won't Intervene in States Where Drug Is Legal

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Medical marijuana businesses worried that federal agents will close them down now have a roadmap to avoid prosecution, courtesy of the Justice Department's decision to allow legal pot in Colorado and Washington state.

The agency last week said that even though the drug remains illegal under federal law, it won't intervene to block state pot laws or prosecute as long as states create strict and effective controls that follow eight conditions.

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2US MT: Medical Pot Industry Gets 'Stay Out Of Jail' RoadmapThu, 05 Sep 2013
Source:San Jose Mercury News (CA) Author:Volz, Matt Area:Montana Lines:Excerpt Added:09/07/2013

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Medical marijuana businesses worried that federal agents will close them down now have a roadmap to avoid prosecution, courtesy of the Justice Department's decision to allow legal pot in Colorado and Washington state.

The agency said last week that even though the drug remains illegal under federal law, it won't intervene to block state pot laws or prosecute as long as states create strict and effective controls that follow eight conditions.

"The DOJ is saying you guys need to color inside the lines," said Teri Robnett, founder of the Cannabis Patients Action Network, a Westminster, Colo.- based medical marijuana advocacy group.

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3US MT: Medical Marijuana Businesses Looking to 'Color InsideThu, 05 Sep 2013
Source:Texarkana Gazette (TX) Author:Volz, Matt Area:Montana Lines:Excerpt Added:09/06/2013

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Medical marijuana businesses worried that federal agents will close them down now have a roadmap to avoid prosecution, courtesy of the Justice Department's decision to allow legal pot in Colorado and Washington state.

The agency said last week that even though the drug remains illegal under federal law, it won't intervene to block state pot laws or prosecute as long as states create strict and effective controls that follow eight conditions.

"The DOJ is saying you guys need to color inside the lines," said Teri Robnett, founder of the Cannabis Patients Action Network, a Westminster, Colo.-based medical marijuana advocacy group. "If you color inside the lines, we'll let you keep your crayons.

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4 US MT: Face Of Medical Marijuana In MontanaWed, 16 Jan 2013
Source:Chicago Sun-Times (IL) Author:Volz, Matt Area:Montana Lines:56 Added:01/16/2013

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Lori Burnam, a Hamilton woman with lung cancer who became the face of medical marijuana advocacy in Montana, has died at age 66.

Ms. Burnam died Thursday at her home of what the medical examiner determined was natural causes, said Chris Lindsey, president of an advocacy group that Ms. Burnam testified for in challenging a restrictive marijuana law.

The cancer "had metastasized and was in her bones. The family believes that's what made the difference," Lindsey said.

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5US MT: Supreme Court To Weigh In On Medical Marijuana LawWed, 30 May 2012
Source:Great Falls Tribune (MT) Author:Volz, Matt Area:Montana Lines:Excerpt Added:05/30/2012

HELENA - The Montana Attorney General's office will make its case Wednesday to the state Supreme Court that the commercial sale of medical marijuana should be halted.

Assistant Attorney General Jim Molloy is set to argue that District Judge James Reynolds improperly blocked that portion of the new medical marijuana law passed by the 2011 Legislature.

Meanwhile, the plaintiffs led by the Montana Cannabis Industry Association say that Reynolds should have gone further and blocked the entire law, not just the provision keeping marijuana providers from making a profit. They will ask the state's high court to do so until their lawsuit can be heard.

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6US MT: Medical Marijuana Providers Suing Government ArrestedWed, 04 Apr 2012
Source:Great Falls Tribune (MT) Author:Volz, Matt Area:Montana Lines:Excerpt Added:04/05/2012

HELENA - Four of the six medical marijuana providers who are suing the U.S. government over last year's raids of pot businesses across Montana have been arrested on federal drug charges, their lawyer in the civil lawsuit said Tuesday.

The medical marijuana businesses of the four plaintiffs arrested Tuesday and last Thursday were among more than 26 homes, businesses and warehouses searched in sweeping raids last spring that shut down many providers and cast a pall over Montana's booming pot business.

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7US MT: Medical Marijuana Raids Challenged In 9th Circuit CourtSat, 24 Mar 2012
Source:Great Falls Tribune (MT) Author:Volz, Matt Area:Montana Lines:Excerpt Added:03/26/2012

HELENA - A year after agents raided his medical marijuana operation in a sweeping sting that shut down pot providers across Montana, Chris Williams is stepping up his challenge of the federal operation that changed the face of the industry in the state.

Williams, a former co-owner of the now-defunct Montana Cannabis, and more than a dozen other providers are taking a constitutional fight over the federal crackdown to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after a district judge dismissed the case in January. He also is preparing for his own possible arrest related to last year's raids.

