ASA California Roundup: April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014 | Don Duncan

Contents:

Message from the CA Director - Is an ASA Chapter, Action Group, or Affiliate Right for Your Community?

California News

  • Support building to fix state medical pot system (California)
  • Local Government Groups Join in Effort to Establish Clear Regulations for Medical Marijuana (California)
  • Pot Smoke And Mirrors: Vaporizer Pens Hide Marijuana Use (California)
  • 420 College -Continuing Complications: Medical Marijuana vs. IRS (California)
  • Long Beach officials loosen restrictions on medical marijuana collectives in draft law (Long Beach)
  • Medical marijuana case dismissed against two men (Long Beach)
  • Pastors reach out on 4/20 (Los Angeles)
  • Medical Marijuana Distributor Sentenced To 22-Year Prison Term Wins 8-Year Reduction (Santa Ana)
  • Marijuana growers being driven from the Valley floor may be heading to Sierra foothills (Tulare County)
  • Martinez makes move to ban outdoor marijuana growing (Martinez)

Events

  • Monday, April 21, 2014 – CA Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee Hearing on SB 1262 (Sacramento)
  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 – Sacramento County Board of Supervisors (Sacramento)
  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014 – CA Assembly Public Safety Committee Hearing on AB 1894 (Sacramento)
  • Wednesday, April 23, 2014 – Medical Cannabis Forum with District Attorney Candidates (Sonoma)
  • Sunday, April 27, 2014 – Google Hangout for New & Potential ASA Chapters (Online)
  • Monday, April 28, 2014 – CA Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing on SB 1029 (Sacramento)
  • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 – CA Public Safety Committee Hearing on AB 2500 (Sacramento)
  • Monday, May 12, 2014 – Bloodganja: Medical Cannabis Movie & Panel (Santa Barbara)

Court Support

  • Wednesday, April 23, 2014 – Court Support for Shelby Lucero (Sacramento)

Take Action

  • Don’t Ban Indoor Cultivation in Sacramento County!
  • Oppose AB 2500 in California!
  • Join Americans for Safe Access (ASA)

ASA Website Spotlight

  • Work With ASA

ASA CA Chapter Spotlight

  • Sacramento ASA

ASA Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

  • Thursday, April 24, 2014 – Sacramento ASA (Sacramento)
  • Sunday, April 27, 2014 – Google Hangout for New Chapters (Online)
  • Sunday, April 27, 2014 - Nevada County ASA (North San Juan)

Message from the CA Director



ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer and National Field Coordinator Hunter Holliman will be hosting a live Google Hangout to talk about vehicles for local organizing next Sunday. Has your city banned distribution or cultivation of medicine? Are the rules for medical cannabis unreasonable? Do patients and providers face harassment? There is no relief on the horizon on the statewide level. The only effective way to change situations like these is to build a strategic, well-trained local base of support - and then to get busy. ASA cannot do this work for you. It would not work, even if we had the resources to do it. You local representatives need to hear from voters in your community or state legislative district about what matters to you. That is why supporting local organizing is a priority for ASA.

A Google Hangout is an interactive online event you can join on your computer or mobile device (get more info here). Steph and Hunter will be talking to ASA members nationwide about forming new Chapters, Action Groups, and affiliated organizations. We are doing this because there has been a groundswell of demand for local organizing in California and nationwide. Join Steph and Hunter on Sunday, April 27, at 1:00 PM and check out all of ASA’s free online resources for local organizing and training your grassroots base.


California News



Support building to fix state medical pot system (California)
Laura Olsen, Press-Enterprise

Asked about legalizing marijuana during a recent interview, Gov. Jerry Brown answered with a question: “How many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation?” His remark on NBC’s “Meet the Press” did more than shoot down the old image of “Governor Moonbeam” and draw chuckles from the television panelists. Coming from the leader of a state accustomed to leading the pack on controversial issues, Brown’s comment highlighted not only how far Colorado and Washington state have sped ahead of California by legalizing recreational pot; it also highlighted the long-running and costly stalemate in Sacramento over how medical marijuana should be regulated.
Read more here.

