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Message from the CA Director
The California Supreme Court ruled last year that nothing in state law prevents cities and counties from banning medical cannabis patients’ collectives and cooperatives. More than 200 local jurisdictions do so already, and there are sure to be additional bans in the future. Patients living in access deserts, areas without practical legal access to medicine, are not likely to get relief from the state legislature in the near future. No state lawmaker has stepped up to challenge the authority of local government to ban, and a bill working its way through the state legislature this summer would further establish the right of cities and counties to regulate or ban patients’ associations.
That is a sobering reality for patients in the state’s access deserts, but there are some new oases on the horizon. Riverside County is notorious for its opposition to medical cannabis, but lawmakers in the tiny city of Blythe have just voted to repeal their moratorium on medical cannabis facilities and allow two or three to open. Another small city in Riverside County, Desert Hot Springs, will soon join neighboring Palm Springs in allowing legal access. And voters in Cathedral City and the City of Riverside will soon get to vote on whether or not to allow patients’ associations. The trend is not just limited to Riverside County. Voters in Santa Monica, San Jose, Butte County, and Nevada County are all running voter initiatives to create local access.
Some of the measures are motivated by a desire for revenue, and others are the result of years of work by local advocates. Despite these motives and efforts, we are probably going to have persistent access deserts in some rural and southern communities for years to come. However, the current legislative and initiative efforts are an indication of the possibility to make progress where a committed grassroots base has the skills and resources to mount an effective campaign. ASA can help. We have free organizing tools, professional support for campaigners, and a free online training program for advocates – including strategic planning, media, coalition building, and more.
We are going to talk more about local campaigns and how we can help at the California Citizen Lobby Day in Sacramento on Monday, August 4, and on a live Google Hangout this Thursday, June 26. A Google hangout is a free online event you can join from your computer of mobile device. Please join me for both.
California & National News
Historic Medi-Pot Rules Debated in California Assembly (California)
David Downs, East Bay Express
This morning a California Assembly committee is set to hear Senate Bill 1262 — which would set up the state’s first-ever regulations on medical marijuana. The hearing in the Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee can be watched live.
Read more here.
L.A. lawmakers question tax renewals for medical marijuana shops (Los Angeles)
Emily Alpert Reyes, Los Angeles Times
Last year, Los Angeles voters sought to clamp down on medical marijuana shops, approving a host of restrictions that were expected to forcefully winnow down the number of such businesses. Yet as the city tried to shutter hundreds of pot shops, one arm of government kept registering new ones. Earlier this year, more than 450 medical marijuana shops filed renewals to pay business taxes with the Office of Finance -- more than three times as many stores than what is estimated to be allowed to stay open under Proposition D.
Read more here.
Editorial: Time to Get a Handle on Downtown Pot Clinics (Los Angeles)
It’s no surprise that the Compassionate Care Act that California voters approved in 1996 has led to so many challenges. Even when people were weighing the pros and cons of what was then known as Proposition 215, plenty of observers argued that the well-intentioned effort to allow the cultivation and sale of medical marijuana in the state was poorly written and would result in unforeseen problems.
Read more here.
Santa Ana Pot Initiative Could Trigger Wave of Campaign Cash (Santa Ana)
Adam Elmahrek, Voice of OC
A proposed Santa Ana City Council sponsored ballot initiative to tax and regulate medical marijuana collectives could soon create a situation where, of some 150 shops city officials estimate are selling the drug, only 12 would likely be allowed to continue operating. That means 12 very lucrative city permits.
Read more here.
Long Beach Doctor on Probation After Being Caught in Medical Marijuana Sting (Long Beach)
Charles Lam, OC Weekly
Here's a tip to all of you doctors out there: If you're going to be indiscriminately writing scrips for medical marijuana, at least put some leg work into it, or you're going to end up like Long Beach doctor Dennis Larry Clark. Clark was put on one year probation earlier this month, as well as being barred from making any medical marijuana recommendations. Why? Well, he got caught indiscriminately giving recommendations, and he didn't even try to make it look not shady.
Read more here.