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8US MT: Judge Rules Federal Law Trumps Montana's MedicalTue, 24 Jan 2012
Source:Great Falls Tribune (MT) Author:Volz, Matt Area:Montana Lines:Excerpt Added:01/24/2012

HELENA - A judge has ruled that Montana's medical marijuana law doesn't shield providers of the drug from federal prosecution, delivering a new blow to an industry reeling from a state and federal crackdown.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy on Friday dismissed a civil lawsuit filed by 14 individuals and businesses that were among more than two dozen medical marijuana providers raided by federal agents last year across Montana.

The providers claimed the raids violated their constitutional rights in part because state law passed by voter initiative in 2004 allows them to grow and produce the drug for medical consumption.

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9 US MT: Lawmakers To Draft Medical Marijuana Fixes By AugMon, 28 Jun 2010
Source:Montana Standard (Butte, MT) Author:Volz, Matt Area:Montana Lines:102 Added:06/29/2010

After months of hearing from hundreds of patients, caregivers, police and worried parents, an interim legislative committee plans to draft possible changes to the state's medical marijuana law by August.

Lawmakers received dozens of recommendations Monday on how to improve the law passed by initiative in 2004.

The recommendations from a working group ranged from creating a regulatory board that licenses medical marijuana providers _ called caregivers _ to reviewing the one-year period that a patient's medical marijuana card is valid.

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10 US MT: Cannabis Caravans Fuel Medical Pot Boom In MontanaThu, 03 Jun 2010
Source:Montana Standard (Butte, MT) Author:Volz, Matt Area:Montana Lines:132 Added:06/04/2010

As Bob Marley music wailed in the next room, the makeshift clinic hummed along like an assembly line: Patients went in to see a doctor, paid $150 and walked out with a recommendation that they be allowed to buy and smoke medical marijuana.

So it went, all day, at a hotel just blocks from the state Capitol that was the latest stop of the so-called cannabis caravan, a band of doctors and medical marijuana advocates roaming Montana that has helped thousands of patients apply for medical marijuana cards from the state.

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11 US MT: Cannabis Caravans Fuel Medical Pot Boom In MontanaThu, 03 Jun 2010
Source:Helena Independent Record (MT) Author:Volz, Matt Area:Montana Lines:132 Added:06/04/2010

As Bob Marley music wailed in the next room, the makeshift clinic hummed along like an assembly line: Patients went in to see a doctor, paid $150 and walked out with a recommendation that they be allowed to buy and smoke medical marijuana.

So it went, all day, at a hotel just blocks from the state Capitol that was the latest stop of the so-called cannabis caravan, a band of doctors and medical marijuana advocates roaming Montana that has helped thousands of patients apply for medical marijuana cards from the state.

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12US AK: Judge Alters Marijuana LawTue, 11 Jul 2006
Source:Anchorage Daily News (AK) Author:Volz, Matt Area:Alaska Lines:Excerpt Added:07/11/2006

Not Criminal: Ruling Limits Impact of New Law on Possession of Small Amounts.

JUNEAU -- A judge Monday struck down part of a new Alaska law criminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, saying it conflicts with past constitutional decisions made by the Alaska Supreme Court.

That means the police won't be able charge people with a misdemeanor under the new law for possessing less than 1 ounce of marijuana in their homes.

The state Department of Law was expected to quickly file an appeal with the high court.

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13 US AK: Initial Hearing Held On Marijuana Law ChallengeFri, 09 Jun 2006
Source:Juneau Empire (AK) Author:Volz, Matt Area:Alaska Lines:66 Added:06/11/2006

A judge is asking the state of Alaska for its evidence that marijuana has become so dangerously potent in the last three decades that it warranted tightening one of the nation's most liberal possession laws.

Judge Patricia Collins requested the documentation Thursday, three days after the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska asked the court to block a new state law recriminalizing marijuana.

The civil liberties group alleges the new law is an unconstitutional invasion of privacy.

Gov. Frank Murkowski pushed the law through the Legislature and signed it June 2. But in preparation for the expected court fight, Murkowski and the Legislature included in the bill a set of findings meant to prove that marijuana has increased in potency since the original Supreme Court decision

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14 US AK: ACLU Sues Alaska Over State's New Marijuana LawMon, 05 Jun 2006
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Volz, Matt Area:Alaska Lines:87 Added:06/07/2006

The civil liberties group alleges the new law is an unconstitutional invasion of privacy.

"Is marijuana so dangerous that it justifies restricting a fundamental right? The state thinks it's yes, we think it's no," said Michael Macleod-Ball, executive director of the ACLU of Alaska.