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Local Government Groups Join in Effort to Establish Clear Regulations for Medical Marijuana (California)
Justin Hyer, Public CEO

In 1996 California voters passed Proposition 215—popularly known as the Compassionate Use Act—allowing patients with a valid medical sign-off to cultivate marijuana for medical use. Eighteen years later, medical marijuana dispensaries have exploded in number across the state. The vague statutes created by Prop 215 and piecemeal approach to follow-up legislation have created a headache for law enforcement professionals and local elected officials alike. Public officials across the state have found state laws associated with medical marijuana to be chaotic, conflicting and at times, unworkable.
Read more here.

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Pot Smoke And Mirrors: Vaporizer Pens Hide Marijuana Use (California)
Miles Bryan, North County Public Radio

It's a sunny afternoon at Kelly's Collective, a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles, and Nikki Esquibel is getting stoned. But you wouldn't know it. The 19-year-old, who has a medical prescription for marijuana, is "smoking" pot with a handheld vaporizer, or a vape pen. It's sleek, black, and virtually indistinguishable from a high-end e-cigarette.
Read more here.

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420 College -Continuing Complications: Medical Marijuana vs. IRS (California)
Highland Community News

Even in the cannabis pioneering state of California, the lines of legality get blurry when medical marijuana intersects with government. With the ever-changing, and often contradictory legislation at the state, federal, and local levels, it’s not uncommon for medical marijuana patients and businesses to get caught in the crossfire. One organization recently under pressure is the Sacramento faith-based provider Canna Care, which is currently fighting a public court battle with the IRS in U.S. Tax Court in San Francisco. While they are not the first dispensaries the agency has set its sites on, Canna Care’s out right rejection of a negotiated settlement is making for a stand out case.
Read more here.

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Long Beach officials loosen restrictions on medical marijuana collectives in draft law (Long Beach)
Eric Bradley, Press-Telegraph

A draft ordinance will be amended to allow medical marijuana collectives to operate in commercial zones instead of exclusively in industrial areas.The Planning Commission directed staff to make the change on Thursday during a discussion of a first draft of the rules that include a cap of two locations per council district, or 18 citywide, along with licensing requirements, buffers and other standards.
Read more here.

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Medical marijuana case dismissed against two men (Long Beach)
City News Service, press Telegram

Criminal charges were dismissed Thursday against two men who had been granted a new trial after being convicted of illegal marijuana sales involving dispensaries they operated in Long Beach. The dismissal comes less than two months after a three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal refused to overturn a judge’s order of a new trial for Joseph Byron and Joseph Grumbine.
Read more here.

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Pastors reach out on 4/20 (Los Angeles)
AP, Winston-Salem Journal

Social media has been buzzing for weeks with jokes about how, this year, Easter Sunday shares the calendar with the pot-lover's highest holiday: April 20, or 420in stoner lingo. Pot-smokers have long celebrated on the date by lighting up for reasons not quite clear. Yet amid the online cracks about worshipping a "higher" power, tutorials on how to make a joint shaped like a cross and photos of Easter baskets piled with pot-filled eggs, a handful of churches nationwide are using the unfortunate coincidence to make much bigger points.
Read more here.

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Medical Marijuana Distributor Sentenced To 22-Year Prison Term Wins 8-Year Reduction (Santa Ana)
R. Scott Moxley, OC Weekly

The ringleader of a huge, Southern California medical marijuana distribution network has won a whopping 94-month reduction in his punishment, according to federal court records reviewed by OC Weekly. In July 2013, U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna sentenced John Melvin Walker to a term of 262 months in prison, but this week amended the punishment to a term of 168 months for the conspiracy and efforts to evade federal tax obligations.
Read more here.

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Marijuana growers being driven from the Valley floor may be heading to Sierra foothills (Tulare County)
David Castellon, Visalia Times-Delta

In an agricultural area like Tulare County, the start of a growing season usually is a good thing. But late April kicks off a busy time for the Tulare County Sheriff’s Tactical Enforcement Personnel team, as this is the start of the season for marijuana growers here in the Valley. Last year, members of the STEP team confiscated 239,929 marijuana plants on the Valley floor as well as on federal lands, about a 20-percent increase over the previous year.
Read more here.

