ASA California Roundup: June 16, 2014

June 16, 2014 | Don Duncan

Contents:

  • Message from the CA Director
  • California & National News
  • Public Meetings & Events
  • Court Support
  • Take Action Now
  • ASA Website Spotlight
  • ASA Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

Message from the CA Director



Hundreds of members of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and our allies will meet in Sacramento on Monday, August 4, for our third medical cannabis citizen lobby day. I hope that you are all planning to be a part of ASA’s biggest and most important lobby day yet. This is your chance to meet face-to-face with lawmakers and staff to influence legislation that will affect patients, cultivators, and industry workers for years to come. We will also be having some special guest speakers, laying out our plans for next year, and hosting a special reception for ASA members and lawmakers. Don’t miss out!

The best outcomes for medical cannabis patients and other stakeholders come when those affected by new laws are a part of the conversation. The state legislature is likely to pass one or more bills that matter for patients, cultivators, and industry workers in August. Lawmakers need to hear from you, and that is what the CA Citizen Lobby Day is all about.

Do you want to learn more about the legislative proposals on the table right now and what is coming next year before the CA Citizen Lobby Day? Plan to join us for a live Google Hangout on Thursday, June 26, at 7:00 PM. ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer and I will talk about what is happening right now and on the horizon for medical cannabis in California. A Google Hangout is a free event you can join online from your computer or mobile device. This Google Hangout follows the final policy committee votes on medical cannabis bills in the legislature, so we will have the latest information about amendments that day.

Thank you in advance for being a part of the process in California. See you in Sacramento!


 


California & National News



What’s Next for Pot in Congress? (National)
Emma Dumain, Roll Call

Activists cheered a House vote last month to bar the federal government from interfering with state medical marijuana laws. It was a watershed moment for pro-marijuana advocates — and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle — who have been waiting for years for Congress to take an affirmative up-or-down vote on any related issue.
Read more here.

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Feds Warn Casinos to Turn Away Gamblers With Medical Marijuana Ties (National)
Nathan Halverson, KQED

U.S. casinos, including those in the Bay Area and throughout California, cannot accept bets from people working in the medical marijuana industry — unless these gamblers pass an extensive background check and have their bets regularly monitored by the federal government. That was the word out of Las Vegas on Thursday, where federal regulators addressed the gaming industry at the 2014 Bank Secrecy Act Conference.
Read more here.

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How the U.S. Government Makes Money on Cannabis (National)
Debra Borchardt, The Street

The government makes money off of cannabis; the same cannabis it declares illegal. The same cannabis it throws people into prison for selling. The National Institute of Health received a patent on cannabinoids in October 2003. Aidan Hampson, the scientist who made the discovery while working at the Institute of Mental Health said, "I discovered the cannabinoid receptor in the brain that THC [the active chemical in marijuana] binds to. THC mimics something that occurs naturally in the brain and I asked myself, what's the natural key to this lock?" Hampson said if a scientist believes something could be important, then you patent it immediately.
Read more here.

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League of California Cities Says SB 1262, Sen. Correa’s Medical Marijuana Bill Offers Best Regulatory Framework for Meeting Patients Needs While Protecting Public Safety and Local Control (California)
Sierra Sun-Times

Since voters passed the Compassionate Use Act (Proposition 215) in 1996 to give patients access to medical marijuana, confusion has ensued, leaving patients dissatisfied, public safety at risk, and local authority to regulate dispensaries subject to frequent challenge. This measure, co-sponsored by the League of California Cities and the California Police Chiefs Association, and supported by Americans for Safe Access, passed out of the Senate last week by a vote of 31-0. This measure now stands as the sole remaining bill addressing medical marijuana, after AB 1894 (Ammiano), opposed by the League and the California Police Chiefs, failed passage  on the  Assembly Floor last Thursday.
Read more here.

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Is Marijuana Destroying California’s Water and Wildlife? (California)
Anna Brones, Care2, TruthOut.com

The discussion over marijuana in California is a heated one, and not just because of THC. Since 1996, marijuana has been legal in California for medical purposes, setting off an increase in marijuana cultivation. But while that's good for the pro-marijuana crowd, it's not as good for the pro-environment crowd. Why? California's marijuana industry is having a serious affect on wildlife and water, now aggravated by the state's worst-ever drought.
Read more here.

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San Jose medical marijuana dispensaries face tough new rules (San Jose)
Mike Rosenberg, San Jose Mercury News

San Jose leaders have taken their firmest stance yet on one of the thorniest issues at City Hall, moving to crack down big time on medical marijuana dispensaries following several failed attempts to get tough on pot over the last half-decade.
Read more here.

