Only in Fresno, I tell ya! Only in Fresno California could the vast amounts of misinformation be seen as evidence to support the passing of an ordinance that prohibits any and all cultivation of Cannabis. Retroactively handing all cultivation back over to the black market and criminal enterprises. Wait it gets worse! They have also retroactively criminalized the California legal qualified patients themselves through land use and zoning ordinances. Yup that’s right! What the people of California made Legal, Fresno has made Re-illegal!?. They have even found a way to circumvent the due process of law when it comes to qualified medicinal cannabis cultivators. First they mail them a certified letter threatening to fine you administratively $1000 for every plant on the property. The county’s 15 Day Notice tells the grower they have to remove all plants within 15 days, or face extremely stiff administrative penalties. In the only 2 cases on record so far, the abatement was done on the same day the individuals were given their 15 Day Notice to abate. does that sound like due process? Wait? Do you feel these fines and levees against you are unjustifiable and unwarranted? Don worry you can always appeal to the Fresno county board of supervisors and hope they understand that your a legal qualified medical marijuana patient of the state California, and not of Fresno. The Fresno county board of supervisors has implemented such an evasive ordinance that it not only circumvents the true written intent of the (CUA). It circumvents the very constitution of California.
Well it still gets worse unfortunately. No dispensaries or medicinal cannabis store fronts or collectives allowed either. So they have also retroactively returned all access, or purchases to the criminal enterprises and black market. The only viable options left for the legal medicinal cannabis patients are traveling to other progressive cities and counties within California that does not seem to have regressive leadership or governance. Which in turn puts huge financial and travel burdens upon the medicinal cannabis patients. Or the final and last result, simply move away from there delusional ideals of governance that exist in this time warp called Fresno. Welcome to my home town people Where the boards of supervisors and city councils are the deciding factor and regulator of your health, medicine, and well being over the recommendations of a licensed physician. Where local law enforcement continually suggests that the Drug Cartels and criminal enterprises should have 100% control of all Cannabis grown in Fresno so they can better serve and protect you. Does any of this make sense to you? Welcome to the wild, wild west of Fresno folks, where the dumb folk roam, and the skies are all smoggy all day!
The City and County of Fresno has gone far beyond just banning large illegal commercial cannabis grows in there districts and county. (Those where already illegal ) They have thwarted the the intent of the (CUA) compassion use act of 1996. Or as its more commonly known and referred to as, Prop 215. They act as if the law never existed in the first place. Not only trampling on the (CUA)-Prop-215, but the later clarifications of the (MMPA) Medical Marijuana Program Act of 2003. Or as it is more commonly known and referred to as SB-420. Senate Bill-420 was an act of the legislators that helped further clarify and define the guidelines of the (CUA) because Law enforcement in places like FRESNO county were continually arresting qualified legal patients. The actions of these misinformed law enforcement and local governments out right thwarted the intent of the law as written and passed by the voting populous of California.
No legal cultivation allowed at all. No legal indoor cultivation in the privacy of your own home. No legal outdoor cultivation on the privacy of your own property. No legal dispensaries or store fronts in your own city or county. All through the power of land use and zoning? But the Fresno county health department will gladly take the peoples money and there doctors recommendation and supply them with a (MMPA) California State Medical Marijuana Card, with a Fresno county health department logo on it. You can even get your doctors recommendation directly through the Fresno county health dept. Through one of there licensed physicians. So the County of Fresno is not only participating in the (MMPA) SB-420, its profiting from the state medical marijuana card program then turning around and telling those qualified patients to access there medicine anywhere but in Fresno? Oh, and good luck out there, I here, it can be pretty shady. Does this make sense to you? Is it legal? I am not lawyer, but I am pretty sure there is some illegal activity taking place here.
you know that old saying? Ignorance of the law is no excuse? Well have you ever considered applying that phrase on those who continually love to throw it in your face. Well the Sheriffs department, Local police department, and Local governments of Fresno are all guilty of that very thing and are hoping the common voter never discovers that. For if you did, you would find that the only people acting as criminals and tyrannical thugs are the ones wearing the suits, costumes and uniforms of local Law enforcement, City Attorneys, and the elected representatives of Fresno. In my personal opinion it is an outright infringement of not only our California constitutional rights. It is also an outright infringement of our United States constitutional rights. Now bare in mind, I am no lawyer or law professor. and this is no way to be construed as legal advice. But I am pretty sure Banning me from access to my medicine recommended by a licensed physician is infringing on my right to “Life”. Banning me from cultivating my medicine on my own personal property,whether indoors or out is infringing on my my right to “Property” and “Life”. And both of those actions are inherently infringing on my right to “Happiness”. Are you catching on here people ?
