Pages tagged "cooperative"
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In the wake of a confusing ruling in Pack v. Long Beach from California’s Second Appellate District, efforts are under way in Los Angeles and Long Beach to ban medical cannabis dispensing centers (MCDCs) altogether. Earlier this month, the court held that federal law preempts certain provisions of the highly-restrictive medical cannabis ordinance adopted by the City of Long Beach last year. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) holds that the impact of the ruling on local regulation is limited, and the decision is already the subject of an appeal to the state Supreme Court (see our previous blog for more). Nevertheless, medical cannabis opponents on the Los Angeles and Long Beach City Councils are moving recklessly towards banning patients’ associations.
Los Angeles City Council Members Bernard Parks and Jan Perry, who have consistently opposed medical cannabis in the city, made a motion to ask the City Attorney to “phase out” MCDCs in the city. The City Council voted unanimously today to meet in closed session with the City Attorney on Tuesday to discuss the impact of Pack v. Long Beach, a move that alarmed advocates. ASA submitted a letter clarifying the scope of the Pack decision, and City Council Member Dennis Zine praised ASA for its ongoing commitment to protecting safe access and supporting regulation.
Meanwhile in Long Beach, the City Council also voted to meet with their City Attorney in closed session for a similar conversation. Long Beach City Attorney Robert Shannon told reporters that he has been instructed to appeal Pack v. Long Beach to the California Supreme Court. The outcome of that case may have serious implications for the right of local governments to implement California’s medical cannabis laws. But the appeal may also confuse efforts to use the decision as a rationale for banning MCDCs. Keep an eye on ASA’s mailing lists, web page, and this blog for developments.
Patients and community members should hope that efforts to ban MCDCs in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and other cities that may follow suit fail. Research conducted by ASA and fifteen years of experience in providing safe access show that sensible regulations reduce crime and complaints around MCDCs, while preserving safe access for legitimate patients. Banning MCDCs would deny these proven benefits for both cities. ASA is committed to defending safe and well-regulated access for patients – in the courts, at City Halls, and if necessary, at the ballot box. Lawmakers in Los Angeles and Long Beach should remember that voter referendums have stopped bans in the City of San Diego, Butte County, and Kern County. Voters still believe in medical cannabis, even if some cynical lawmakers do not.
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!