The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
Friday, October 30, 2009 - 7
A policeman removes crime scene tape from the entrance to the underground car park at the Adat Yeshurun Sephardic Congregation where two Jewish men were shot and
injured, in Los Angeles on October 29, 2009. The two men were wounded at the Los Angeles synagogue in what police said was being investigated asa possible hate crime.
Police seek shooter who wounded
two worshippers at LA synagogue
Gunman opened fire
just before morning
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A gun-
man escaped after wounding two
men in the parking garage of a
Los Angeles synagogue yesterday,
frightening worshippers who heard
gunshots and screams before the
bleeding victims stumbled in dur-
ing morning services.
Police briefly held a teenager
Who matched a vague description
of the attacker. But they released
the 17-year-old a short time later
and continued their hunt for the
Mori Ben-Nissan, 38, and Allen
Lasry, 53, were shot in the legs in
the parking garage underneath the
Adat Yeshurun Valley Sephardic
nagogue in North Hol-
lywood, in the San Fernando Valley.
They arrived in separate cars for
the morning service shlrtly before
130 aTmi nd were in a stairwell"
From Page 1
a button on a copier in the manner
described is of no significance,"
Cohn wrote in the judgment.
"Excel's assertion that it has no
inventory and simply offers copy-
ing services is not correct - it has
an inventory oftopyrighted materi-
als given to it by professors, some of
whom even state in their course syl-
labi that the material is available for
'purchase' at Excel."
Miller wrote in an e-mail that he
From Page 1
re-evaluation of the federal govern-
ment's use ofresources.
Michigan became the 13th state
to legalize marijuana for medici-
nal purposes when 63 percent of its
residents voted to pass Proposal 1
in November 2008. The legislative
initiative, which went into effect in
April of this year, allows Michigan
residents to use marijuana to treat
chronic illnesses and debilitating
diseases, but does not identify a
way for both patients and caregiv-
ers to legally obtain the drug.
Last week's change to federal reg-
ulations offered some encourage-
ment for medical marijuana patients
and their supporters, according to
Dennis Hayes, an Ann Arbor crimi-
nal defense attorney and co-founder
of the Ann Arbor Medical Marijua-
na Patient Collective.
Hayes said the move will lead to
greater tolerance and acceptance
of the drug's use in medicine and it
could help erode the drug's stigma.
"Once people are aware this is
not a boogeyman drug like they've
tried to make it for 50 years, the
tolerance of it goes up," Hayes said.
"Once they know somebody who's
a medical marijuana patient, who
receives some comfort from the
chemotherapy or the HIV, or any
of the other debilitating conditions
that qualify with the law, people
will be more informed."
"The more informed you are, the
more likely you are to figure out
* that the government's been lying to
us for 50 fucking years," he added.
of this new federal policy is the
peace of mind it will give medical
marijuana patients and caregivers,
said Paul Stanford, who started the
Hemp and Cannabis Foundation.
leading up to the synagogue sanc-
tuary when a gunman shot them
several times. The gunman then
fled on foot.
Police immediately beefed up
patrols of Jewish communities as
part of a citywide alert before say-
ing the attack appeared to be iso-
lated. Even as investigators tried to
find a motive, Mayor Antonio Vil-
laraigosa and other officials moved
to calm fears that the attack was
part of any organized anti-Semitic
"We certainly recognize the loca-
tion and we're sensitive to that,"
Deputy Police Chief Michel Moore
said. "But we do not know that this
was a hate crime at all."
The victims, who were hospital-
ized in good condition, told police
the attacker did not speak or take
anything from them.
One worshipper, Yehuda Oz, said
he and about 14 others were praying
in the temple when they heard four
gunshots and screams from the
parking area. Two men stumbled
into the temple, Oz said, atidpeople
would not comment on the court's
decision without speaking to his
attorney for fear of damaging his
legal case. But he was willing to
share his thoughts on the fair use
clause of the law.
"As I read it, the fair use exemp-
tion to copyright law was originally
written to promote the general wel-
fare through the advancement of
science and learning," Miller wrote
in the e-mail. "These lofty and ben-
eficial goals cannot be achieved if
students, professors, and research-
ers are denied convenient mecha-
nisms for obtaining their copies."
