ASA California Roundup: February 24, 2014

February 24, 2014 | Don Duncan

Contents:

Message from the CA Director - SB 1262... the Good and the Bad

California News

  • Medical Marijuana Group Issues its First Quality Certificates (National)
  • Medical Marijuana Sought by More Veterans (National)
  • If Medical Marijuana Laws Cause A 'Surge in Drugged Driving Deaths,' Why Are Fatalities Falling? (National)
  • California's Marijuana Industry Is Still Cash-Only (California)
  • Girl Scout Sells Cookies Outside Medical Marijuana Dispensary (San Francisco)
  • Christian Pot Dispensary Takes on IRS (Sacramento)
  • Diamond Bar bans medical marijuana clinics (Diamond Bar)
  • Council votes to ban marijuana cultivation (Beaumont)
  • Rialto council may ban mobile marijuana dispensaries (Inland Empire)
  • The Triumph of Paul Lucas over Dirty Cops and Draconian Drug Warriors, pt 1. (Orange County)

Events

  • Tuesday, February 25, 2014 – Rialto City Council Meeting (Rialto)
  • April 5-7, 2014 - The 2nd Annual National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference (Washington, DC)

Take Action

  • Be a More Effective Advocate: ASA’s Medical Cannabis Advocates Training Center
  • Join Americans for Safe Access (ASA)

ASA Website Spotlight

  • Return of Property
  • Free Online Services

ASA Merchandise

  • ASA Cloud Vaporizer Pen
  • ASA Condition-Specific Booklets for Kindle

ASA Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

  • Tuesday, February 25, 2014 – San Diego ASA (North County)
  • Thursday, February 27, 2014 – Sacramento ASA (Sacramento)

Message from the CA Director



The California legislative session is underway, and three significant medical cannabis measures were introduced before last Friday’s deadline for new bills. The latest effort to regulate commercial medical cannabis activity and doctors who recommend medical cannabis is a bill by Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana). SB 1262 is sponsored by the California League of Cities and the California Police Chief Association, two powerful lobby groups that have opposed any regulation of medical cannabis in California until now. It is encouraging to see these two groups coming to the table this year.

The introduction of SB 1262 may be a milestone in overcoming the impasse on medical cannabis regulation in California, but the bill has both good and bad provisions. The good news is that SB 1262 places regulatory control of commercial medical cannabis activity in the Department of Health, where ASA believes it belongs. We do not think it is best to regulate medical cannabis like a vice (i.e. alcohol or tobacco). Furthermore, the bill’s provisions about safety and operational standards for dispensaries are largely reasonable and in line with emerging professional standards in the field.

The bad news is that SB 1262 recognizes the right of local jurisdictions to ban medical cannabis patients’ associations, which reaffirms the status quo established by the California’s Supreme Court decision in Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Wellness Center last year. The bill also contains severe restrictions on doctors who recommend medical cannabis in California. The heavy-handed regulations are sure to raise the ire of the medical community, and if adopted, may even lead to litigation.

ASA knows that the best outcomes result from having those affected by legislation at the table when bills are debated, amended, and finally approved or rejected. That is why it is important that each of you make a commitment to participate in the process this year. We will need grassroots advocacy in every legislative district in the state, in the Capitol, online, and in our communities. Thanks for helping!


California News



Medical Marijuana Group Issues its First Quality Certificates (San Francisco Bay Area)
By Katie Rucke in the Mint Press News

About two months after the medical marijuana patient advocacy group Americans for Safe Access announced that it would launch a program to verify medical marijuana products sold at licensed businesses, the group announced the certification of the first two dispensaries in the country: Berkeley Patients Group and SPARC of San Francisco. The certifications are issued to dispensaries by the Patient Focused Certification Program, the only nonprofit, third-party medical marijuana program in the industry. The program issues certificates to those businesses that are proven to sell products that are both high-quality and reliable, according to standards set by the the American Herbal Products Association and the American Herbal Pharmacopeia.
Read more here.
Read ASA's press release about the Patient Focused Certification program here.

