Grassroots power worked this year


  • Message from the CA Director: Grassroots power worked this year
  • State & Local News: National, state, and local news from communities all over California
  • Public Meetings & Events: Online, Riverside, and Washington, DC
  • Court Support: Sacramento
  • Take Action Now: Organ transplants and Measure S (Nevada County)
  • ASA Website Spotlight: National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference 2015
  • Chapter & Affiliate Meetings: San Francisco, Yuba County, Sonoma County, and Sacramento

Happy Labor Day, California. The state legislature has adjourned for the year, and on balance, it has been a good session for medical cannabis patients and other stakeholders. Your grassroots action helped stop some bad bills from becoming law this year:

  • AB 1588 would have increased the minimum buffer zone between legal patients’ cooperatives and collectives and schools statewide. We killed this bill in committee early in the session.
  • AB 2500 would have made it a crime for a legal patient to drive with even a tiny amount of cannabis detectable in their blood. ASA members and others defeated this bill in committee for the third year in a row.
  • SB 1193 was amended at the last minute to remove language beneficial to patients. ASA members generated more than 1,000 emails many phone calls in opposition to the amended bill in just one week.

We didn’t win every battle. SB 1029 would have expanded eligibility for public assistance to certain drug felons, including those convicted cannabis “crimes.” That bill died in committee.  The legislature also rejected two bills that would have regulated commercial medical cannabis activity – AB 1894 and SB 1262. Read more about that process in my blog from last week:

We will have a lot to do when the legislature returns in January. ASA plans to sponsor legislation protecting legal medical cannabis patients who need organ transplants from life-threatening discrimination. We are also exploring other patients’ rights opportunities, and we will have to revisit commercial regulations with the new legislature. 

You have seen that grassroots action makes a difference. Let’s do it again in 2015. We cannot wait until January to get ready. Plan to join me for the first of several a live Google Hangouts on Thursday, September 18, at 7:00 PM to learn more about next year’s agenda. A Google Hangout is an interactive event you can join online from your computer of mobile device.

Connect to the event on September 18:

Watch the broadcast on YouTube (non-interactive):

Have a happy, safe, and healthy holiday!

California & National News

In States With Medical Marijuana, Painkiller Deaths Drop by 25% (National)
Douglas Main, Newsweek

 America has a major problem with prescription pain medications like Vicodin and OxyContin. Overdose deaths from these pharmaceutical opioids have approximately tripled since 1991, and every day 46 people die of such overdoses in the United States. However, in the 13 states that passed laws allowing for the use of medical marijuana between 1999 and 2010, 25 percent fewer people die from opioid overdoses annually.
Read more here:

Married Couples Who Smoke Pot, Less Likely to Encounter Domestic Violence (National)
Sarah Thomas, International Business Times

 A new study conducted by researchers in the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions and Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) found that those couples who smoked pot were less likely to engage in domestic violence.
Read more here: 

Santa Monica Medical Marijuana Supporters Establish Campaign Committee (Santa Monica)
Daniel Larios, Santa Monica Lookout

Medical marijuana proponents who filed for a ballot measure initiative to establish two Santa Monica dispensaries in May have begun receiving donations and circulating their petitions, according to documents filed with the City Clerk's office. A group calling itself Santa Monicans for Safe Access have filed papers have established a campaign committee in support of the initiative and have already raised $20,000 for their effort, according to financial disclosure forms.
Read more here: 

OC Man's Pot Sale Conviction Overturned In Groundbreaking Court Ruling (Newport Beach)
Nick Schou, OC Weekly

The California Court of Appeal appears to have just handed a major victory to medical marijuana dispensaries that follow state law. Until now, dispensary operators targeted by police have faced the prospect of trying to defend themselves in court without being allowed to argue a so-called affirmative defense citing protection under California's medical marijuana law.
Read more here:

School leader worries about pot doc near campus (Bakersfield)
Carol Ferguson, Bakersfield Now

A man waves a sign saying "Doctor is in." But, parents in Oildale are upset, because the doctor's office making medical marijuana evaluations is right across from some schools. The Standard School District superintendent said Wednesday that businesses like that are simply not appropriate near schools. "I think we need a safe school buffer zone for our businesses that are appropriate businesses around a school zone," Paul Meyers told Eyewitness News.
Read more here: 