One of the foundation's medical
clinics, which was established in
Southfield, Mich. after the proposal
was passed, helps patients assess
their medical marijuana needs.
"They can sleep a lot easier
knowing that the federal govern-
ment isn't going to investigate or
prosecute as long as they're in com-
pliance with the Michigan medi-
cal marijuana law," Stanford said.
"That's a large relief for medical
In states like California, where
medical marijuana is legalized and
dispensaries - or marijuana stores -
are allowed in Los Angeles County,
more people have been prosecuted
for usingthe drug for medicinal pur-
poses because of federal government
intervention, according to Hayes.
Cases in which patients or care-
givers possess more than 100 mari-
juana plants or 100 pounds of the
drug are referred to the federal
government from the local or state
police, Hayes said.
But these federal cases have
not been as prevalent in Michigan
since the law just came into effect
six months ago, Hayes said, though
there have been cases of state law
Since the medical marijuana
law in Michigan is new, state law
enforcement officials have not yet
compiled information on the num-
ber ofviolations of state and federal
medical marijuana laws, according
to Melody Kindraka, spokeswoman
for the Michigan State Police.
The Ann Arbor Medical Mari-
juana Patient Collective has seen
a surge in the number of people
attending meetings in recent
months, a sign of the recent rising
support for medical marijuana,
"The wave is building," Hayes
said. "Little ripples may be a little
wave by the end of the year, maybe
rushed to stop their bleeding.
No one in the temple saw the
attacker, he said.
"Maybe it was crazy person," Oz
told the Los Angeles Times. "Maybe
he was drugged up. Maybe it was a
Jew. We don't know."
Initial security camera footage
from the synagogue shows the sus-
pect but not the shooting, and the
quality is too poor for investigators
to identify the man, Cmdr. Jorge
Villegas said, but detectives later
found more security cameras at
the synagogue and were reviewing
Detective Steve Castro said a
slew of possible motives was being
considered, including attempted
robbery or a personal business dis-
The attack occurred 10 miles
from a Jewish community center
where white supremacist Buford
Furrow wounded three children,
a teenager and an adult, in 1999.
Furrow later killed a Filipino let-
ter carrier on another street, and
is serving a life sentence without
Miller told The Michigan Daily
in 2007 that the most expensive
coursepacks at Excel cost between
$70 and $80, while other stores
offer similar coursepacks for up to
Associate History Prof. Mat-
thew Countryman is one of many
faculty members who sends his
coursepacks to Excel.
"I use Excel because I believe it
provides excellent service to stu-
dents and I like supporting locally-
owned businesses," Countryman
Countryman added that he had
a bigger wave next year."
Despite this step by the federal
governmentto take a backseat in the
prosecution of the medical use of the
drug, Hayes said the inconsistencies
in Michigan's law still remain a big
hurdle for many medical marijuana
patients and caregivers.
"In Michigan, once you get a reg-
istration card, the first thing you
have to do as a patient is break the
federal lawtogetyour plant," Hayes
said. "And it's functionally unable
to allow the state to do something
that is a violation of the federal law,
so you're always going to have this
psychological hurdle for the local
units of government."
James McCurtis, spokesman for
the Michigan Department of Com-
munity Health, said the new fed-
eral guidelines will not affect how
the state regulates usage and care
of medicinal marijuana.
McCurtis said as long as patients
and caregivers are still comply-
ing with state law, there will be no
surge in state prosecutions or regu-
lation due to the federal changes.
"Our role will still be the same,"
McCurtis said. "The law is still
going to be the same here, and what
that federal guideline basically says
is as long as people follow the state
law, the federal government is not
going to hassle them, bother them,
that sort of thing. So the state law
is going to remain intact, it's not
changing any time soon."
As of last week, the Michigan
Department of Community Health
has received 8,093 applications for
medical marijuana cards, 6,987 of
which were issued. Of these, 4,956
cards were given to patients and
2,031 were given to caregivers.