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Medical Marijuana Sought by More Veterans (National)

By Jerry Nelson on Libert Voice

Medical marijuana is being sought by more veterans returning from war zones. For decades, prescription medications were seen as the only viable solution for those who had been traumatized by war. The results have been less than ideal. Twenty two military veterans commit suicide every day, according to a study released by the Veteran’s Administration in Washington D.C.
Read more here.

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If Medical Marijuana Laws Cause A 'Surge in Drugged Driving Deaths,' Why Are Fatalities Falling? (National)
By Jacob Sullum in Forbes

A study published by the American Journal of Epidemiology last month found that 12.2% of drivers killed by car crashes in six states tested positive for cannabinol, a marijuana metabolite, in 2010, up from 4.2% in 1999. Here is how NBC News translated that finding in the headline over a story posted on Saturday: ”Pot Fuels Surge in Drugged Driving Deaths.” The article, which begins by describing the deaths of a Colorado woman and her infant son in a crash caused by “a driver who admitted he smoked pot that day,” links the purported surge in marijuana-related traffic fatalities to laws allowing medical use of cannabis. “As medical marijuana sales expanded into 20 states,” writes health reporter Bill Briggs, “legal weed was detected in the bodies of dead drivers three times more often during 2010 when compared to those who died behind the wheel in 1999.” There are several problems with reading the trend described by this study as evidence that legalizing medical marijuana causes an increase in fatal car crashes:
Read more here.

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California's Marijuana Industry Is Still Cash-Only (California)
By Chris Roberts in SF Weekly

A great way to look like a criminal is to settle all your accounts in cold, hard cash. And that's exactly what California's legal, taxpaying marijuana industry has had to do since banks started closing cannabis-related accounts and refusing additional banking customers in 2010 and 2011.
Read more here.

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Girl Scout Sells Cookies Outside Medical Marijuana Dispensary (San Francisco)
By Kelli Bender in People.com

Girl Scout Danielle Lei knows how to think outside the box when it comes to selling cookies. The 13-year-old recently set up her cookie stand outside the Green Cross medical marijuana dispensary in San Francisco, Calif. Patients bought out Lei's supplies in 45 minutes, as reported on the dispensary's Facebook page, requiring the girl to seek out a larger cookie supply.
Read more here.

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Christian Pot Dispensary Takes on IRS (Sacramento)
By Katy Steinmetz in Time

At Lanette Davies’ shop in Sacramento, everyone stops what they’re doing at 6 p.m. Some patrons come especially for this moment in the day, while others just happen to be there. “We have prayer every night, for our community and our patients,” she says. And those patients are all taking at least one of the same prescriptions: medical marijuana. Her shop, Canna Care, is a “Christian-based dispensary,” where the owners believe in both the powers of Christ and cannabis.
Read more here.

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Diamond Bar bans medical marijuana clinics (Diamond Bar)
By Steve Scauzillo in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Following the direction of other local cities, the City Council Tuesday voted to implement a permanent ban on all medical marijuana dispensaries less than a year after a storefront facility was shuttered by federal authorities. The City Council first approved an extension of a temporary ban on medical marijuana clinics that will last until January 2015. It also introduced a second ordinance that will permanently ban medical marijuana operations from the city.
Read more here.

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Council votes to ban marijuana cultivation (Beaumont)
By Craig Schultz in the Press Enterprise

While the City Council debated medical marijuana, Beaumont city attorney Joe Aklufi summed up the pot issue in two words. “It’s illegal,” he said. Council members were discussing the use of medical marijuana before they voted 4-0 Tuesday, Feb. 18, to ban its cultivation in the city. Councilman Jeff Fox was absent. Marijuana dispensaries and co-ops already have been outlawed in the city. Tuesday’s vote regarded growing pot for medical uses.
Read more here.