Law enforcement never has and never will want to decriminalize anything. Especially Cannabis. That is one of Law enforcement’s “bread and butter’s” shall we say. More Specifically it is one of Margaret Mimms of the Fresno county Sheriffs departments personal blundered legacies she plans on leaving behind her. It would also appear that the Fresno city chief of police Jerry Dyer seems to be riding her coat tails with exact same nonsense. Margaret Mimms headed up the Marijuana Eradication task force here in Fresno county. Unfortunately her and many other small sheriffs dept statewide have been confusing and arresting qualified legal patients since the passing of prop-215 (CUA). The very Reason SB-420 (MMPA) was drafted and passed in 2003. To further clarify prop-215 (CUA). Either they where confused or ignorant of the law, or they simply didn’t give two flying farts to the wind either which way. That would put to many good officers on the unemployment line. As if to say needing less police is a bad thing? or focusing those officers attention to more pressing criminal matters is a bad thing. Therefore when they don’t like laws passed by the legislators, or governing bodies they simply ignore them as if they never existed to begin with. Hence the ignorance that billows about the room at these very council and supervisor meetings in regards to the actual law as written. 95% percent of the time the elected representatives only repeat and spew out what is interpreted and handed to them by Law enforcement. Never the actual law as written and defined. that is a serious problem folks. How the (CUA) was written is not the true problem at play here.
Have any of you ever read the California constitution? Did you know unlike most of the states in the union, here in California the people have the unique ability to pass there own laws through the statewide voter initiative process. Well that is exactly what happened with prop-215 (CUA). it was not law enforcement or the legislators that authored and circulated prop-215. It was the grassroots activists and citizens of California that wrote, circulated, and passed prop-215 (CUA). Did you know that not even the highest California legislators in the land can change the laws passed by the voter initiative process? The only way to to change voter initiatives is by another voter proposed initiative. The California constitution states, “what the voters have done, the Legislature cannot undo.” Interesting!? Well if you can not undo it? what do you do if you don’t like it? pretend it does not apply? Or simply imply it was so vaguely written as to allow certain localities to opt out or not participate in way shape or form? NO, it does not work that way. But is that not essentially what Fresno is trying to accomplish here with the passing of this unlawful ordinance? If the Legislator Cannot undo what the voters have done? Neither can the city and county of Fresno right? No matter how much they hate it. No matter how vague there interpretation. The legalese, wording and actual intent remain the same and can only be changed by the voters. are you starting to truly understand the malicious hatred and fury this ignites in law enforcement and the governing bodies its controls? This is truly of, for, and by the people governing. something they have no control over. And regardless of Prop-215 and SB-420′s flaws, We the people should, and shall defend it with dignity and due diligence. regardless of whether or not you like or dislike Cannabis. This not just a game of politics anymore. If the only law Fresno answers to is the laws written of, by and for Fresno? are they circumventing state laws themselves ?
I would now like to raise some very concerning questions and points of notice in regards to this intrusive unconstitutional ordinance being forced down the unwilling peoples of Fresno’s throats. Question #1 – Could you possibly conceive that the county board of supervisors, or city council representatives in the city in which you reside where the ultimate dictators and regulators of access to you medicine, health and well being, over the recommendation of a licensed physician? Is this an oligarchy or a democratic republic in which we reside? Question #2- Do you Honestly believe that passing this ordinance will curtail the illegal activity and crime associated with cannabis cultivation? Because the sad truth is, your only insuring that all cannabis cultivation is a criminal act. Including legally qualified medicinal cultivation. Which directly conflicts with the peoples law of California and protections guaranteed by the California constitution.
The plain and simple truth is the only way to insure you lower criminal activity associated with Cannabis is by decriminalizing, legalizing and properly regulating the legal industry which arises. Weather it is strictly a model for only legal qualified medical patients, or a model for outright recreational use for responsible adult consumption. The very reason people steal, kill and commit crimes over or for Cannabis is because of the very laws that prohibit it. And the fact they will fetch a very high price in the illegal black market created by its prohibition. Where the demand never really went away by choice or organic methods. It was forced out by unnecessary and unjustifiable means. If it where Legal, easily accessible and cultivated by everyone in there yards, and sensibly regulated and controlled it would be easily accessible to all. and you wouldn’t have Criminals jumping fences and killing people over a natural plant. effectively eliminating the intrinsic criminal enterprises and aspects of the failed models of prohibition. Wake up People of Fresno! we do not have to continually stand by while these regressive leaders of our governing bodies are constantly trying to move the progressive needle backwards. We must stand up and be heard. For they will continue to oppress and and trample on anything and everything they deem a NUISANCE. Remember this point right here! the very reason they hold that much power is because we willingly sent them there to speak for us. Citizens and people of Fresno, Stand up and speak for yourselves!
