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
Let me start by saying that I have been to my fair Share of County, and City supervisor meetings. Even a few planning commission hearings as well here in Fresno. The most prominent notion in regards to Medicinal Cannabis that is thrown around is the notion that every single cultivator of Cannabis is a Criminal, or is somehow involved in Criminal activity associated with Cannabis. By either abusing the medicinal cannabis program set in place and not following the guidelines, which they do not seem to want to draft any sensible regulations on behalf of the patients. Nor do they seem to care, quite frankly. Then there is always Margret Mimms and our local supervisors favorite and most popular line of defense, Any and every single plant is illegal at the federal level, therefore we have a zero tolerance policy on the basis of all cannabis cultivation is a federal crime. If I had a $100 bucks every time I heard them say “it’s all illegal on the federal level”. I would be wealthy man.
Well in no way shape or form should Margret Mimms, or any other California law enforcement officer be enforcing or even suggesting Federal law within the state of California. Let alone a county supervisor. It is the duty of the Sheriff, as well as the district attorney to enforce state laws. The federal Government cannot compel state law enforcement. The Supreme Court has even stated that Congress cannot require state officers to enforce federal law. The court said that ” the constitution contemplates that a states government will represent and remain accountable to its own citizens.” So when are they going to be held accountable for suggesting we enforce federal law within our states borders, Over the laws passed by the citizens of California?
Well I hate to be the bearer of Bad news, (Not Really) But, These are exactly that, nonsensical notions with no factual statistics to support them. Do not get me wrong though, there are plenty of illegal grows on state and federal property that need eradicating and proper policing. There are also people within the system that do abuse it. You will find that in just about every system though. And yes those are criminals in which I believe deserve the full brunt of law enforcement. What I do not understand is why local law enforcement and county supervisors seem to conveniently confuse, or purposely bunch criminals and qualified patients together. Coincidence? Two birds, one stone. It’s pretty convenient on behalf of the supervisors. They just allow Law enforcement to do what they do best. Policing. And it allows our county and city supervisors to never have to tackle the tough job of working on sensible regulations that are desperately needed for the Fresno citizens that are LEGAL California Prop-215 and SB-420 medicinal marijuana patients. It’s a win, win, for everybody but the patients of course.
The worst part of it is. That the very criminals you are trying to prevent are the very same people set to make larger profits from the criminal black market, effectively increasing crime. Because you successfully eradicated the patient’s ability to either purchase from a licensed facility, known as a collective or a dispensary. And through this outdoor cultivation ban you are once again going to completely diminish the LEGAL California Prop-215 and SB-420 medicinal marijuana patients ability to produce quality outdoor medicine for themselves on their own property. Prop-215 Patients ability to cultivate their own plants outdoors is crucial to not only greater access, cheaper medicine, better quality, but increased safety as well.
Forcing patients to only cultivate indoors is far too expensive for the average patients who are usually on fixed incomes. Most are on disability and cannot cultivate for themselves. Hence the need for Collective grow sites that require larger numbers of plants for those who are disabled and cannot produce their own medicine by their own means or on their own property. We are not just talking about putting a few light bulbs above a few plants in the bath tub. To equal what can be produced outdoors, patients would have to spend upwards of 5000 to 10,000 dollars to produce a room that is up to code and efficient enough to produce what can easily be done by Mother Nature. Not to mention the high amounts of energy consumption that must also be paid annually for each harvest. Along with things like, soil, nutrients, pots, and so many other hidden costs that simply make it ineffective to ban outdoor cultivation. If we want to stay true to the requirements of the compassionate use act, Banning outdoor cultivation is not an effective method of creating greater access for qualified patients. However it is an effective method of avoiding the tough questions and hard work of coming up with sensible regulations for patients, and law enforcement to abide by. Thus making it easier to identify the criminals.
So what? We are all just simply criminals now, and should all be treated as such? That is not very compassionate. I think it is important to note the actual name of Prop-215, the Compassionate use act of 1996. That is why I am writing this today. That is why I am going to read this very post before the Fresno county board of supervisors today. Compassion! I do it for the patients who can’t raise their voices in opposition here today. I do it for the patients that I have personally witnessed amazing life altering changes thanks to cannabis. I am here because I take great pride and solace in seeing the Joy cannabis brings to those who are bright enough to look past the lies and see the truth for themselves. And that is what I ask all of you here today to please consider today, Have some compassion and some consideration for those that you are so blindly throwing out along with the bath water.
Here in California, the legal cannabis debate is often superseded by the fight for Medical Marijuana, which appears reasonable as ill patients are in need of medicine for their aliments more so than the casual user wants his civil liberties. However we should not forget that the legality of cannabis effects both our medical and civil rights.