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Rialto council may ban mobile marijuana dispensaries (Inland Empire)
By Canan Tasci, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

The City Council will vote on the fate of mobile marijuana dispensaries on Tuesday. If the ordinance is approved, patients using the cannabis for medical use will no longer be able to receive the drug delivered to their door or business. “This community is dead set against that type of activity because there is a criminal element tied to it,” said Rialto police Lt. James Kurkoske.
Read more here.

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The Triumph of Paul Lucas over Dirty Cops and Draconian Drug Warriors, pt 1. (Orange County)
By Vern Nelson on the Orange Juice Blog

We all know Paul Lucas  here – those of us who read blogs, and anyone who’s been involved in local politics over the last decade, especially in the Democratic Party. You know – that former Loretta Sanchez aide and now-ubiquitous commenter who unleashes his righteous fury particularly against Democrat electeds who perpetuate the Drug War and the Prison-Industrial Complex *cough*Correa*cough*Solorio.
Read more here.


Events



Tuesday, February 25, 2014 – Rialto City Council Meeting (Rialto)
The City Council will vote on a ban on medical cannabis delivery services. ASA calls on Members and friends to speak in opposition to the ban. The meeting is at 6:00 PM in Civic Center Council Chambers at 150 S. Palm Avenue, Rialto, CA 92376. 

April 5-7, 2014- The 2nd Annual National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference (Washington, DC)

We are pleased to announce the 2nd Annual National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference, Navigating Medical Cannabis in the Mainstream, taking place April 5 – 7th at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C. Americans for Safe Access and our allies will fight even harder for safe access in 2014. This is our chance to show the Obama Administration and Congress our strength in unity – and to make our voice heard like never before in the nation’s capitol! The conference is your chance to network with other activists from around the country, attend panels and workshops to improve your skills and increase your knowledge, and to engage in direct citizen-lobbying efforts in the halls of Congress. Last year we had over 300 patients, providers, activist, medical and legal professional march on Washington on our lobby day. This was the largest march on Washington for safe access. Dont miss your chance to be apart of history.
Read more, register for the conference, and book your room at the Mayflower Inn today.


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



Be a More Effective Advocate: ASA’s Medical Cannabis Advocates Training Center

We are going to need effective citizen advocates in legislative districts statewide and in the Capitol this year. Whether this year’s proposals for new laws are good or bad for patients may depend on how well we can flex grassroots muscle in strategic districts. That means a small number of well-trained and informed advocates could make the difference this year! Learn about medical cannabis, being a spokesperson, talking to elected officials, and much more in ASA free online Medical Cannabis Advocates Training Center.

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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



Return of Property

Police officers sometimes confiscate medicine and plants from legal patients or caregivers. Victims must file a Motion for Return of Property with the court to get their wrongfully confiscated medicine back. Unfortunately, navigating the court system can be complicated and expensive. Hundreds of Californians have used ASA’s free information and resources to get their property back – without paying for a lawyer. Have a look at the Return of Property section to see if we can help you, too.

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Free Online Services:

  • Legal Support - Legal information for patients, lawyers, and other about medical cannabis laws the legal system.
  • Publications - Education literature and training for patients, activists, and others.
  • Raid Center - Be prepared for a law enforcement encounter, let ASA help you in case of a federal raid, and get text alerts regarding local law enforcement activity.
  • Medical Cannabis Advocate's Training Center - Learn how to be a more effective advocate for medical cannabis and how to build the movement in your community.

ASA Merchandise



ASA Cloud Vaporizer Pen

Medicate and advocate! The ASA Cloud Vaporizer Pen is perfect for patients who want to show their support for the medical cannabis movement. The pen has an ASA logo, comes in our signature color, and has a lifetime guarantee. 30% of every sale goes to support ASA.

ASA Condition-Specific Booklets for Kindle
 
ASA’s condition-specific booklets are the go-to reference for doctors and researchers when it comes to medical cannabis and cancer, HIV/AIDS, chronic pain, and other common conditions. These science-based booklets are also a great tool for patients who want to talk to their health care provider, family members, or others about medical cannabis. Download your now.


ASA Chapter & Affiliate Meetings



Tuesday, February 25, 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, February 27, 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.


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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