ASA California Weekly Roundup: February 16, 2015 Important developments in the federal courts and the state legislature

February 16, 2015 | Don Duncan

Steph ShererASA Executive Director Steph Sherer visited six cities in California last week to talk about local and state medical cannabis policies. ASA will be reporting back on what she heard from members about our proposed “Points of Unity” for commercial medical cannabis regulations in the state and other issues soon.  

A federal judge in Sacramento said last week that she was “very seriously” considering whether or not medical cannabis is misclassified by the federal government. Her ruling will affect nine defendants in federal court, but it may also have national implications. In a separate case, a judge granted the Berkeley Patients Group a temporary reprieve in a federal civil asset forfeiture case.

Assembly Member Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) introduced ASA-sponsored legislation to protect medical cannabis patients who need an organ transplant. Meanwhile, lawmakers have started the controversial debate about regulating commercial medical cannabis activity in the state. Read about a new law enforcement-sponsored bill to license medical cannabis business and another measure to prevent negative environmental impact associated with medical cannabis growing below. These are just two of the growing number of medical cannabis bills on the table in Sacramento this year.

 


ASA California Weekly Roundup: February 16, 2015


Contents:

Contest: Enter to Win FREE trip to the National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference

News

  • U.S. judge in California considers argument marijuana law unconstitutional (National)
  • California introduces bill to end organ transplant denials for medical marijuana patients (California)
  • New Push To Regulate Medical Marijuana In California (California)
  • California Assemblymember Jim Wood Introduces Legislation to Provide Consistency for Medical Marijuana Farms and Protect Vital Watersheds (California)
  • Federal Judge Rules In Favor Of California's Oldest Marijuana Dispensary (Berkeley)
  • Prosecutors Allege Organized Crime Running Chain Of Northern California Medical Marijuana Clinics (Oakland)
  • Medical marijuana use limited by location (Chico)
  • Upland wants to know more about possible medical marijuana dispensaries (Upland)
  • Dr. Dale Gieringer, California NORML At The ICBC This Weekend (San Francisco)
  • Editorial: Treat medical pot like the legal business it is (Orange County)

Events

  • February 16, 2015 - Marijuana Compassion and Common Sense (Online)
  • March 27-31, 2015 – ASA’s National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference 2015 (Washington, DC)

Court Support

  • February 18, 2015 - Court Support for Jeffrey and Andrea Sarbak (Pleasanton)
  • February 19, 2015 – Court Support for Jacob and Sierra Macias (Oroville)
  • And more

Take Action Now

  • Take the Medical Cannabis Discrimination Survey 
  • Support the Medical Marijuana Organ Transplant Act
  • Join ASA’s Email Discussion List

ASA Website Spotlight: 2015 Legislation (California)

Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

  • February 16, 2015 – Ventura ASA Action Group Meeting (Ventura)
  • February 17, 2015 - San Francisco ASA (San Francisco)
  • February 18, 2015 - East Bay ASA (Oakland)
  • February 18, 2015 – Lake County ASA (Clearlake Oaks)

Contest


Enter to Win FREE trip to the National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference
http://www.safeaccessnow.org/enter_to_win_free_trip_to_the_national_medical_cannabis_unity_conference

Help us celebrate Medical Marijuana Week February 8-15, 2015 by entering the #MMJWeekUnity15 Photo Contest. Since 2002, ASA has celebrated and hosted activities during Medical Marijuana Week to help build solidarity and bring attention the therapeutic value of cannabis.

