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January 21, 2010 | By John Hoeffel
In a unanimous decision filed Thursday, the California Supreme Court struck down the state's specific limits on how much medical marijuana a patient can possess, concluding that restrictions imposed by the Legislature were an unconstitutional amendment of a voter-approved initiative. The decision, which affirmed an appellate decision, means people who have a doctor's recommendation to use marijuana can possess and cultivate as much as is "reasonably necessary." The court invalidated a provision of a 2003 state law passed to clarify the initiative.
November 22, 2009 | By John Hoeffel
The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday postponed a vote on a medical marijuana ordinance, with members saying they needed time to study numerous proposed amendments. But council members, who will return to the measure Tuesday, pressed for a quick end to a drawn-out deliberation that has unfolded as hundreds of dispensaries opened. "I think that we need to act relatively quickly," said council President Eric Garcetti. "We need some protection in there now to improve what's out there.
November 16, 2009 | By John Hoeffel
Two Los Angeles City Council committees rejected the advice of the city attorney and voted Monday to approve an ordinance that allows marijuana dispensaries to continue to sell the drug to people with a doctor's recommendation. The city attorney's office has maintained for a year and a half that Los Angeles has no choice but to ban sales because state law and court decisions are clear that collectives can only cultivate marijuana. That opinion had stalled the council's deliberations because dispensary operators insisted it would force them to close.
October 21, 2009 | John Hoeffel
With its moratorium on new medical marijuana dispensaries declared unlawful, the Los Angeles City Council is now poised to act quickly on a strict ordinance that it has struggled with fitfully for more than two years. On Tuesday, the city attorney's office delivered a draft that some members want the council to take up within a week. The sudden acceleration stems from a Superior Court ruling Monday that left the city unable to enforce its ban and derailed its four-month-old drive to shut down new dispensaries.
October 20, 2009 | John Hoeffel
Los Angeles' ban on new medical marijuana dispensaries is invalid, a Superior Court judge said Monday in a decision that undermines the city's 4-month-old drive to shut down hundreds of the stores. The judge issued an injunction banning enforcement of the moratorium against Green Oasis, a dispensary in Playa Vista that had challenged the ban. But city officials acknowledged the ruling would effectively block current efforts to enforce the ban against other dispensaries. The decision came on the day the Obama administration issued guidelines that limit federal prosecution of medical marijuana users and dispensaries.
July 25, 2009 | Emily Green
There was a moment late last month when I thought that what was wrong with Clunk might merely be expensive. That was when, after roughly $400 of tests, I agreed to a $600 surgery to remove a tennis ball-sized tumor from his elbow. The bill for this turned out to be $1,600. There have been many brutal moments since then, the most wretched of which was when it became clear that what was wrong with Clunk was not only expensive but also fatal.
March 19, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
Whether to screen men for prostate cancer has been a controversial topic for at least 20 years. Many clinicians have believed that finding a tumor early and cutting it out is the best possible way to treat prostate cancer, just as it is for most tumors. Critics of the screening have argued that many prostate tumors grow so slowly that the patient is likely to die of other causes before the tumor becomes a threat.
March 18, 2009 | Karen Kaplan
After she was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer that had spread to her left lung, Gloria Bailey's doctors recommended she have a mastectomy followed by hormone therapy to fight the tumors that remained. She followed their advice, but had a nagging feeling about the regimen. "The Lord was just telling me, 'They're not being aggressive enough,' " Bailey recalled.
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