ASA California Roundup: April 28, 2014

April 28, 2014 | Don Duncan

Contents:

Message from the CA Director - A busy week for medical cannabis in the California legislature

California News

  • Regulations are good for patients (California)
  • State Senate panel advances medical marijuana regulations (California)
  • Medical Association won't back medical pot bill because of lack of research (California)
  • Cops and Politicians Play Doctor With California Patients (California)
  • Sacramento County supervisors vote to ban outdoor marijuana gardens (Sacramento County)
  • Video: Applicants seek permits for medical pot shops (San Diego)
  • Inside a Christian Pot Shop (Sacramento)
  • Santa Monica City Council Balks At Endorsing Medical Marijuana Bill (Santa Monica)
  • Medical marijuana advocacy group seeks suspension of Diamond Bar’s ban on dispensaries (Diamond Bar)
  • D.A. candidates tackle medical pot at Santa Rosa forum (Sonoma County)
  • Pot grower sues Fresno County, saying cultivation fines excessive (Fresno County)
  • Tehama County Supervisors ban marijuana cultivation on vacant lots; require annual registration renewal (Tehama County)

Events

  • 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)
  • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - CA Senate Public Safety Committee Hearing on SB 1193 (Sacramento)
  • Wednesday, April 30, 2014 – CA Senate Health Committee Hearing on SB 1262 (Sacramento)
  • Monday, May 12, 2014 – Bloodganja: Medical Cannabis Movie & Panel (Santa Barbara)
  • Wednesday, May 28, 2014 – Sacramento County Board of Supervisors Meeting (Sacramento)

Take Action

  • Oppose AB 2500 in California!
  • Join Americans for Safe Access (ASA)

ASA Website Spotlight

  • The Informed Advocate

ASA CA Chapter Spotlight

  • Sonoma ASA

ASA Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

  • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - San Diego ASA (North County)
  • Thursday, May 1, 2014 - Sonoma ASA (Santa Rosa)

Message from the CA Director



There are four bills with committee hearings in the state legislature this week. Bills on the table are related to public assistance for people convicted of medical cannabis offenses, regulations for commercial activity, and a “drugged driving” bill that threatens every patient in the state. See the “Events” section for all the details. ASA is calling on patients to speak up today in opposition to AB 2500 by Assembly Member Jim Frazier (D-Fairfield). That bill makes it a crime to drive with even a miniscule amount of cannabis detectable in your blood, even if there is no sign that you are impaired. Take a minute to make some calls today. The bill will get its first vote on Wednesday.

There is a new bill on the radar in Sacramento. SB 1193 by Senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) would require that wrongfully confiscated medical cannabis and plants be returned to the owner or that the owner be paid reasonable compensation. The bill also makes changes in the requirements for handling and examining cannabis and plants seized as evidence. ASA supports this SB 1193, which if adopted, will codify ASA’s landmark return of property victory in Garden Grove v. Felix Kha.

Thank you for staying informed and participating. I’ll let you know how the votes this week turn out in next week’s CA Weekly Roundup, or you can check my FaceBook page or Twitter feed.


California News



Regulations are good for patients (California)
Don Duncan, Medical Cannabis: Voices from the Frontlines

... Most of the players in California’s nascent medical cannabis industry see regulations as inevitable, and the more savvy ones recognize the benefits regulation offers to those looking to serve the state’s vast patient population on the long term.  Two regulatory bills are vying for support in Sacramento right now: Senator Lou Correa’s (D-Santa Ana) SB 1262 and Assembly Member Tom Ammiano’s (D-San Francisco) AB 1894. They take different tacks, but both would reign in the commercial medical cannabis trade and related businesses. So what is in it for patients? A lot, it turns out.
Read more here.