McCurtis said because the state
law is not changing, prosecutions
in the state will not become more
"The state law is going to be what it
chance of parole.
The synagogue is in an area of
long boulevards with commercial
districts, tree-studded blocks of
post-World War II stucco homes
and apartment complexes on the
north side of the Hollywood Hills.
It has the second-largest concentra-
tion of Jews in the city, said Rabbi
Abraham Cooper of the Simon
Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish rights
group with more than 400,000
members in the United States.
About 6,000 Jews live within
walking distance of the synagogue,
Cooper said. The Sephardic syna-
gogue attracts primarily Jews from
Morocco, Yemen, Israelis, some
Cooper said he was immediately
curious about the time and loca-
tion of the shooting: It happened
very early, and the synagogue is not
on a busy thoroughfare. He said if
the assailant had been casing the
synagogue, he would have known
that 10 to 30 men show up there for
a morning service every weekday
no knowledge of the lawsuit and
that he would continue to send his
coursepacks to Excel, regardless.
The parties are currently
involved in settlement talks. Strong
said the publishers are seekingmon-
etary compensation from Excel. He
would not discuss specific amounts
that the publishers are asking for, as
the discussions are ongoing.
"We will seek some damages
as the law entitles us to because
the publishers have lost quite a bit
of money over the years from his
(Miller's) failure to pay copyright,"
is," McCurtis said. "And if you break
the law, then you're subject to arrest
and other type of prosecution, and if
you follow the law, you should be fine.
And I think that's exactly what the
federal guidelines are saying, too."
LSA junior Francesca Bardinelli,
executive director of the Univer-
sity's chapter of Students for Sen-
sible Drug Policy, said the new
guidelines represent an important
step by the Obama administration
in giving states more rights regard-
ing drug laws and will propel other
states to move forward with medi-
cal marijuana legalization.
"It's really great to see that the
federal government is leaving it up
to states' plans," Bardinelli said.
"(It) gives more freedom to other
states who are contemplating medi-
cal marijuana policy. So it's a great
step in that sense."
While the policy is an important
step in the medical marijuana cru-
sade, because it's not completely
fool-proof, the results of the change
remain to be seen, Andrew Kent,
president of the University's chap-
ter of the National Organization
of the Reform of Marijuana Laws,
wrote in an e-mail interview.
"Their position still gives the
government leeway to interfere on
a case-by-case basis," wrote Kent,
an LSA senior. "It remains to be
seen if the government will follow
their own guidelines."
Despite a similar policy change
announced several months ago,
federal government officials failed
to respect their own declarations,
"(U.S. Attorney General) Eric
Holder initially announced an end
to federal raids on medical mari-
juana patients months ago, but the
DEA continued to raid patients and
dispensaries," Kent wrote. "With
the guidelines in writing hopefully
the policy will be more respected."
Official says that
could still be cut
From Page 1 Students like LSA senior Qian
Wang, who regularly sends letters
of communications for the Detroit and packages using the South Uni-
district of the U.S. Postal Service. versity post office, are excited to
The South University location know the location will remain open
will remain on the list until the due to its comparatively low costs.
commission reviews it in the next "At FedEx and UPS, the price
few weeks, Moore said. He added is much higher than the postal
that the location was one of 11 in office," Wang said. "If this place
the Detroit district originally put closed, I don't know - I have no
on the list due to a reduction in idea if there's another place on the
mail volume. campus that can provide this ser-
This decrease in mail volume vice."
has been a nationwide trend, with Other students like Nursing
the U.S. Postal Service processing senior Irene Casillas, said she is
only 170 billion pieces of mail this happy to hear the South Univer-
year, a decrease of about 40 bil- sity post office will remain open
lion pieces from 2007, according due to its ideal location.
to Moore. "I'm glad because it's so much
"We're looking to trim costs, more convenient than driving to
be more efficient and maximize Stadium (Boulevard) and some
our floor space," he said. "So that's people don't even have a car on
why those locations are looking to campus," Casillas said. "It's very
he consolidated." convenient."