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Sacramento County to limit indoor marijuana growth (Sacramento County)
Brad Branan, Sacramento Bee

Sacramento County supervisors are expected Tuesday to limit the indoor growth of marijuana to nine plants per house in unincorporated areas. The indoor restriction comes nearly two months after the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to ban outdoor marijuana growth, joining a number of other California cities and counties that have targeted cultivation in response to safety and nuisance complaints. Sheriff Scott Jones said earlier this year a profusion of marijuana grows have led to burglaries and, in some cases, fatal shootings.
Read more here.

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Riverside Sues to Block Vote on Regulating Medical Marijuana (Riverside)
David Downs, East Bay Express

Citizens of Riverside attempting to regulate dispensaries at the ballot box are facing off against an old foe — their own city council. The City of Riverside has a total ban on all medical marijuana collectives operating in retail storefronts, so Riverside Safe Access gathered enough signatures to put dispensary regulations before a vote of the people.
Read more here.

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Marijuana shops could be left to Cathedral City voters (Cathedral City)
The Desert Sun

City Council members were divided Wednesday on whether to permit medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in this city, but they did agree that the issue should go before voters. The council directed city staff to draft an ordinance by July for council consideration. If approved, the initiative would be placed on the November ballot where voters would decide if medical marijuana dispensaries will be allowed to operate within city limits.
Read more here.

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Tulare County Supervisors Vote to Ban Marijuana (Tulare County)
Catherine Doe, Valley Voice Newspaper

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors voted 5 – 0 on June 3rd to ban all medical marijuana cultivation by cooperatives or individuals. Previously it was legal for cooperatives to grow 99 plants, and for individuals to grow up to 24 plants within an enclosed structure and out of public view.
Read more here.

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Pot tax to go before voters in November (Santa Cruz)
Jason Hoppin, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Fresh from approving two local tax measures and with a third hanging on for dear life, local voters will be asked in November to again approve a local tax — this time, on pot. The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday decided to put a local measure up for a fall vote allowing medical marijuana dispensaries to be taxed up to 10 percent of their gross sales. While the initial rate is likely to be lower — 7 percent has been openly discussed — dispensary operators and patients say that would impact their businesses and affect pot programs for low-income patients.
Read more here.

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Medical marijuana, Jefferson on Butte supervisors agenda (Butte County)
Chico ER News

On the Butte County Board of Supervisors agenda will be the recently-qualified marijuana initiative and the state of Jefferson. The board will meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the supervisors chambers, 25 County Center Drive. More than 10,000 petitions were submitted last month to the Butte County Clerk's Office for an initiative regarding supervisors' right to regulate medical marijuana cultivation. The office said 8,318 signatures were verified in a random sampling, and only 7,605 were needed.
Read more here.

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DA's pot policy nets results (Mendocino County)
Linda Williams, Willits News

 Since taking office in 2011, Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster's innovative pot prosecution policy has recovered about $3 million for law enforcement. Using a little used California Code Section 11470.2, Eyster has forced 360 marijuana defendants to pay for the cost of policing and prosecution. As of June 1, only 20 defendants had re-offended, according to Eyster.
Read more here.


Public Meetings & Events



Monday, June 16, 2014 - Marijuana Compassion and Common Sense (Online)
Join Lanny Swerdlow for his pioneering Internet radio show. Lanny will be discuss the City of Riverside's lawsuit to block a medical cannabis voter initiative and the proponents’ countersuit. Log onto www.blogtalkradio.com/marijuananews at 6:00 PM to listen and call in at (657) 383-0011.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014 – CA Assembly Public Safety Committee Hearing on SB 1193 (Sacramento)
The California Assembly Public Safety Committee will hear testimony and vote on SB 1193 by Senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) at 9:00 AM in Room 126 in the State Capitol Building. ASA supports this bill, which changes how cannabis is held as evidence and requires that wrongfully-confiscated plants or medicine be returned or that the owner paid reasonable compensation. Read more about medical cannabis bills in California online.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014 – CA Assembly Business, Professions, and Consumer Protection Committee Hearing on SB 1262 (Sacramento)
The California Assembly Business, Professions, and Consumer Protection Committee will hear testimony and vote on SB 1262 by Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) at 9:00 AM in Room 447 126 in the State Capitol Building. ASA supports this bill, which would better regulate commercial medical cannabis activity. Read more about medical cannabis bills in California online.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014 – Live Google Hangout to Discuss Medical Cannabis Legislation & More (Online)

