Pages tagged "AB 1300"
This was a tough year for medical cannabis in California. The state legislature failed to adopt a measure protecting patients’ employment rights, but they did adopt two bills that will present new hurdles for patients, providers, and growers. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) has a plan to take back the momentum in California and pass legislation in 2012 to protect patients’ rights, community-based access, and medical cannabis growers. But we need your help to do it!
Can you please take a minute right now to donate $20, $50, $100… or whatever amount you can afford to support ASA?
This year, lawmakers adopted AB 1300, legislation authorizing local governments to regulate the location, operation, and establishment of patients’ cooperatives and collectives. While ASA is continuing the fight against local distribution bans in the California Courts of Appeal, we fear that medical cannabis opponents will misuse AB 1300 to promote more bans on access and cultivation in cities and counties across California. The legislature also approved SB 847, a bill that requires legal cooperatives and collectives to be located at least 600 feet from residential uses or zones. If that bill is signed by Governor Brown, it may choke off access in some communities. (Click here to ask Governor Brown to veto the bill.)
These bills were not the result of a right-wing attack on medical cannabis. Both were sponsored by Democrats, who traditionally support medical cannabis. But lawmakers are only hearing from those who oppose medical cannabis. We need to get patients back in lawmakers’ offices to tell our side of the story!
ASA is working hard to build, train, and mobilize the grassroots base of support in California. We have just finished a statewide tour to find out what is happening in communities, identify local organizers, and develop new chapters. Now we are going to use new tools like our Online Activist Training Center and our innovative Think Tank and Policy Shop to train and support activists in local and statewide campaigns.
We can have a new cadre of medical cannabis activists setting the agenda at the local and state level before lawmakers start the 2012 legislative session. We can pass legislation to defend patients’ civil rights, license cooperatives and collectives, and finally protect medical cannabis growers! But we can only do it if we have the resources to further build, train, and mobilize the grassroots base. Can you help ASA do that right now?
Please make a special contribution to help ASA turn the tide and make a difference – starting right now!
Thank you for doing your part!
There are two bills on the Governor’s desk that will severely limit safe access to medical cannabis in California. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is calling on supporters to contact Governor Jerry Brown today and ask him to veto SB 847 and AB 1300 to protect local access in our communities.
Can you take a few minutes right now to call or email Governor Brown? ASA’s online action center makes it easy!
Senator Lou Correa’s (D-Santa Ana) SB 847 requires that medical cannabis cooperatives and collectives be located at least 600 feet from any residential zone or use. This will force patients’ associations to the outskirts of most cities – if they can find a location at all! Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield’s (D-Van Nuys) AB 1300 explicitly authorizes cities and counties to ban cooperatives and collectives. That means access can be eliminated in some communities altogether! That is not what voters intended when they adopted Proposition 215 in 1996, calling on lawmakers “to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana.”
These bills passed through the legislature easily. If we do not make a good show of opposition at the Governor’s office, he will sign SB 847 and AB 1300 into law. Research conducted by ASA and years of experience in implementing our state law show that sensible regulations reduce crime and complaints around cooperatives and collectives. Tell Governor Brown we can work with lawmakers to adopt better laws than these.
Please act today. The bills could be signed at any minute! Thank you for helping.
This is shaping up as a tough year for medical cannabis in Sacramento. California Senators failed to vote on a bill by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) that would have protected legal medical cannabis patients from employment discrimination. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is already working to build more support for SB 129 before it comes back to the Senate in January of 2012. Lawmakers also took no action on a proposal by Senator Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) that would have established a statewide task force, including a representative from ASA, to study sales tax and other regulatory issues.
Two undesirable medical cannabis bills are moving forward in the legislature this year. The Senate approved SB 847 on Wednesday. Authored by Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), this bill will require that medical cannabis dispensing centers and gardens be located at least 600-feet from residential zones and uses statewide. Local governments can opt out of this broad restriction, but ASA fears the 600-foot buffer zone will become a de facto standard for the state. This new restriction would be in addition to the existing state law barring collectives from locating within 600 feet of a school and any local regulations. ASA is calling on members and advocates to oppose SB 847.
A second problematic bill is Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield’s (D-Van Nuys) AB 1300, which was approved in the Assembly on Friday. ASA and other advocates succeeded in securing an amendment to AB 1300 that defined medical cannabis cooperatives and collectives as places where medicine is grown or provided. The word “or” is significant. Some lawmakers and police officers hold that patients can only grow medicine together, not provide it to other members of the collective in exchange for a monetary reimbursement (a position ASA rejects). Unfortunately, the advocates’ amendment was removed at the last minute, leaving only the provisions in AB 1300 that authorize local government to regulate the location, operation, and establishment of cooperatives and collectives. ASA has withdrawn support for the bill, given concerns it may promote bans and criminal enforcement against patients’ associations.
Growing ambivalence towards medical cannabis is a challenge for advocates, who are eager to see better state and local regulations. But wary lawmakers fear that support for pro-medical cannabis legislation could be used against them – especially given uncertainty about what will be a safe or vulnerable District after this year’s first-ever non-partisan re-districting. We will have to work hard to keep lawmakers focused on the needs of legal patients, instead of reacting to unlicensed dispensaries, lenient doctors, and patients who “don’t look sick.” We may know that these are misperceptions, but we have a lot to do to convince our elected representatives.
ASA is working hard to train an army of medical cannabis advocates to support sensible regulations and oppose misguided proposals. Let’s hope our innovative Online Training Center and new Think Tank and Policy Shop help support the grassroots campaign we need statewide. You can do your part by supporting ASA. Join today and participate in action alerts aimed at protecting safe access and patients’ rights.