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State Senate panel advances medical marijuana regulations (California)
Patrick McGreey, Los Angeles Times

Medical marijuana dispensaries in California would have to get state Public Health Department licenses, and doctors who recommend pot would face new standards for examining patients under legislation supported Monday by a state Senate panel. The measure, supported by members of the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee, also clarifies the authority of cities and counties to prohibit pot shops within their borders.
Read more here.

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Medical Association won't back medical pot bill because of lack of research (California)
Elizabeth Aguilera, 89.3 KPCC

The California Medical Association says its opposition to a bill in the state legislature that would require doctors to be more involved with medical marijuana patients is based on the lack of solid science on medical pot, a situation linked to its ongoing status as an illegal drug under federal law.
Read more here.

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Cops and Politicians Play Doctor With California Patients (California)
David Downs, East Bay Express

Politicians and cops continued to play doctor with California’s estimated one million medical cannabis patients on Monday, advancing a bill that shows how little they know about science or medicine.
Read more here.

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Sacramento County supervisors vote to ban outdoor marijuana gardens (Sacramento County)
Brad Branan, Sacramento Bee

Sacramento County supervisors on Tuesday unanimously voted to ban outdoor marijuana crops, joining a growing number of California cities and counties that have prohibited cultivation in response to safety and nuisance complaints.
Read more here.

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Video: Applicants seek permits for medical pot shops (San Diego)
Gene Kang, CBS 8

Doors opened at 6:30 a.m. Thursday at the Development Services Department near City Hall for people that wanted to obtain a legal medical marijuana shop permit in San Diego. People camped out for three days just to be some of the first through the door.
Read more and watch the video here.

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Inside a Christian Pot Shop (Sacramento)
Michael Lester and Katy Steinmetz, Time

God told Moses to go down the mountain. He told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, his only son. And, according to Bryan Davies, he made another commandment to a California couple circa 2005: “Open up a pot shop.” Bryan and Lanette Davies run a medical marijuana dispensary in Sacramento, Calif., which they say they opened on the advice of God. The couple sells marijuana to patients battling AIDS and insomnia and arthritic disorders. They also use their shop, called Canna Care, as a vehicle for spreading their Christian faith. Bibles lie on a table in the lobby, free for the taking. And every day at 6 o’clock, all the shop’s employees stop what they’re doing to hold hands and pray. Patrons are invited to join and often do.
Read more here.

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Santa Monica City Council Balks At Endorsing Medical Marijuana Bill (Santa Monica)
Parimal M. Rohit, Santa Monica Mirror

A medical marijuana bill on the State Senate floor did not gain the endorsement of the Santa Monica City Council, as four of the six council members – Kevin McKeown, Gleam Davis, Tony Vazquez, and Ted Winterer – present at Tuesday’s meeting voted for a motion against supporting Senate Bill 1262 (SB 1262), which, among other things, proposes to allow greater local control of regulating medical marijuana use.
Read more here.

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Medical marijuana advocacy group seeks suspension of Diamond Bar’s ban on dispensaries (Diamond Bar)
San Gabriel Valley Tribune

A medical marijuana patient advocacy group wants a judge to suspend the city of Diamond Bar’s ban on all medical marijuana dispensaries until an adequate environmental study is done. The Union of Medical Marijuana Patients Inc. filed a petition Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court against the city, maintaining that the environment will be harmed with more traffic and air pollutants if medical marijuana patients are forced to drive to other cities to get their medication.
Read more here.

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D.A. candidates tackle medical pot at Santa Rosa forum (Sonoma County)
Elizabeth M Cosin, Press Democrat

Sonoma County's top prosecutor and the challenger seeking to unseat her signaled widespread support for medical marijuana at a candidates forum Wednesday. But the pair occasionally diverged on how to police a drug that is legal for medicinal use in California but also generates criminal activity, in part because it is banned elsewhere and at the federal level.
Read more here.

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Pot grower sues Fresno County, saying cultivation fines excessive (Fresno County)
Marc Benjamin, Merced Sun-Star

A woman whose medical marijuana plants were removed from her mother's back yard is suing Fresno County, contending that its new medical marijuana cultivation ban has excessive fines and is unconstitutional.
Read more here.