By: Dustin Frazier Lowery
This past Wednesday, may 16 2012. The Fresno Planning Commission voted 4-2 on Wednesday to recommend passage of a permanent ban on growing medical marijuana outdoors anywhere in the city of Fresno. I was one of three people to speak against the proposed ban and some of the underlying legal issues. I myself did not submit anything in writing because I felt that speaking from my heart works best for me. I asked the planning commission to please consider who will be effected the most by the passing such a restrictive ordinance. What about the patients who are on disability ? What about the patients who can barely afford to grow a few plants under the sun each season? The patients on fixed incomes who are already having a hard time scraping by ? Such a restrictive ordinance affects the poorest and most neediest of the medicinal cannabis patients here in Fresno, Ca.
I then went on to say that I am not here to advocate for thousand plant grow sites in the city limits. I am here to stand up for the patients right to legally cultivate their own medicine, on their own property. I told them that I was all for sensible regulations on outdoor cultivation within the city limits. But what the city currently had drafted was way to restrictive and would only further restrict patients access to affordable quality medicinal cannabis. Transplanting even a small 2 or 4 plant garden from outdoors to indoors can be very costly. It’s not as simple as ripping the plants from the ground, Throwing them in the bath tub and hanging a light bulb above it. Which by the way where the actual words of a judge here in Fresno recently, and also prior statements of the Law enforcement official giving the presentation before the planning commission just minutes before.
Actually to Give Lt. David Newton of the FPD narcotics division credit, he actually said cheap Led lights, which some growers are switching to, but are rarely used due to little information about production and output. personally there isn’t enough proven evidence to switch anything just yet. I also stated to the planning commission board that I myself do not hate Law enforcement, nor do I blame them for the position they have been in put in. But I am here to advocate Law enforcement does serve and protect the legal medicinal cannabis community like everyone else. I went on to say how I did agree that we needed to work with law enforcement to reign in those who are abusing the medicinal cannabis industry. But we also should not throw away the baby with the bath water. Dont punish the patients for the actions of the criminals.
After Comments from the other 2 whole speakers in opposition Diane Valdovinos ( Local Advocate ) and Micheal Green of Cal pot news. The commission board commended us for our statements. They then proceeded to vote on the ordinance. Many of the members of the planning commission said they understood our concerns but that they didn’t feel it was as restrictive and voted in favor. But one planning commissioner statements specifically hit home for me and made me feel as if we did have a very small victory in the overall battle. Luisa Medina of the planning commission said she was going to vote in favor of the ordinance but after hearing the statements in opposition from the three of us she had changed her mind. I was overjoyed with pride when I heard her say that. The fact that the statements of mine and that of my friends made a difference that day. Though we lost the overall battle, but through education and compassion we changed the heart and mind of just one person who would have otherwise just gone along with protocol and passed the ordinance.
After the planning commission meeting was dismissed we retreated to the front of the city hall building to gather our thoughts. We where then greeted by Luisa medina and Andy Hansen-Smith of the planning commission. they had some great words of encouragement and thanked us for coming out voicing our concerns to the commission. But the real highlight of that evening for me personally was when Lt. David Newton of the FPD confronted me outside of city hall and thanked me for coming. He also told me that I was a very good representative the for medicinal cannabis community and that he actually voted for prop 215 back in 1996. Lt David Newton also said that he looked forward to seeing me again. I jokingly replied, well I hope its at the next city council meeting and not anywhere else. We both laughed, shook hands and parted ways. Now those are the kinds of encounters with law enforcement I would prefer happen.
But for those who believe the opponent has the upper hand and it’s just to large a hill to climb. Dont give Up ! Three dedicated cannabis activists didn’t win the overall battle this past Wednesday, but they are winning the hearts and minds through the power of compassion and education. The key to ending patient discrimination in local counties and city’s here in the central valley is through education and compassion. Through this blog and various other social media I will keep you posted on when the ordinance will be going before the Fresno City council.
By: Dustin F. Lowery