This year we holding a photo contest to help promote evidence-based medical marijuana policy. We know that when patients and concerned citizens are involved at the highest levels of policy making, everyone benefits and that is why the winner of this years contest will receive a FREE trip to the National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference.
Read more here:
http://www.safeaccessnow.org/enter_to_win_free_trip_to_the_national_medical_cannabis_unity_conference


News


U.S. judge in California considers argument marijuana law unconstitutional (California)
Sharon Bernstein, Reuters

A federal judge hearing the case of nine men accused of illegally growing marijuana in California said Wednesday she was taking very seriously arguments by their attorneys that the federal government has improperly classified the drug as among the most dangerous, and should throw the charges out.
Read more here:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/12/us-usa-california-judge-marijuana-idUSKBN0LG06B20150212

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California introduces bill to end organ transplant denials for medical marijuana patients (California)
Oscar Pascual, SF Gate

In a move to save the lives of many Californians, Assembly member Marc Levine has introduced a bill to prevent medical marijuana patients from being denied organ transplants based solely on their cannabis use.
Read more here:
http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2015/02/12/california-introduces-bill-to-end-organ-transplant-denials-for-medical-marijuana-patients/

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New Push To Regulate Medical Marijuana In California (California)
Ben Adler, Capital Public Radio

There’s a new push to regulate medical marijuana in California after similar legislation failed at the state Capitol last year. The debate centers on how much control cities and counties should have over local marijuana businesses.
Listen to the broadcast and read more here:
http://www.capradio.org/articles/2015/02/11/new-push-to-regulate-medical-marijuana-in-california/

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California Assemblymember Jim Wood Introduces Legislation to Provide Consistency for Medical Marijuana Farms and Protect Vital Watersheds (California)
Sierra Sun Times

Assemblyman Jim Wood (District 2) has introduced the Marijuana Watershed Protection Act (AB 243). The legislation would address the environmental impacts of medical marijuana cultivation, and would seek to mitigate the impact of the crop on California’s water quality and supply.
Read more here:
http://goldrushcam.com/sierrasuntimes/index.php/news/local-news/2264-california-assemblymember-jim-wood-introduces-legislation-to-provide-consistency-for-medical-marijuana-farms-and-protect-vital-watersheds

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Federal Judge Rules In Favor Of California's Oldest Marijuana Dispensary (Berkeley)
Carly Schwartz, Huffington Post

A federal judge has signaled support for a medical marijuana dispensary in Berkeley, California, despite numerous attempts by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag to shut it down.
Read more here:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/10/berkeley-patients-group_n_6648268.html

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Prosecutors Allege Organized Crime Running Chain Of Northern California Medical Marijuana Clinics (Oakland)
Juliette Goodrich, CBS San Francisco

The alleged owner of a chain of medical marijuana clinics faces criminal charges in one of the first cases of its kind in the state. Prosecutors said it’s a criminal enterprise, a prescription mill generating millions of dollars, with most of the money laundered and sent overseas.
Watch a video and read more here:
http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/02/12/prosecutors-allege-organized-crime-northern-california-medical-marijuana-clinics-420-md-michael-malenkov-dr-bennie-brown-oakland-berkeley-san-jose-sacramento/

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Medical marijuana use limited by location (Chico)
William Rein, The Orion

A property manager who owns a house on West First Avenue has threatened to contact police to crack down on students who are using the backyard as a hideaway to smoke marijuana.
Read more here:
http://theorion.com/blog/2015/02/10/students-seek-new-smoking-spots/

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Upland wants to know more about possible medical marijuana dispensaries (Upland)
List Marquez, Daily Bulletin

With a majority of the vote, the City Council requested a report in the next month on how best to proceed on an initiative that would allow three medical marijuana establishments in the northwest part of the city.
Read more here:
http://www.dailybulletin.com/government-and-politics/20150210/upland-wants-to-know-more-about-possible-medical-marijuana-dispensaries

---
Dr. Dale Gieringer, California NORML At The ICBC This Weekend (San Francisco)
Anthony Johnson, The Weed Blog

Dr. Dale Gieringer, the Executive Director of California NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) is a cannabis law reform advocate that I have admired from afar, but have never had much of an opportunity to speak with.
Read the full blog here:
http://www.theweedblog.com/dr-dale-gieringer-california-norml-at-the-icbc-this-weekend/

---
Editorial: Treat medical pot like the legal business it is (Orange County)
OC Register

Despite the passage some 19 years ago of Proposition 215, the California Compassionate Use Act, Orange County presents a largely confusing patchwork of rules and regulations when it comes to the accessibility of medical marijuana.
Read more here:
http://www.ocregister.com/articles/marijuana-650814-federal-legal.html


 Public Meetings & Events


February 16, 2015 - Marijuana Compassion and Common Sense (Online)

6:00 PM at www.blogtalkradio.com/marijuananews Tune in for this weekly live Internet broadcast about cannabis and medical cannabis issues. You can call in to participate. 

