Pages tagged "Riverside"

  • CA cities: License, ban, or let voters decide?

    Undecided California communities are still grappling with medical cannabis in the absence of a statewide licensing and regulation program. Dispensary applications in San Diego continue to move forward, clearing an important legal hurdle last week. Voters in Riverside and Yucca Valley will decide about medical cannabis rules this summer. Meanwhile Tehama County and the City of Clearlake have banned cultivation – a poorly conceived strategy that has still not seen its final day in court. Read more about the news, events, and court support in this week’s California Weekly Roundup.

    Are you registered for the National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference and Citizen Lobby Day, March 27-31, in Washington, DC? Don’t miss the most important medical cannabis event of the year. There are only eighteen more days to get signed up and book your room at the Lowes Madison Hotel.

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  • ASA CA Weekly Roundup: June 23, 2014

    Contents:

    • Message from the CA Director
    • California & National News
    • Public Meetings & Events
    • Court Support
    • Take Action Now
    • ASA Website Spotlight: Are You Facing State or Federal Charges?
    • ASA Chapter & Affiliate Meetings

    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.

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  • Maral v. Live Oak – Local Politics Matter

    A local ban on all medical cannabis cultivation stands after the California Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal on Wednesday in Maral v. Live Oak, an appellate decision permitting cities and counties to prevent patients from growing their own medicine, despite the fact that it is allowed under state law. The decision means that a ban on all cultivation adopted by the City of Live Oak in 2011 will be precedent for other cities and counties to follow.

    The Maral decision is a second blow to patients’ rights in California. Last year, the state supreme court held in Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center that local governments could ban distribution of legal medicine. Maral and Riverside are a one-two punch for California patients and providers. By allowing local governments to prevent any cultivation or distribution of medical cannabis, the courts are, in effect, authorizing jurisdictions to opt out of crucial parts of Proposition 215.

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