While I hate to say that one right is more important than another. Rights are like our children or creations, we must love them equally or at least see them as equally important. Yes, the patient’s right for their doctor agreed upon medicine is more important than the wants of the recreational user. Yet, their want for open civil rights is still important and should not be overlooked.
Not to mention that the medical debate leaves the casual user stone cold sober, while the quest for legalization is all-inclusive.
To further the push for legalization, I give you five reasons why marijuana should be legal. They are not the only reasons for a legal cannabis country but a selection that I have deemed most shocking and/or logical to unlock the doors to a world of cannabliss.
#5 – End The Underworld’s Cannabis Profits
Currently, every week a news outlet somewhere runs a story about how the Cannabis trade is the largest profit maker for the Cartels. If we are to take these numerous reports to be true than One is left to assume that legalization is the only way to wrestle our marijuana money from the black market.
In the halls of history, we can find one example of how the largest profit maker for a black market was changed into an above-the-board non-profit organization that benefits society. I mean, of course, the lottery.
Long ago in the days when televisions had dials, one of the largest money makers for outlaws was to run illegal lotteries, or “running numbers” as was the term of the time. A Numbers racket worked like this:
How Numbers Ran:
1. A customer would walk into a bar / candy store / retail outlet.
2. They bought their numbers at the counter.
3. A mobbed-up “underworld type” would go around to the various outlets and collect the numbers.
4. On a prescribed day, a number would be picked and the customer with that number got cash.
This system worked for a long time. However since the 80’s, running numbers is no longer a profitable venture for the underworld. The lottery changed the game. You can no longer profit from running numbers as anyone, who is anyone, can now go into any convenience store and buy a lotto ticket. Yet, not only a lotto ticket but a legal, state verified lotto ticket.
How Lotto Runs:
1. A customer walks into a convenience store.
2. Customer buys lotto ticket at the counter.
3. Lotto Numbers are collected by state run machines.
4. Lotto numbers are picked and winning numbers collect cash!
As you can see from the example above, America did not stamp out the citizens ability to gamble. Instead we made the lotto legal. We took the profits out of the black market and put them to good use in our school and public health systems. Thus to END the machine of terror that collects our cannabis proceeds, we need to take the profits out of the black market and put them to good use in the general and legal economy.
#4 Cannabis Industry Means More Jobs
When we put the Black Market‘s cannabis proceeds into the general economy, then we also add all the jobs that once where part of the Black Market. Just look around the medical marijuana industry and see at all the different jobs that are created.
Sure, there are the growers and the dealers. On the farm, there are helpers, trimmers, and baggers, oh my. On the streets, there are wholesalers, drivers, and street-level traders. These are positions that directly trade over from the black market.
However, the industry in the medical marijuana industry create even more jobs. Here in California, there are bud tenders, security guards, and administration at all the dispensaries. There are labs, filled with scientist, that test the potency of cannabis. There are kitchens filled with cooks who make medicated snacks. Factories who make containers. And the list goes on.
Where the underground market sees marijuana as a commodity, with maybe three different levels; schwag, Beasters, and Nugs, with one basic effect. The medical marijuana industry sees an ever-growing list of strains and byproducts where each one comes with at least one taxable employment slot.
I was at the San Francisco Medical Cannabis Cup and I marveled at the number of booths and the range of products displayed. As from above, each booth and product is another job that was added to the economy directly from the impact of Proposition 215.
Cannabis Numbers #3, 2, and 1 to Come…
Our first two reasons to end cannabis prohibition are down. We need to end the black market’s cannabis profits. If we end the illegal profits by legalization, then we will create an industry from the ashes of our misguided past.
While these two reasons maybe enough of a justification for Legalization, we still have three more reasons to go.
Join us next time for Pot 5 Reasons: Marijuana Should Be Legal Part 2
By: Red Eyed Kracker
Recent chatter in the airways suggests the Ordinance regarding outdoor cultivation of medicinal cannabis within the city limits of Fresno Ca, will be on the June 21st Agenda. So here we go again! Only this time it’s with the city council and not the county. The one thing I can say is that the city of Fresno’s ordinance is a lot less restrictive by leaps and bounds. The Fresno County medical marijuana Ordinance is extremely restrictive. Here is a quick summary of the Fresno County medical marijuana ordinance in regards to cultivation.
So any patient that has the poor misfortune of living in the county has to meet all the requirements listed above. Even for personal cultivation? Yes! Fresno county’s ordinance is one of, if not the states most restrictive ordinance in regards to Cultivation, Use, distribution and possession in the entire state of California. Well now we have the city of Fresno planning to do the same thing.