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March 27-31, 2015 – ASA’s National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference 2015 (Washington, DC)
Join us March 27th – 31stfor the biggest and most important medical cannabis conference yet. Early bird and ASA member discounts are now available. Save money on registration, travel, and lodging by registering now. For more information: http://www.nationalmedicalcannabisunityconference.org 


Court Support


What is Court Support and how do I get involved?

February 18, 2015 - Court Support for Jeffrey and Andrea Sarbak (Pleasanton)
2:00 PM at Gale-Schenone Hall of Justice, 5672 Stoneridge Dr., Room 704, Pleasanton, CA 94588. Contact jeffrey_sarbak@yahoo.com for information. Dress in an appropriate manner and obey all courtroom rules to best help the defendants.

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February 19, 2015 – Court Support for Jacob and Sierra Macias (Oroville)
1:30 PM at 1 Court St, Oroville, CA 95965. Dress in an appropriate manner and obey all courtroom rules to best help the defendants.

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Find more information and additional listings on The Human Solution Calendar: http://www.thsintl.org/calendar


Take Action Now


Take the Medical Cannabis Discrimination Survey (California)
http://www.safeaccessnow.org/ca_discrimination_survey

Medical cannabis patients still face pervasive discrimination when it comes to employment, housing, parental right, and equal access to healthcare. ASA is collecting data about discrimination against legal medical cannabis patients, primary caregivers, and providers to help educate lawmakers and regulators. The 26-question patient survey is up now. Please take a few minutes to answer the mostly yes or no questions.

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Support the Medical Marijuana Organ Transplant Act (California)

http://www.safeaccessnow.org/support_the_ca_medical_marijuana_organ_transplant_act

A patient in California can be denied a life-saving organ transplant solely based on the fact that he or she uses medical cannabis! Legal patients have died after being removed from the organ transplant list, and others are in jeopardy right now. Americans for Safe Access, the nation's leading medical cannabis patients' advocacy organization, proposes legislation to prevent anyone from being denied a transplant because of medical cannabis. Sign this petition to let lawmakers know you support the Medical Marijuana Organ Transplant Act to provide equal access to health care for legal patients.

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Join ASA’s New California Discussion List – ASA-CCSA (California)
http://www.safeaccessnow.org/asa_ccsa_email_discussion_list

ASA-CCSA is a membership-based email discussion list about local and state medical cannabis legislation, initiatives, referendums, and related litigation in the state of California. Unlike this weekly email, you can respond to messages on ASA-CCSA and share your response with everyone. The purpose of the list is to facilitate dialog and participation by movement and industry stakeholders. Respectful and courteous participation, conversations, and debate are welcome.


ASA Website Spotlight


2015 Legislation (California)
http://www.safeaccessnow.org/2015_legislation

What are the medical cannabis bills in the state legislature this year? When are the public hearings? Are there new amendments? ASA tracks medical cannabis bills in California and posts related documents, position letters, and more on this page. Bookmark it and check back often.


ASA Chapter & Affiliate Meetings


February 16, 2015 – Ventura ASA Action Group Meeting (Ventura)
6:00 PM at E.F. Foster Library - Topping Room, 651 E Main Street, Ventura CA 93001. There will be a special guest speaker discussing local option for creating safe access. Email industry@safeaccessnow.org for details.

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February 17, 2015 - 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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February 18, 2015 - East Bay ASA (Oakland)
6:30 at 7 Stars Holistic Healing Center, 3288 Pierce Street #108, Richmond, CA 94804. Email EastbayASA@gmail.com for more information.

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February 18, 2015 – 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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See all California ASA Chapter Meetings here:
http://www.safeaccessnow.org/california_advocacy 


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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