Supervisors vote to place Medical Marijuana Control Act on November ballot (Lake County)
Elizabeth Larson, Lake County News
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to put on the November ballot a medical marijuana cultivation initiative put forward by an advocacy group that would challenge a county ordinance that went to a referendum June 3. The board voted 3-2 to place the Emerald Unity Coalition's “Medical Marijuana Control Act” before voters in the fall, with Supervisor Rob Brown and Supervisor Jim Comstock voting no. The supervisors did not support the option of accepting the act outright as a county ordinance, without changes.
Read more here.
Med pot rules clear hurdle (San Diego)
David Garrick, UT San Diego
The California Coastal Commission approved San Diego’s new medical marijuana ordinance Thursday, adding parts of Barrio Logan and Sorrento Valley to the small list of neighborhoods where legal pot shops can open under the city’s strict regulations. Lance Rogers, an attorney representing several dispensary applicants, said he expects Thursday’s approval to prompt multiple applications in those areas.
Read more here.
San Jose Finalizes “de Facto Ban” on Medical Marijuana (San Jose)
Ken Border, All Gov
If you don’t count the 200 or so California cities that have outright banned medical marijuana dispensaries, the state’s third-largest city, San Jose, arguably now has the toughest law (pdf) on the books. The city council voted 7-3 to enact rules that severely limit how many dispensaries can operate, where they are located and where they get their pot from. Pot shop attorney James Anthony told the San Jose Mercury News, “Nobody can operate under those environments. It's a de facto ban and in kind of a sneaky way.”
Read more here.
Council moves to repeal medical marijuana dispensary ban (Blythe)
Jacyln Randall, Palo verde Valley Times
With a 3-2 vote, Blythe City Council authorized City Manager Frank Luckino and staff to derive an ordinance that repeals a medical marijuana dispensary ban put into place in January of 2010. In a separate 3-2 vote, city staff will introduce a new ordinance draft that will allow dispensaries to open for business under strict guidelines.
Read more here.
Public Meetings & Events
Tuesday, June 24, 2014 – CA Assembly Public Safety Committee Hearing on SB 1262 and SB 1193 (Sacramento)
The California Assembly Public Safety Committee will hear testimony and vote on SB 1262 by Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) and SB 1193 by Senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) at 9:00 AM in Room 126 in the State Capitol Building. Read more about medical cannabis bills in California online.
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 on to https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/cjln9v0ds1rf99csiuvi52eplrc from your computer or mobile device at 7:00 PM PDT to join in the conversation.
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
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. Please register now, so that we can schedule an appointment for you to see you state Assembly Member or Senator.
What is Court Support and how do I get involved?
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 – Court Support for Donna Korby (Oroville)
Please support medical cannabis defendant Donna Korby at her hearing at 1:30 PM a #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.
Thursday, June 26, 2014 – Court Support for Dan Levine (Oroville)
Please support medical cannabis defendant Dan Levine at her hearing at 1:30 PM a #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.
Monday, June 30, 2014 – Court Support for Tuan Nguyen (Westminster)
Please support medical cannabis defendant Tuan Nguyen on his court date at 8:30 AM at West Justice Center, 8141 13th St, Westminster, CA 92683. 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.
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
Are You Facing State or Federal Charges?
Unfortunately, patients, caregivers, and providers are still vulnerable to federal and state arrests, prosecutions, and incarceration. They also suffer pervasive discrimination in employment, child custody, housing, public accommodation, education and medical care. ASA's interactive FAQ helps you understand and navigate the criminal justice system. This section of the website uses a step-by-step Q&A format to help you in federal and state cases - including states where medical cannabis is not legal. This is a valuable resource for patients, caregivers, and providers nationwide.
ASA Chapter & Affiliate Meetings
Tuesday, June 24, 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 [email protected] for more for more information.
Thursday, June 26, 2014 - Sacramento ASA (Sacramento)
The meeting starts at 7:00 PM at 2315 K St, Sacramento, CA 95816. Email [email protected] 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 [email protected] before 12:00 PM on Friday to be included in Monday's distribution.