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Martinez makes move to ban outdoor marijuana growing (Martinez)
Tim Pritchett, KTVU.com

In a unanimous 5-0 vote Wednesday night, the Martinez City Council tooks its first step towards effectively banned outdoor growing of marijuana. The council cited public complaints concerning odor and the public safety issue of backyard growing operations that could draw thieves to a neighborhood.
Read more here.


Events



Monday, April 21, 2014 – CA Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee Hearing on SB 1262 (Sacramento)
The California Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee will hear testimony and vote on SB 1262, a bill by CA Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) that will regulate doctors who make medical cannabis recommendations and dispensaries. Read more about the bill and ASA’s suggested improvements online. You may submit comments to the committee in advance. The hearing starts at 1:00 PM or as soon as the Senate adjourns in Room 3191 in the State Capitol Building

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014 – Sacramento County Board of Supervisors (Sacramento)
The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors will consider a motion to ban cultivation of medical cannabis in the unincorporated areas of the county. ASA opposes this motion and calls on supports to speak out against it. The hearing starts at 9:45 AM at 770 H Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. Arrive early to sign up to speak in opposition to agenda item 64. You may also email or call the Supervisors in advance of the meeting.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014 – CA Assembly Public Safety Committee Hearing on AB 1894 (Sacramento)

The California Assembly Public Safety Committee will hear testimony and vote on AB 1894, a new bill from Assembly Member Tom Ammiano that will create regulations for commercial medical cannabis activity and address unprofessional conduct by recommending physicians. Read more about this bill online. You may submit comments to the committee in advance.The hearing will be at 9:00 AM in Room 126 in the State Capitol Building.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 – Medical Cannabis Forum with District Attorney Candidates (Sonoma)
The candidates’ forum will be held at the Sonoma County Library located downtown at 211 E Street (corner of 3rd Street) in Santa Rosa, CA 95404.  There will be a Meet and Greet beginning at 5:00pm with the forum starting at 5:30pm. Admission is free and the public is invited. Contact Kumari Sivadas at samm215@sonic.net or 707-522-0292 for information.

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Sunday, April 27, 2014 – Google Hangout for New & Potential ASA Chapters (Online)
Join ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer and Hunter Holliman for a live Google Hangout to talk about the pros and cons of forming a new ASA chapter in your community. What can you do? Is it the right tool for you? Get all the details and ask questions starting at 1:00 PM PDT on ASA Live - http://www.safeaccessnow.org/asa_live Visit the Google Hangout website in advance to get ready.

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Monday, April 28, 2014 – CA Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing on SB 1029 (Sacramento)
The California Senate Appropriations Committee will hear testimony and vote on SB 1029, a bill by Senator Loni Hancock that will make some drug felons eligible for certain kinds of public assistance – including those convicted of medical cannabis crimes. ASA supports this bill. Read more about this bill online. You may submit comments to the committee in advance.The hearing will be at 10:00 AM in the John L. Burton Hearing Room (4203) in the State Capitol Building.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014 – CA Public Safety Committee Hearing on AB 2500 (Sacramento)
The California Assembly Public Safety Committee will hear testimony and vote on AB 2500, a bill by Assembly Member Jim Frazier that would make it a crime to drive with any detectable amount of cannabis in your blood. ASA opposes this bill. Read more about this bill online. You may submit comments to the committee in advance. The hearing will be at 9:00 AM in Room 126 in the State Capitol Building.

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Monday, May 12, 2014 – Bloodganja: Medical cannabis Movie & Panel (Santa Barbara)
Join Director Daniel Boolag for a screening and panel discussion about his new documentary Bllodganja, which examines the trials of a Santa Barbara patient-provider facing federal persecution. The event starts at 12:45 PM at BC Forum, SBCC Campus, 721 Cliff Drive Santa Barbara California, 93109. The event is free. Email danielbaruchbollag@gmail.com or call (805) 729-0729 for information.


Court Support



Wednesday, April 23, 2014 – Court Support for Shelby Lucero (Sacramento)
Support medical cannabis defendant Shelby Lucero at her preliminary hearing. The hearing starts at 1:30 PM at 720 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. Dress in a professional manner and obey all of the courtroom rules to best support the defendant. Thanks to The Human Solution for tracking this case.