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Tehama County Supervisors ban marijuana cultivation on vacant lots; require annual registration renewal (Tehama County)
Rich Greene, Daily News

The Tehama County Board of Supervisors continued to tighten its marijuana cultivation ordinance Tuesday adopting emergency amendments that included an outright ban of grows upon vacant lots. Additional amendments added a requirement for a yearly renewal of marijuana cultivation registrations and transferred enforcement of those registrations from the Tehama County Health Services Agency to the Environmental Health Department.
Read more here.


Events



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. 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 Senate Public Safety Committee Hearing on SB 1193 (Sacramento)
The California Senate Public Safety Committee will hear testimony and vote on SB 1193, a bill by Senate Noreen Evans that will require that wrongfully confiscated medical cannabis and plants to be returned to the owner or that reasonable compensation be paid. ASA supports this bill. Read more about this bill online. The hearing will be at 9:00 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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Wednesday, April 30, 2014 – CA Senate Health Committee Hearing on SB 1262 (Sacramento)
The California Senate Health Committee will hear testimony on a much-improved bill by Senator Lou Correa, SB 1262, which seeks to regulate doctors and dispensaries. ASA supports this bill, but is seeking amendments. Read more about this bill online. Be sure to read the amended version from April 21, 2014. ASA supports this bill, but is asking for important changes. The hearing is at 1:30 PM in Room 4203 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.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014 – Sacramento County Board of Supervisors Meeting (Sacramento)
Save the date. The Sacramento County Board will discuss an ordinance regulating indoor cultivation at this meeting. Details are coming soon. The meeting will be 2:00 – 6:00 PM in Board Chambers at 700 H Street, Suite 1450, Sacramento, CA 95814.


Take Action



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



The Informed Advocate

This is the first in a five part series on ASA innovative Medical Cannabis Advocates Training Center, a free online resource for patient-advocacy skills building. ASA believes that good policy is created when those who are most affected are at the table. Just because you are medical cannabis patient, it doesn't mean that you automatically have a degree in public policy. ASA has always been committed to demystifying political systems and providing advocates the tools they need to participate in the processes in a meaningful way. Learn all about grassroots organizing, citizen lobbying, media spokesperson training, and much more.

This week, we are spotlighting the "Informed Advocate" section of the Medical Cannabis Advocates Training Center. The best advocate is an informed advocate. The history of medical cannabis advocacy is a rich one, filled with brave individuals like you. The key to being an effective advocate is a firm understanding of our history, the political landscape in which you are operating, the rules of engagement and the ability to articulate your needs.


ASA CA Chapter Spotlight



Sonoma County ASA

Founded in 2003, the Sonoma County chapter of ASA is one of the most active in the state. Chapter members, who are part of a 300-person strong local coalition, hold regular meetings, fundraising and educational events, and co-host an ongoing forum for candidates running for District Attorney in the county. They will be tabling at the Harmony Festival, Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, and Hemp Fest this summer. The chapter played an instrumental role in protecting the county’s medical cannabis cultivation guidelines. This matters in Sonoma County, the largest of the nine counties in the San Francisco Bay Area. While Sonoma County is best known for its world-class wine, medical cannabis patients and growers say some of the finest medicine in the state comes from this region. The next Sonoma ASA meeting is 5:00 PM on Thursday, May 1, at Arlene Francis Center, 99 West 6th Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95401.


ASA Chapter & Affiliate Meetings



Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - San Diego ASA (North County)
The meeting starts at 7:00 PM at Captain Keno's - 158 N Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024. Email sandiegoasa@gmail.com for more for more information.

Thursday, May 1, 2014 - Sonoma ASA (Santa Rosa)
The meeting starts at 5:00 PM at Arlene Francis Center, 99 West 6th Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95401. Email sarah@safeaccessnow.org 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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