better care at a better price, the
HEALTH CARE researchers argue, tackling both
From Page 1 the health and financial concerns
within the health care reform
make your hair grow back," Mar- debate.
tin said. "We're in a situation now
V-BID was established in where costs are going to continue
2005 by University faculty mem- to escalate if we don't do some-
bers Dean Smith, Allison Rosen, thing," Martin said. "No matter
Michael Chernew and Fendrick, what happens, we want there to
who came together to combine be some clinical nuance so that
their clinical and economic exper- health is not sacrificed, so that we
tises. They set out to apply their enable people to still get the high
skills to produce leading research value services they deserve - put-
on the health and economic out- ting health back into health care
comes of innovative insurance reform."
designs. Fendrick explained that
After publishing many articles although the debate has focused
in academic peer-review jour- almost exclusively on the eco-
nals, the researchers, under the nomic impact of the health care
guidance of the School of Public system, Obama's track record in
Health's Director of Government the reform process shows that
Relations Jennifer Martin - who his main concern was health care
spent much of her career in Wash- improvement.
ington, D.C. working on Capitol Although his actions in the
Hill and in theWhite House - debate have strayed from that goal
were able to share their findings and demonstrated more concern
with national newspapers and, for cost, Fendrick said there is
most recently, on the Senate floor. hope that he will ultimately help
"We brought this to the Michi- redirect the discussion.
gan Congressional Delegation and "The focus of the health care
others so that as this idea became conversation is on money," Fen-
better known it would be known drick said. "Everyone is focused
as a University of Michigan idea," on the deficit and the budget and
Martin said. "The idea was that the cost. What we're trying to do
our Michigan constituents and is remind people why we have
representatives would say 'this is health care in the first place."
an idea out of my state.'" "Reducing healthcare spending
Through their research, Fen- should not be the exclusive objec-
drick, an associate professor of tive of health care reform efforts,"
health management and policy, he later wrote in an e-mail. "We
and his colleagues determined must not forgetthat the goal of the
that reducing patients' co-pay- health care system is to improve
ments increases their medication health, not save money."
adherence. Because legislators are still
Results from one of their stud- debating health care reform bills
ies yielded a 7- to 14-percent in the House and Senate and
reduction in non-adherence - amendments to legislation can be
meaning that with lower prices made, several specifics are still
on co-payments, more people will unknown about how the logistics
actually get the drugs they need. of V-BID would get carried out if
The underlying principle ofval- the bills are passed in a different
ue-based insurance is that people form.
will buy more of the health ser- However, Fendrick said the
vices that they need. issue is further complicated by
"You give somebody their asth- language and enforcement differ-
ma drugs, you keep them out of ences between the two bills.
the ER," Fendrick said. "It's pretty Introduced by Sens. Kay Bailey
intuitive." Hutchison (R-Texas) and Debbie
Pricing in the current system Stabenow (D-Mich.), U.S. Senate
prevents patients from making Bill 1040 "actually makes V-BID
decisions that have their best concepts legal - so no one can
health interests in mind. challenge it," Fendrick said.
"We're not providing any kind "In the House bill it says that
of structural incentive for high- every health plan can do it," he
value health services," Martin added.
said. "It's aboutcgetting the patient If the national legislation pass-
to access the care they need. The es, insurers will have the option of
more you increase the co-pays, the creating a pricing plan and offer-
less they buy the stuff they need." ing a quality of service tailored to
In order to provide patients V-BID principles.
with more of the care that benefits "There is really no one V-BID
them the most, V-BID researchers intervention," Fendrick said. "It
are working to help bridge the gap really comes down to how much
between patients and health care you're willing to spend on it and
providers. how much you're willing to do."
"We view V-BID as a demand- Although a value-based insur-
side initiative," Fendrick said. "If ance design would give insur-
doctors continue to make a ton ers more leeway to determine
of money by doing the low-value a pricing plan that meets their
stuff, they're not goingto care. We financial needs, its setup would
need to bring together the supply still offer a better value to the
and demand side." policyholders.
Through a value-based insur- "We guarantee more health at
ance design, patients can get any price point," Fendrick said.
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