ASA California Roundup: April 7, 2014

April 07, 2014 | Don Duncan

Contents:

Message from the CA Director - Californians in DC

California News

  • Supreme Court Approves Returning Medical Marijuana to California Patient Stopped in Arizona (National)
  • AAN endorses cannabis for MS (National)
  • More Pot, Safer Roads: Marijuana Legalization Could Bring Unexpected Benefits (National)
  • Rural County Representatives of California Report Medical Marijuana Bills to Develop Statewide Regulatory Scheme on the Legislature’s Agenda (California)
  • Long Beach’s Measure A would set tax on medical marijuana (Long Beach)
  • More than 450 medical pot shops file to renew taxes in Los Angeles (Los Angeles)
  • Group using cannabis oil to treat children’s seizures told to shut down by L.A. City Attorney (Los Angeles)
  • Stockton man heads to prison for supplying medical marijuana (Stockton)
  • 400 marijuana plants seized from underground garden in Hilmar (Merced County)
  • Council pledges to ban outdoor marijuana grows (Martinez)
  • State Medical Board issues settlement, disciplinary order for Upper Lake doctor; probation, courses ordered (Lake County)
  • Judge upholds Bakersfield's marijuana dispensary ban (Bakersfield)

Events

  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - CA Senate Human Services Committee Hearing on SB 1029 (Sacramento)
  • Thursday, April 10, 2014 – Book Signing with Peter Hecht, Author of Weed Land (Sacramento)
  • Monday, April 14, 2014 – Court Support for Ronnie Chang (San Diego)
  • Thursday, April 17, 2014 – Court Support for Joe Grumbine (Long Beach)
  • Monday, April 21, 2014 – CA Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee Hearing on SB 1262 (Sacramento)
  • Wednesday, April 23, 2014 – Medical Cannabis Forum with District Attorney Candidates (Sonoma)

Take Action

  • Support HR 689 and HR 710
  • Join Americans for Safe Access (ASA)

ASA Website Spotlight

  • ASA Monthly Activist Newsletters

ASA CA Chapter Spotlight

  • San Diego ASA - 2013 Chapter of the Year

ASA Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 – Nevada County ASA (Grass Valley)
  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014 – San Diego ASA (San Diego)
  • Thursday, April 10, 2014 - San Diego ASA (Imperial Beach)
  • Thursday, April 10, 2014 - Yuba County ASA (Foothills)

Message from the CA Director



More than fifty ASA members from California are part of a 250-person medical cannabis delegation visiting US Representatives and Senators in Washington, DC, today as part of ASA’s National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference. We are asking our federal representatives to support HR 689, a bipartisan bill that provides a comprehensive approach to moving federal medical cannabis policy forward. HR 689 is authored by Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), who was honored as the Elected Official of the Year at ASA’s Unity Awards Banquet last night. We are also asking Congress to defund medical cannabis enforcement in states where it is permitted. The Obama Administration already spent more than $300 million federal tax dollars to investigate, raid, prosecute, and incarcerate medical cannabis people – including many in compliance with California law.

ASA is the only national reform organization working exclusively on medical cannabis in the nation’s Capitol. This work is important, because despite the adoption of medical cannabis laws in twenty states and the District of Columbia, federal interference and intimidation still stymie progress and prevent safe access for millions of Americans. ASA is committed to changing federal law, so that states can choose and regulate medical cannabis without federal roadblocks. Your participation matters. Lawmakers need to know that voters in their states and districts want to see meaningful change at the federal level. You can still help, even if you are not at the National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference lobby day today. Scroll down to the “Take Action” section of this message to help out from where ever you are.


California News



Supreme Court Approves Returning Medical Marijuana to California Patient Stopped in Arizona (National)
Allison Geller, Opposing Views

A series of Arizona court rulings compelling Yuma County police to return medical marijuana to a person who was allowed to possess it in another state was not overturned by the Supreme Court. California resident Valerie Okun was stopped by Border Patrol agents at an Arizona checkpoint in 2011. They found and confiscated marijuana in her car, along with hashish and drug paraphernalia.
Read more here.

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AAN endorses cannabis for MS (National)
The Clinical Advisor

The American Academy of Neurology is recommending oral cannabis extract to help ease spasticity symptoms and pain in patients with multiple sclerosis, along with other therapies, in new evidence-based complementary and  alternative medicine (CAM) recommendations.
Read more here.

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More Pot, Safer Roads: Marijuana Legalization Could Bring Unexpected Benefits (National)
Jacob Sullum, Forbes

The anti-pot group Project SAM claims drug test data show that marijuana legalization in Washington, approved by voters in that state at the end of 2012, already has made the roads more dangerous. The group notes with alarm  that the percentage of people arrested for driving under the influence of a drug (DUID) who tested positive for marijuana rose by a third between 2012 and 2013. “Even before the first marijuana store opens in Washington, normalization and acceptance [have] set in,” says Project SAM Chairman Patrick J. Kennedy. “This is a wakeup call for officials and the public about the dangerousness of this drug, especially when driving.”
Read more here.

