ASA California Roundup: March 24, 2014

March 24, 2014 | Don Duncan

Contents:

Message from the CA Director - Local victories in CA

California News

  • Medical marijuana dispensaries are denied federal tax breaks (National)
  • Boom and bust in California’s medical marijuana industry (California)
  • Medical marijuana should be regulated by state (California)
  • Medical Marijuana Appeal Rejected, Aaron Sandusky Faces Nine More Years (California)
  • Anti-Pot Rhetoric Out of Step With California Voters (California)
  • San Pablo puts brakes on tough new anti-marijuana ordinance (San Pablo)
  • Fresno City Council bans all marijuana growing (Fresno)
  • Fontana’s Last Medical Marijuana Dispensary Fights Looming Shutdown (Fontana)
  • West Covina joins neighbors in medical marijuana dispensary ban (West Covina)
  • Judge Blows Smoke On LA Pot Shops' Equal Protection Suit (Los Angeles)

Events

  • Monday March 24, 2014 – Court Support for Steve Wick (Inyo County)
  • April 5-7, 2014 - The 2nd Annual National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference (Washington, DC)
  • Wednesday, April 23, 2014 – Medical Cannabis Forum with District Attorney Candidates (Sonoma)

Take Action

  • Oppose AB 2500 – Don’t turn patients into criminals!
  • Join Americans for Safe Access (ASA)

ASA Website Spotlight

  • Medical Cannabis Advocates Training Center

ASA Merchandise

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

ASA Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - San Diego ASA (North County)
  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - Sacramento ASA (Sacramento)

Message from the CA Director



While lawmakers in Sacramento debate bills for statewide regulation and licensing for medical cannabis, the local fight for safe access goes on. This week I want to highlight two victories in local campaigns to protect patients’ access. Members of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and their allies in Nevada County have collected enough signatures to put a voter initiative on the November ballot. The initiative will repeal the county's restrictive medical cannabis ordinance and return to the standards established in the Medical Marijuana Program Act (SB 420).

In the tiny Bay Area community of San Pablo, a single ASA member spoke up about plans to ban patient cultivation in that city. That member showed up alone to a recent City Council Meeting to stand up for his rights and the rights of other patients. He also alerted ASA, so that we could provide some last-minute support. Thanks to his imitative, the City Council delayed a vote on the cultivation ban! Read more in the “California News” section of this message.

Whether you are working with a team or alone, you can make a difference. It is going to be a long, hard campaign to bring safe access to some California communities – especially those in rural and southern areas. ASA cannot do the work for you, but we can help. Check out the Medical Cannabis Advocates Training Center in the “ASA Website Spotlight” section of this message. The free online resource is a valuable tool for learning advocacy skills, organizing in your community, and building a local coalition. Consider forming and ASA Chapter or Action Group and building your team. And finally, let us know what we can do to help you succeed.

Remember that I can help you promote organizing meetings, city council meetings, and other events, if I know in advance. Send me announcements about upcoming medical cannabis events in your community before Friday each week, and I will include them in the next California Weekly Roundup.


California News



Medical marijuana dispensaries are denied federal tax breaks (National)
By Examiner.com

Despite being small businesses, medical marijuana dispensaries—of which there are about 2,500 in the country—have to pay full taxes to state, local and federal government according to USA Today on March 17. Other small businesses are given federal tax breaks to help support businesses that are facing the competition of chains.
Read more here.

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Boom and bust in California’s medical marijuana industry (California)
By Peter Hecht, Sacramento Bee

Days after California voters rejected an initiative to legalize marijuana for recreational use in 2010, Oakland City Attorney John Russo got an unexpected visit from an old friend, a high-ranking official from the U.S. Department of Justice.As they chatted warmly about their children, Russo sensed what was coming. Despite the failed pot measure, Proposition 19, Oakland was spiritedly moving forward on an audacious marijuana cultivation plan.
Read more here.

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Medical marijuana should be regulated by state (California)
Editorial Staff, san Jose Mercury News

Google "medical marijuana California Legislature," and the paid listing that pops up promises a swift medical assessment -- apply online! -- for just $20. Is this an industry that needs oversight, or what?  The Legislature has not regulated dispensaries since Californians passed Proposition 215 in 1996, in part because police chiefs and the League of Cities have opposed legitimizing them. Now that has changed, and no wonder. It's crazy out there. Regulating city by city hasn't been good for dispensaries or their neighbors -- or for law enforcement.
Read more here.

