ASA California Roundup: March 31, 2014

March 31, 2014 | Don Duncan

Contents:

Message from the CA Director - Maral v. Live Oak – Local Politics Matter

California News

  • Crime Reduces at Steeper Rate in States Allowing Medical Marijuana, Study Says (National)
  • Medical marijuana eases some MS symptoms, neurologists report (National)
  • California Supreme Court upholds ruling on local medical marijuana cultivation bans (California)
  • Police Lobby Wants to Gut Medical Pot in California (California)
  • Leland Yee corruption case: State senator faces uphill fight against strong FBI evidence(California)
  • On marijuana legalization in California and Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s remarks (Califonia)
  • Petition drive seeks to overturn Watsonville medical marijuana ban (Watsonville)
  • Shasta County expecting busy marijuana grow season as number of illegal farms explodes (Redding)
  • City to ban pot growth; Council requests ordinance draft before next meeting; mayor says public welcome to comment on it (Colusa)
  • Measure A Gives Long Beach Voters Option To Tax Medpot (Long Beach)
  • Fresno County imposes marijuana growing fines (Fresno County)
  • Fresno man pleads guilty in marijuana growing operation near Newman (Stanislaus County)
  • The 102 Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensaries closed since Proposition D (map) (Los Angeles)

Events

  • 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

  • Limiting Law Enforcement Encounters

ASA Merchandise

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

ASA Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

  • Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - San Francisco ASA (San Francisco)
  • Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - Yuba County ASA (Valley)
  • Thursday, April 3, 2014 - Sonoma ASA (Santa Rosa)

Message from the CA Director



A local ban on all medical cannabis cultivation stands after the California Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal on Wednesday in Maral v. Live Oak, an appellate decision permitting cities and counties to prevent patients from growing their own medicine, despite the fact that it is allowed under state law. The decision means that a ban on all cultivation adopted by the City of Live Oak in 2011 will be precedent for other cities and counties to follow.

The Maral decision is a second blow to patients’ rights in California. Last year, the state supreme court held in Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center that local governments could ban distribution of legal medicine. Maral and Riverside are a one-two punch for California patients and providers. By allowing local governments to prevent any cultivation or distribution of medical cannabis, the courts are, in effect, authorizing jurisdictions to opt out of crucial parts of Proposition 215.

The decisions may create “access deserts” in some regions. Patients in southern and rural communities, where support for medical cannabis is less robust, are especially threatened. That was clearly not the voters’ intent when they approved the Compassionate Use Act to ensure “Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes.” Nor is it what the California legislature intended when it enacted in 2003 the Medical Marijuana Program Act (SB 420) to “[p]romote uniform and consistent application of the act among the counties within the state.” And it is certainly not what is best for the most seriously ill patients who rely on cultivation or dispensaries for safe, consistent access to their medicine…

Read the rest of my blog “Maral v. Live Oak – Local Politics Matter” here.


California News



Crime Reduces at Steeper Rate in States Allowing Medical Marijuana, Study Says (National)
420 Times, IVN

Despite police fears that legal marijuana businesses attract crime, including under-the-table drug dealing, weapons violations, and robberies, a new study says the opposite might be the case. Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas analyzed major crimes from 1990 to 2006 in the United States, paying particular attention to early medical marijuana states: laska (1998), California (1996), Colorado (2000), Hawaii (2000), Maine (1999), Montana (2004), Nevada (2000), Oregon (1998), Rhode Island (2006), Vermont (2004), and Washington (1998). Crime across America — homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny, and auto theft — decreased during that time. But  the study, published this week in the journal PLOS ONE, states...
Read more here.

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Medical marijuana eases some MS symptoms, neurologists report (National)
Monte Morin, LA Times

There is strong evidence that medical marijuana pills may reduce symptoms of spasticity and pain reported by multiple sclerosis patients, but little proof that smoking pot offers the same benefit, according to new alternative treatment guidelines released by the American Academy of Neurology. The guidelines on complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM, treatments for MS were published Monday in the journal Neurology and are among the first from a national medical organization to suggest that doctors might offer cannabis treatment to patients.
Read more here.

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California Supreme Court upholds ruling on local medical marijuana cultivation bans (California)
Elizabeth Lason, Lake County News

The California Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a petition and depublication request regarding an appellate court decision that upheld the right of local governments to completely ban medical marijuana cultivation by patients. The court took the action in the case of Maral v. Live Oak, in which last November the Third District Court of Appeals upheld the city of Live Oak's complete ban on medical marijuana cultivation. The Supreme Court's  refusal to review the decision means it stands as a legal precedent under California law, according to Cal NORML, which sponsored the lawsuit seeking the petition and depublication. The organization called the court's action “a disappointing setback” in a Wednesday statement.
Read more here.

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Police Lobby Wants to Gut Medical Pot in California (California)
David Downs, East Bay Express

In a recent interview for a Culture magazine cover story, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the one-time US Surgeon General candidate, told me he believes that FDA-approved medical marijuana products should be available in every pharmacy in America. Medical pot patients and the latest research on cannabis have convinced him of the drug's efficacy, he said, and he is advising increased medical marijuana access around the globe.
Read more here.