City’s plan to uproot illegal pot shops is a slow, arduous process (San Diego)
Dave Schwab,

Even with a new city medical marijuana ordinance in place and applications pending for licensed cooperatives in the Peninsula, a number of pre-existing, unlicensed dispensaries continue to fly under the radar.
Read more here: 

Boyle Heights Marijuana Farmers Market Could Face Injunction (Los Angeles)
City News Service,

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge said Wednesday she was inclined to issue a preliminary injunction aimed at closing a medical marijuana “farmers market” that opened over the Fourth of July weekend. The big-box pot shop in the California Heritage Market – 1500 Esperanza St. in Boyle Heights – was billed as a way to buy discount marijuana from a variety of growers and cut out the middle man in the burgeoning, quasi-legal marijuana business.
Read more here: 

Board of Supervisors to consider funds for marijuana ordinance meetings; first Housing Element review after GPU schedule change (Humboldt County)
Will Houston, The Times-Standard 

With the Humboldt County Planning Commission currently reviewing an ordinance regulating outdoor medical marijuana grows, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will decide during its Tuesday meeting whether to approve funding for public meetings in two of the directive's target communities.
Read more here:

Man Arrested With 14 Pounds of Packaged Marijuana After Traffic Stop in Orick (Orick)
Andrew Goff, Lost Coast Outpost 

On 8-25-2014, at approximately 10:00 p.m. two Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputies saw a white 1999 Chevy Monte Carlo driving erratically on US 101 in Orick. The deputies initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle, and spoke with the driver. The driver identified himself as Brian Keith MacPhetridge, 39 years old, from Colfax, California.
Read more here:

Public Meetings & Events

Monday, September 1, 2014 - Marijuana Compassion and Common Sense (Online)
6:00 PM at Tune in for this weekly live Internet broadcast about cannabis and medical cannabis issues. You can call in to participate.

Thursday, September 18, 2014 – Live Google Hangout: CA Campaign for Safe Access – 2015 (Online)
7:00 PM at Logon early to sign in.  I will be talking about legislation this year and next year. There will be a Q&A time. You can also watch live on YouTube at

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 – Riverside County Board of Supervisors (Riverside)
Time TBA at 4080 Lemon St, Riverside, CA 92501. Join patients and advocates to tell Supervisors not to ban outdoor medical cannabis cultivation.  More details soon.

March 27, 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:

Court Support

What is Court Support and how do I get involved?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 – Court Support for Heath Phillips (Sacramento)
8:45 AM at the Sacramento Superior Court House, 720 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. Dress in a professional manner and obey all courtroom rules to best help the defendant. 

Find additional listings on The Human Solution Calendar. 

Take Action Now

Support the Medical Marijuana Organ Transplant Act (California)

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.

Like the “Yes on Measure S” FaceBook Page (Nevada County)

Visit the Yes on Measure S FaceBook page and click on “Like.” Nevada County ASA is mounting a local voter initiative drive for medical cannabis patients and they need your support. Learn more about the campaign and how you can help. Email [email protected] for more information.

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 Website Spotlight

2015 National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference

We are pleased to announce the 3rd Annual National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference, March 27 - 31st, in Washington, DC at the Loews Madison Hotel.  Unity 2015 is your place to gather with other patients, providers, activists, medical and legal professionals from around the country; to learn best practices, exchange ideas and learn how to navigate medical marijuana in this new political landscape. 

ASA Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - San Francisco ASA (San Francisco)
The meeting starts at 7:30 PM at Lounge 847, 847 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103. Email [email protected] for more information.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - Yuba County ASA (Valley)
The meeting starts at 7:00 PM at Rivers Edge Pub, 1 E. 12th Street, Marysville, CA 95901. Email [email protected] for more information. 

Thursday, September 4, 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 [email protected] for more information. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014 – Brownie Mary Democratic Club of Sacramento County (Sacramento)
The meeting starts at 6:30 PM at Perko’s Farm Fresh Café, 925 3rd Street, Sacramento, California 95814. Visit 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.