Take Action



Don’t Ban Indoor Cultivation in Sacramento County!

The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors will have a public hearing on Tuesday, April 22, to consider a motion to ban indoor cultivation of medical cannabis in the unincorporated areas of the county. The unincorporated areas are those inside the county, but outside the borders of any city. ASA is calling on members and allies to speak up in advance of this hearing and to speak in opposition to the ban on Tuesday morning.

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Oppose AB 2500 in California!

The California Assembly Committee on Public Safety will hear testimony on AB 2500 on Tuesday, April 29. This bill by Assembly Jim Frazier (D-Fairfield) will make it a crime to drive with any detectable amount of cannabis in your blood – even if you are not driving while impaired. Regular medical cannabis users will always test positive for cannabis use, because cannabis is detectable in the blood for days after it is used. This bill could turn every legal patient who drives in California into a criminal! Please take a minute to call or email the Committee Members this week them to oppose AB 2500.

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Join Americans for Safe Access (ASA)

ASA is the nation’s leading medical cannabis patients’ advocacy organization. The patients, medical professionals, scientists, concerned citizens, and other who comprise ASA are committed to promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. ASA works in partnership with state, local and national legislators to overcome barriers and create policies that improve access to cannabis for patients and researchers. ASA provides legal training for and medical information to patients, attorneys, health and medical professionals and policymakers throughout the United States. We also organize media support for court cases, rapid response to law enforcement raids, and capacity-building for advocates. Your support makes it all possible. Join ASA or renew your membership today.


ASA Website Spotlight



Work With ASA

The mission of ASA is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic uses and research. ASA organizers engage in traditional, battle-tested tactics - legislative organizing, community outreach, phone-in days, petition drives, etc. ASA helps organize media support for court cases, rapid response to law enforcement raids, and capacity-building for advocates. Our successful lobbying, media and legal campaigns have resulted in important court precedents, new sentencing standards, and more compassionate community guidelines. There are many ways you can work with ASA to help make this happen. You can form a new Chapter, start an Action Group, and more.


ASA CA Chapter Spotlight



Sacramento ASA – Safe Access Sacramento

The Sacramento ASA Chapter is uniquely poised to fight for patients’ rights in the community and statewide. Members have been active in local campaigns to better regulate medical cannabis in the city and to help stop and reverse bans in Sacramento County. They are also key players in the statewide campaign  for safe access. Last year, Sacramento ASA members were part of a powerful grassroots coalition that stopped a bill that would have criminalized virtually every medical cannabis patient in the state by making it a crime to drive with any detectable level of THC in your blood. That bill is back this year! Can you help Sacramento ASA stop it again? Sacramento ASA meets at 7:00 PM at 2315 K St, Sacramento, CA 95816, on Thursday, April 24.


ASA Chapter & Affiliate Meetings



Thursday, April 24, 2014 – Sacramento ASA (Sacramento)
The meeting starts at 7:00 PM at 2315 K St, Sacramento, CA 95816. Email safeaccesssacramento@gmail.com for more information.

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Sunday, April 27, 2014 – Google Hangout for New Chapters (Online)
Join ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer and Hunter Holliman for a live Google Hangout to talk about the pros and cons of forming a new ASA chapter in your community. What can you do? Is it the right tool for you? Get all the details and ask questions starting at 1:00 PM PDT on ASA Live - http://www.safeaccessnow.org/asa_live Visit the Google Hangout website in advance to get ready.

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Sunday, April 27, 2014 - Nevada County ASA (North San Juan)
The meeting starts at 2:00 PM at the North San Juan Senior Center, 29190 State Hwy 49, North San Juan, CA 95960. Email info@asa-nc.com for more information.


Have something to share?

The “California Weekly Roundup” is a once-a-week email for ASA Members and Friends that focuses on relevant news and important updates, action alerts, meetings and special events. Send items for the California Weekly Roundup to CARoundup@SafeAccessNow.org before 12:00 PM on Friday to be included in Monday's distribution.


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