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Leland Yee corruption case: State senator faces uphill fight against strong FBI evidence(California)
Howard Mintz, San Jose Mercury News

After a June 2013 meeting in his Sacramento office, state Sen. Leland Yee took a stroll with political consultant Keith Jackson and two undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen trying to gain legislative clout for a purported "Anheuser-Busch of the medical marijuana industry." As they walked to a cafe, Yee, who had been soliciting campaign money for his nascent secretary of state run, worried about the donations being tied to his support for any particular medical marijuana bills. Yee appeared well aware he was dancing close to a corruption line all too familiar in the Capitol's corridors of power, court records show.
Read more here.

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On marijuana legalization in California and Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s remarks (Califonia)
Ngaio Bealum, Sacramento News and Review

Q. What is wrong with Sen. Dianne Feinstein? —Worried in Woodland A. Right? She recently spoke out against marijuana legalization (again!) in an interview with the Associated Press, spouting nonsense like, “The risk of people  using marijuana and driving is very substantial,” and “I saw a lot of where people began with marijuana and went on to hard drugs.” As if.
Read more here.

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Petition drive seeks to overturn Watsonville medical marijuana ban (Watsonville)
Donna Jones, Santa Cruz Sentinal

The operator of a medical marijuana collective intends to circulate petitions seeking to overturn Watsonville's 7-year-old ban on pot dispensaries. Ryan Booker of Ethnobotanica officially notified the city of his intentions Monday and said he hopes to get the initiative on the November ballot. "It has to happen," Booker said. "I believe the population in Watsonville needs a dispensary."
Read more here.

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Shasta County expecting busy marijuana grow season as number of illegal farms explodes (Redding)
AP, The Republic

Shasta County authorities say an explosion of illegal marijuana growing operations in the area is taxing local law enforcement's ability to keep up. The Redding Record Searchlight reports (http://bit.ly/1jLTlpX ) that the Shasta County Sheriff's Office expects citizen complaints about illegal pot grows to double from 300 to 600 in 2014. Previously, authorities focused investigations on large illegal gardens on public lands.
Read more here.

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City to ban pot growth; Council requests ordinance draft before next meeting; mayor says public welcome to comment on it (Colusa)
Brian Pearson, Coulsa County Sun-Hearld

The Colusa City Council voted 4-1 on March 18 to pursue an outright ban for the cultivation of medical marijuana within the city limits — both indoor and outdoor. The lone "nay" was cast by Councilwoman Marilyn Acree. City attorney Kristen Hicks was directed by the council to draft a total-ban ordinance to be reviewed and discussed at a later meeting — making Colusa the fourth city to do so since Maral v. City of Live Oak was decided by the 3rd District Court of Appeals.
Read more here.

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Measure A Gives Long Beach Voters Option To Tax Medpot (Long Beach)
Jonathan Van Dyke, Gazettes

Long Beach voters will have a say in the city’s long-winding process to regulate medical marijuana collectives this April 8. Measure A is a ballot initiative that is asking voters whether they want to tax medical marijuana sales in the city.
Read more here.

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Fresno County imposes marijuana growing fines (Fresno County)
Gene Haagenson, ABC 30

 Fresno County's new anti-marijuana growing ordinance was enforced for the first time on Tuesday. The Board of Supervisors imposed a $43,000 fine on a woman who was growing 43 marijuana plants. The first target of the ban on growing marijuana, medical or otherwise, was given three minutes to plead her case.
Read more and watch a video here.

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Fresno man pleads guilty in marijuana growing operation near Newman (Stanislaus County)
Staff, the Modesto Bee

 A 51-year-old Fresno man has been convicted for his role in a marijuana growing operation on agricultural land in Stanislaus County. Sam Kounhavong on Monday pleaded guilty to conspiring to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute the marijuana grown along the San Joaquin River near Newman.
Read more here.

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The 102 Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensaries closed since Proposition D (map) (Los Angeles)
Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Daily News

Seeking to limit the number of pot stores, voters last May passed Proposition D, which capped the number of pot dispensaries in Los Angeles at about 135. The law came amid neighborhood complaints about smokers loitering outside dispensaries and concerns about increased crime at the sites, and followed years of failed efforts by local lawmakers to regulate the marijuana industry.
Read more here.


Events



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



Limiting Law Enforcement Encounters

The best law enforcement encounter is the one that never happens. Fortunately, many patients and caregivers never encounter law enforcement problems. Those that do fairly regularly report successful interactions with local and county police. Many municipalities offer strong protection to medical cannabis patients. However, even in friendly jurisdictions, patients are still being harassed and arrested for medical cannabis, even if they present a valid medical cannabis ID card.


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, April 1, 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.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - Yuba County ASA (Valley)
The meeting starts at 7:00 PM at Rivers Edge Pub, 1 E. 12th Street, Marysville, CA 95901. Email yuba.asa@gmail.com for more information.

Thursday, April 3, 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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