Join ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer and CA Director Don Duncan for a live online conversation about legislation in California, the upcoming CA Citizen Lobby Day, and more. Log onto http://www.safeaccessnow.org/asa_live from your computer of mobile device at 7:00 PM PDT to join in the conversation.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014 – The State of Marijuana (Los Angeles)
This one-day conference focuses on the future of the cannabis and medical cannabis movement and industry. ASA CA Director Don Duncan will be speaking. The conference is at 7080 Hollywood Blvd., 11th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90026. Information, tickets, and registration is online at http://stateofmarijuana.eventtribe.com

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Monday, August 4, 2014 – CA Citizen Lobby Day (Sacramento)

Hundreds of ASA Members and allies will meet in Sacramento for a legislative briefing and citizen lobby day in support for sensible legislation to better regulate commercial medical cannabis activity and protect patients’ rights. We will also hear from special guest speakers and get a preview of ASA’s legislative agenda for 2015. ASA requests a $25 donation for the event, but no one will be turn away for lack of funds. Get more details online.


Court Support



What is Court Support and how do I get involved?

Thursday, June 26, 2014 – Court Support for Dan Levine (Oroville)
Support medical cannabis defendant Dan Levine at his hearing at 1:30 PM at #1 Court St. Oroville, Ca. 95965. Dress in a professional manner and obey all courtroom rules to best help the defendant. Thank you to The Human Solution for tracking this case.


Take Action Now



Urge your Senator to pass CJS Medical Marijuana Amendment

The US House of Representatives voted late Thursday (May 30, 2014) night to cut off funding for federal medical cannabis raids, arrests, and prosecutions in states where it is legal. The same CJS amendment must still be introduced in the Senate and pass there as well. We're doing our part by lobbying on Capitol Hill, but we desperately need your help contact your Senators and asking for their support to this amendment. Contact California Senators Feinstein and Boxer today.

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Join Americans for Safe Access (ASA)


This is the final week of ASA’s Spring Membership Drive. Have you joined yet?  Be sure to take advantage of some great membership incentives right now. 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 Website Spotlight



Community Support Project

ASA is the go-to source for updated, accurate information for patients, providers, advocates, and clinicians. Our Community Support Project provides thousands of pages of free information every day through e-mail updates, newsletters, reports, publications, and trainings. ASA provides advocates the information, training, and support necessary to have a major impact in local and national campaigns. This includes “How-to guides” and trainings for citizen lobbying, talking to the media and becoming a medical cannabis spokesperson, accompanying trainings and materials.


ASA Chapter & Affiliate Meetings



Tuesday, June 17, 2014 - San Francisco ASA (San Francisco)
The meeting starts at 7:30 PM at Lounge 847, 847 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103. Email tony@safeaccessnow.org for more information.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - East Bay ASA (Oakland)
The meeting starts at 6:30 PM at the Oaksterdam Student Union, 1915 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612. Email eastbayasa@gmail.com for more information.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - Lake County ASA (Clearlake Oaks)
The meeting starts at 6:30 PM at the Moose Lodge, 15900 East Highway 20, Clearlake Oaks, CA 95423. Email boo5416@yahoo.com for more information.

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Sunday, June 22, 2014 – Lake County (North San Juan)
The meeting starts at 2:00 PM at North San Juan Senior Center, 29190 State Hwy 49, North San Juan, CA 95960.  Email info@asa-nc.com for 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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  • commented 2014-06-17 18:00:21 -0400
    The CA Assembly Business, Professions, & Consumer Protection Committee approved SB 1262, a medical cannabis regulatory bill by Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), this morning. The bill has been amended to include many of the provisions from AB 1894, a competing regulatory bill by Assembly Member Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), which was defeated in the Assembly. The bill must now be heard before the Assembly Public Safety Committee, which us Chaired by Assembly Member Ammiano. That hearing is likely to take place next Tuesday.

    You can see the amended version of SB 1262 here:

    http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB1262&search_keywords

    ASA will publish comments and suggested amendments to the bill on our website before Tuesday’s hearing:

    http://www.safeaccessnow.org/2014_legislation

    The CA Assembly Public Safety Committee delayed a vote on SB 1193 until next week. SB 1193 is a bill by Senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) that would change how plants and cannabis held as evidence are handled and require wrongfully-confiscated plants and medical cannabis to be returned to their owner. Owners would be entitled to reasonable compensation for damaged or destroyed plants of medical cannabis.

    You can read SB 1193 here:

    http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB1193&search_keywords

    Be sure to register for ASA’s CA Citizen Lobby day on Monday, August 4, in Sacramento:

    http://www.safeaccessnow.org/ca_citizen_lobby_day