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Rural County Representatives of California Report Medical Marijuana Bills to Develop Statewide Regulatory Scheme on the Legislature’s Agenda (California)
Sierra Sun Times

Earlier this week, Assembly Member Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) amended Assembly Bill 1894 to develop a state regulatory scheme to address issues related to medical marijuana, including cultivation, manufacturing, testing, transportation, storage, distribution and sale of medical marijuana.  This bill is expected to be considered in the Assembly Public Safety Committee in the coming weeks.
Read more here.

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Long Beach’s Measure A would set tax on medical marijuana (Long Beach)
Jonathan Van Dyke, Special to the Press-Telegram

Voters on Tuesday will have a say in the city’s long and complex process to regulate the sale of medical marijuana. Measure A is a ballot initiative that is asking voters whether they want to tax medical marijuana sales in the city. But even if passed, the tax would not be implemented until — and if — the city passes an ordinance to regulate dispensaries.
Read more here.

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More than 450 medical pot shops file to renew taxes in Los Angeles (Los Angeles)
Emily Alpert Reyes, LA Times

More than 450 medical marijuana dispensaries have filed renewals to pay Los Angeles business taxes this year -- more than three times as many as are allowed to stay open under Proposition D. The new numbers won't settle the debate over exactly how many medical marijuana dispensaries are now operating in Los Angeles. Additional pot shops may be open but have fallen delinquent on their taxes. Some may have never registered to pay taxes. But the numbers provide the latest hint at what has happened after Los Angeles voters passed new rules attempting to restrict which medical marijuana dispensaries can operate -- and how -- across the city.
Read more here.

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Group using cannabis oil to treat children’s seizures told to shut down by L.A. City Attorney (Los Angeles)
Jason Henry, San Gabriel Valley Tribune

The newly opened California chapter of a nonprofit using oil extracted from cannabis to treat children’s seizures and cancer will relocate because of Los Angeles’ crackdown on marijuana dispensaries. Last week, Realm of Caring California, which operates a resource center in the San Fernando Valley received a letter from the city’s attorney threatening criminal charges if the nonprofit stays open. The notice came automatically as part of last year’s passage of Proposition D, which limits dispensaries to those approved in 2007.
Read more here.

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Stockton man heads to prison for supplying medical marijuana (Stockton)
Tim Daly, ABC 10 News

The Stockton man convicted of federal drug charges after supplying medical marijuana to area dispensaries leaves Thursday for his three-year prison sentence. Matt Davies, who is married with two young daughters, said he wasn't breaking the law by growing and distributing marijuana to dispensaries because it is allowed by California state law. He said he didn't expect to be pursued by the federal government after Pres. Obama said he wouldn't interfere with state medical marijuana laws.
Read more here.

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400 marijuana plants seized from underground garden in Hilmar (Merced County)
Rob Parsons, The Sacramento Bee

Merced County investigators seized about 400 marijuana plants Friday from a concealed underground garden beneath a home on an almond ranch. One man was arrested in connection with the elaborate, hidden grow in the 4300 block of North Griffith Avenue in the Hilmar area. Victor Arreola Barajas, 40, of Ceres was booked into the Merced County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail on suspicion of marijuana cultivation and utilities theft. Barajas was arrested in a  vehicle near the grow site with more than $5,000 in cash, Deputy Ray Framstad said.
Read more here.

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Council pledges to ban outdoor marijuana grows (Martinez)
Rick Jones, Martinez News-Gazette

Before a standing room-only crowd at City Hall the Martinez City Council took no action on a proposed amendment that would limit outdoor growing of medical marijuana. Instead, the Public Safety Commission will introduce a new ordinance that will completely ban outdoor growing of medical marijuana. Councilmembers Anamarie Avila Farias and Mike Menesini, both members of the Public Safety Subcommittee, felt after a recent Supreme Court position and a hearing from concerned residents the city was on more solid ground in considering a complete ban.
Read more here.

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State Medical Board issues settlement, disciplinary order for Upper Lake doctor; probation, courses ordered (Lake County)
Elizabeth Larson, Lake County News

A case the Medical Board of California and the California Attorney General’s Office brought two years ago alleging that a longtime Upper Lake doctor violated professional codes while prescribing medical marijuana has been settled. Barbara Yaroslavsky, chair of the Medical Board of California, Department of Consumer Affairs, signed a stipulated settlement and disciplinary order in the case of Dr. Milan Hopkins on March 12. The settlement goes into effect on April 11, according to the case documents.
Read more here.

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Judge upholds Bakersfield's marijuana dispensary ban (Bakersfield)
Steven Mayer, Bakersfield Californian

A Kern County Superior Court judge on Friday rejected a challenge to Bakersfield's ordinance banning medical marijuana dispensaries. The decision by Judge Kenneth C. Twisselman will allow the city to sue in civil court businesses and locations where medical marijuana is sold or distributed....
Read more here.