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Medical Marijuana Appeal Rejected, Aaron Sandusky Faces Nine More Years (California)
By Zach Weissmueller, Reason.com

Three judges from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals have rejected the appeal of Aaron Sandusky, the California man sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for selling medical marijuana in a state where such activity is completely legal. Reason has covered the Sandusky case extensively here.  The three-judge panel opted not to hear oral arguments but rejected each of the legal arguments submitted in Sandusky's brief. Their five-page decision is available here.
Read more here.

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Anti-Pot Rhetoric Out of Step With California Voters (California)
By Steven Greenhut, Reason.com

As the state Republican Party searched for new ways to reach California’s young and independent-oriented electorate during its weekend convention outside of San Francisco, its main lieutenant governor candidate has chosen to run on an increasingly unpopular issue: opposing the decriminalization of marijuana.
Read more here.

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San Pablo puts brakes on tough new anti-marijuana ordinance (San Pablo)
By By Robert Rogers, Contra Costa Times

The City Council on Monday held off adopting an ordinance that would prohibit medical marijuana cardholders from growing pot plants in their own homes, citing legal concerns stemming from a pending state Supreme Court case. "The San Pablo City Council decided to wait so it can evaluate the impacts of any action taken by the Supreme Court," City Manager Matt Rodriguez wrote in an email Tuesday. "We are hoping that the court will determine whether or not to review the case within the next month."
Read more here.

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Fresno City Council bans all marijuana growing (Fresno)
By Gene Haagenson, ABC 30 KFSN-TV

The city of Fresno already bans outdoor marijuana growing. One opponent of extending it indoors told the City Council it would deprive medical marijuana users of their medicine. "This is my medicine. I'm going to keep it and grow it." But Police Chief Jerry Dyer reminded council members of the criminal problems caused by pot growing.
Read more and watch the video here.

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Fontana’s Last Medical Marijuana Dispensary Fights Looming Shutdown (Fontana)
By CBS 2 Los Angeles

The director of the last remaining medical marijuana dispensary in Fontana is fighting law enforcement to continue operations for his sick and dying patients. KCAL9′s Tom Wait reports the dispensary located in the 16000 block of Foothill Boulevard has been banned by the city. But its director, Levi Boicourt, says police are being unfair to his patients.
Read more here.

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West Covina joins neighbors in medical marijuana dispensary ban (West Covina)
By Jason Henry, San Gabriel Valley Tribune

West Covina banned medical marijuana clinics Tuesday after years of using an interpretation of its municipal code to deny business licenses. The code amendment bars the shops while also establishing rules for their operation if federal law changes, according to City Manager Chris Chung. “We’re essentially going to initiate a code amendment to prohibit it, but we’re also going to provide a backup in case such prohibition is illegal,” Chung said.
Read more here.

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Judge Blows Smoke On LA Pot Shops' Equal Protection Suit (Los Angeles)
By Daniel Siegal, Law360.com

Law360, Los Angeles (March 20, 2014, 8:52 PM ET) -- A California federal judge on Thursday tentatively dismissed a group of medical marijuana dispensaries' suit alleging a Los Angeles ban on medical marijuana businesses violates their right to equal protection, saying the plaintiffs didn't show the ban is unconstitutional but granting them leave to amend. The plaintiffs are a group of medical marijuana dispensaries who weren't grandfathered in as part of the city's voter-approved ban, known as Proposition D.
Read more here.


Events



Monday March 24, 2014 – Court Support for Steve Wick (Inyo County)
The hearing and possible jury trial starts at 9:00 AM in Courtroom 1 (Judge Lamb) in the Independence, CA. Read more about this case online and contact the defendant for more information at pendads@icloud.com. Dress in a professional manner and obey all courtroom rules to best support the defendant. Thanks to The Human Solution for tracking this case.

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.
Read more, register for the conference, and book your room at the Mayflower Inn today.

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



Oppose AB 2500 – Don’t turn patients into criminals!

The California Assembly Committee on Public Safety will soon hear testimony on AB 2500, a bill authored by Assembly Jim Frazier (D-Fairfield).  The bill 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!

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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 Medical Cannabis Advocate's Training Center

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.


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, March 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, March 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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