The lawsuit also claims the law allows prosecution of people who use marijuana for medical purposes, which the Alaska Department of Law disputes.

Along with the lawsuit, the ACLU is asking a Juneau Superior Court judge to block the law. Macleod-Ball said a hearing was not immediately set.

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15 US AK: ACLU Sues State on Marijuana LawTue, 06 Jun 2006
Source:Juneau Empire (AK) Author:Volz, Matt Area:Alaska Lines:98 Added:06/07/2006

New Felony Status Violates Privacy Rights, Group's Lawsuit Claims

JUNEAU - The American Civil Liberties Union on Monday sued the state of Alaska over a new law penalizing marijuana possession for personal use in the home.

The law, signed by Gov. Frank Murkowski on Friday, is an attempt to reverse a 30-year-old Alaska Supreme Court decision called Ravin vs. Alaska in which the court ruled the privacy rights of Alaskans trumped the harm the drug could cause.

Later court decisions set a legal limit of four ounces that an individual can keep in the home.

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16US AK: House Passes Marijuana BillSat, 06 May 2006
Source:Anchorage Daily News (AK) Author:Volz, Matt Area:Alaska Lines:Excerpt Added:05/06/2006

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - In a surprise vote Friday, the Alaska House passed a bill that would both recriminalize marijuana possession and make it tougher to by the ingredients to manufacture methamphetamine.

The House last month rejected the conference committee's marijuana.m.eth bill, but voted 21-17 Friday night to rescind that action.

The bill went on to pass without debate 24-14.

"I don't think it was a reversal, I think it was an evolution toward good policy," said Rep. Jay Ramras, R-Fairbanks, who sponsored the methamphetamine bill.

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17US AK: Tougher Marijuana Restrictions AdvanceThu, 13 Apr 2006
Source:Anchorage Daily News (AK) Author:Volz, Matt Area:Alaska Lines:Excerpt Added:04/13/2006

Legislature: Bill Would Also Require Signing of Logbook to Buy Ephedrine-Based Drugs.

JUNEAU -- A legislative conference committee on Wednesday denied one last attempt to remove tougher restrictions on marijuana possession from a drug bill before approving a final version of the measure.

The bill is meant to curb the manufacture of methamphetamine and give the state the legal artillery to overturn Alaska Supreme Court decisions that have made the state's marijuana laws among the most lenient in the nation.

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18 US AK: Pot Measure Would Test Court RulingsSat, 05 Feb 2005
Source:Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (AK) Author:Volz, Matt Area:Alaska Lines:107 Added:02/05/2005

JUNEAU--Stymied by the courts, Alaska's governor is looking for other ways to toughen Alaska's anti-marijuana laws.

Pot laws are looser in Alaska than just about anywhere else in the country. Possessing small amounts of the drug for personal use is a privacy right protected under the state's constitution, the Alaska Supreme Court has upheld. Alaska is one of 11 states that allows the use of medical marijuana.

Republican Gov. Frank Murkowski wants state lawmakers to re-criminalize the drug, asking them to consider evidence of the marijuana's dangers that he contends should trump the right-to-privacy rulings.

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19 US AK: Wire: Marijuana Legalization Measure FailsWed, 03 Nov 2004
Source:Associated Press (Wire) Author:Volz, Matt Area:Alaska Lines:86 Added:11/03/2004

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A proposition to legalize the use and sale of marijuana was rejected by Alaska voters Tuesday night, but supporters said it would not be the end of their efforts to change the law.

With 319 of 439 precincts reporting, 123,164 voters - about 57 percent - voted against the measure. Yes votes totaled 92,537, or about 43 percent.

Wev Shea, a former U.S. attorney and a vocal opponent of the initiative, said he was pleased the measure failed despite proposition boosters raising more than $850,000, much of it money from outside Alaska.

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20US AK: Privacy Wins in Pot RulingSat, 28 Aug 2004
Source:Anchorage Daily News (AK) Author:Volz, Matt Area:Alaska Lines:Excerpt Added:08/28/2004

Opinion: Possession of Less Than 4 Ounces Doesn't Justify Search.

The Alaska Court of Appeals ruled Friday that police cannot execute a search warrant in a person's home for possession of less than 4 ounces of marijuana.

Attorney General Gregg Renkes says he will appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court and he is "fearful that this will shut down effective investigation of marijuana growing cases."

The Appeals Court ruled in the case of Leo Richardson Crocker Jr., who was charged with controlled substance misconduct after police, acting on a tip, searched his Anchor Point home and found marijuana and growing equipment.

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