Events



Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - CA Senate Human Services Committee Hearing on SB 1029 (Sacramento)
The California Senate Human Services Committee will hear testimony and vote on Sen. Loni Hancock's (D-Berkeley) SB 1029. ASA support this bill, which makes certain people convicted of drug-related felonies (including cannabis and medical cannabis offenses) eligible for public assistance. Read more about the bill and download ASA’s letter of support. You may submit comments to the committee in advance. The hearing starts at 1:30 PM in Room 3191 in the State Capitol Building.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014 – Book Signing with Peter Hecht, Author of Weed Land (Sacramento)
In Weed Land, Sacramento Bee journalist Peter Hecht chronicles the fight over marijuana legalization. From Compassionate Care laws and DEA enforcement, to growing mainstream support and state adoption.  The signing is at 6:30 PM at Barnes and Nobel located at Arden Fair Mall, 1725 Arden Way, Sacramento, CA 95815, 916-565-0644.

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Monday, April 14, 2014 – Court Support for Ronnie Chang (San Diego)
Support medical cannabis defendant Ronnie Chang at his sentencing hearing. Read more about Mr. Chang’s case on the San Diego ASA website. Dress in a professional manner and obey all court room rules to best help the defendant. The hearing starts at 9:00 AM at Suite 3130 Courtroom 3A - 3rd Floor of the Schwartz Federal Courthouse at 221 W. Broadway, San Diego 92101.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014 – Court Support for Joe Grumbine (Long Beach)
Support medical cannabis defendant and advocate Joe Grumbine. His hearing starts at 8:30 AM in Judge Arthur Jean’s courtroom at 275 Magnolia Ave., Long Beach, CA 90802. Dress in a professional manner and obey all court room rules to best help the defendant. Thanks to The Human Solution for tracking this case.

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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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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.


Do you have a medical cannabis event to share? Send items for the California Weekly Roundup to CARoundup@SafeAccessNow.org before 12:00 PM on Friday to be included in Monday's distribution.


Take Action



Support HR 689 and HR 710

You can still help with our federal campaign, even if you are not in the US Capitol as part of ASA's National Medical cannabis Unity Conference today. US Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Sam Farr are cosponsors on legislation that will end the federal conflict with state medical cannabis programs.  Blumenauer’s bill, titled the States’ Medical Marijuana Patient Protections Act (HR 689), will move cannabis out of Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act and allow for medical research to be controlled by an agency other than the National Institute of Drug Abuse. Farr’s bill, the Truth in Trials Act (HR 710), will allow patients, caregivers and providers who are in compliance with state law to offer evidence of the medical necessity for their use of cannabis. Please take a minute to urge your Representative in the House to cosponsor HR 689, the States' Medical Cannabis Patient Protection Act, and HR 710, the Truth in Trials Act. Demand Congress show their support today.

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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



ASA Monthly Activist Newsletters

ASA publishes a monthly newsletter that covers major medical cannabis stories and events at the local, state, and federal level. Our monthly activist newsletters are designed to keep activists up-to-date on medical cannabis movement news, new action items, medical cannabis research, and political updates. The newsletters are also a great tool for community organizing, outreach, and citizen lobbying. Be sure to check out the current and previous editions.


ASA CA Chapter Spotlight



San Diego ASA

Founded in 2003, the San Diego Chapter of ASA is one of our oldest and most active. The City Council in San Diego resisted implementing medical cannabis laws for many years, leaving patients without safe and dignified access. Local law enforcement and San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis have cooperated with federal attacks on patients’ associations and launched their own home-grown offensives against local patients and providers. Against these tough odds, the San Diego ASA Chapter has persevered and helped make a better life for patients in the city and county.

This year, the San Diego ASA Chapter completed a multi-year campaign when they persuaded a skeptical City Council to adopt an ordinance regulating storefront medical cannabis cooperatives and collectives. Now they are turning their attention to neighboring communities, in hopes of protecting local access all over the county. The chapter is also expanding its public outreach at non-cannabis related events in hopes of creating broader awareness and support in the community.

San Diego ASA was honored at the Chapter of the Year at ASA’s Unity Awards Banquet last night. The next San Diego ASA meeting is this Tuesday night. See the “Chapter Meetings” section of this message for the details.


ASA Chapter & Affiliate Meetings



Tuesday, April 8, 2014 – Nevada County ASA (Grass Valley)
The meeting starts at 6:00 PM at The Banner Grange, 12629 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley, CA 95949. Email info@asa-nc.com for more information.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014 – San Diego ASA (San Diego)
The meeting starts at 7:30 PM at Giovanni's Restaurant - 9353 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. San Diego, CA 92123. Email sandiegoasa@gmail.com for more information.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014 - San Diego ASA (Imperial Beach)
The meeting starts at 6:00 PM at 1233 Palm Ave, Imperial Beach, CA 91932. Email sandiegoasa@gmail.com for more information.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014 - Yuba County ASA (Foothills)
The meeting starts at 7:00 PM at the Willow Glen Restaurant. Email yuba.asa@gmail.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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