( Here is a link of the proposed ordinance )
So for all of those patients out there who provide themselves with outdoor grown medicine on their own property every year will no longer be allowed to grow directly under the sun within the city limits. They will now have to spend 100’s to 1000’s of dollars building a secure structure for their medicinal garden. Much like the county’s ordinance we see they have chosen to restrict access to the cheapest and most affordable way of providing yourself with quality affordable medicinal cannabis. Cultivating your own medicinal cannabis is one of the only fail safe ways to ensure the patient knows the quality, the strain, and the grade of the medicinal cannabis.
Once again the local Fresno governing bodies choose to restrict patients access instead of addressing and correcting the real underlying issues. Most of the qualified patients that use medicinal cannabis are on a limited income, disability, social security, chemotherapy patients, cancer patients, H.I.V Patients, and many more ailments that already restrict their access and ability to cultivate their own medicine. Now the city of Fresno is telling those “Over-Qualified” patients they can’t even grow those plants on their own property. Most of these patients are already suffering in these low economic times from there overpriced healthcare costs. Now the City of Fresno wants to tack 100’s of 1000’s of dollars to an already struggling patient.
Does any of this seem fair to you ? Sure as hell don’t to me! What if the only relief or cure you found for your ailment or sickness was kicked around like a political football up and down the state. And your local city council or county supervisors decide that your medicine is too much of a health and safety risk for the citizens. Now the only thing that increases your appetite after chemotherapy, or relieves your completely disabling migraines, or help to stimulate and increase the function of your weakened immune system from the H.I.V Virus that is attacking it IS GONE. Walk a mile in the shoes of a qualified medicinal patient before you come to such restrictive ordinances and regulations.
The people and qualified patients of Fresno City and county deserve better than this. These qualified patients need acceptance, understanding and compassion, not restrictive ordinances that go against the very purposes of a voter approved proposition passed 16 years ago. I am only 1 man! But I am able-bodied and willing to fight and educate on behalf of those medicinal cannabis patients that can’t. We need the medicinal cannabis patients and community to show up at the Fresno City Council meeting this June 21, 2012. These elected representatives need to see that the medicinal cannabis patients really have a face and in fact are, Mothers, Fathers, daughters, Sons, Grandfathers, grandmothers, Black, Hispanic, White, Hmong, Asian and everything else I left out. We are the medicinal cannabis community, and we aint going nowhere. We are here to stay ! And I will be damned if I allow this to happen in my hometown without a fight. So I urge all patients and supporters of medicinal cannabis to start educating the masses here in Fresno, Ca. Sit down for an hour and put your thoughts to paper. Create a respectful 3 minute presentation on how this will affect you and the medicinal patients of Fresno, Ca. Then show up at the city council meeting and share that with the Fresno City Council members. Nobody is going to show up and do it for us. Untill the City of Fresno Understands the struggles of the medicinal cannabis patient and forms regulations and ordinances that truly address these issues in a compassionate and respectful way, I WONT STOP, AND NEITHER SHOULD YOU !
By: Dustin F. 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
The title of this post comes to me from the song — Want more — as made famous by Bob Marley. In light of the recent raid on Oaksterdam University on April 4th 2012 by the federal government, I felt that the words to this song never rang so true. Now you get what you want, do you want more ? So as a Medicinal Cannabis consumer I ask you, do you want more ? Because the last 16 years has been nothing but a struggle for the average medicinal cannabis consumer,provider, and grower to provide, or receive access to those very medicines. Could you imagine the feds raiding your house because of your choice of medicine ? Imagine if the feds kicked down the doors of all the pharmacies on every corner and you no longer had access to your life saving medications. That is exactly what is happening here in California as we speak. Regardless of what your personal bias or opinions of Cannabis ( Marijuana ) may be, The Law is still the Law.
–( Now you get what you want, do you want more ? )– -Chorus- by Bob Marley
( Compliments of Wikipedia ) –> Proposition 215, or the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, is a California law concerning the use of medical cannabis. It was enacted, on November 5, 1996, by means of the initiative process, and passed with 5,382,915 (55.6%) votes in favor and 4,301,960 (44.4%) against.The proposition was a state-wide voter initiative authored by Dennis Peron, Anna Boyce [RN], Valerie Corral, Dale Gieringer, Thomas Seiler, William Panzer, Scott Imler, and psychiatrist Tod H. Mikuriya, and approved by California voters. It allows patients with a valid doctor’s recommendation, and the patient’s designated Primary Caregivers, to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal medical use, and has since been expanded to protect a growing system of collective and cooperative distribution. The Act added Section 11362.5 to the California Health and Safety Code.
–( You think it’s the end, But it’s just the beginning. )– -Line-1 -Verse-1- -Want more- by Bob Marley
16 years, you would think we would have it all figured out by now right ? Wrong ! California law enforcement has been having a hay day arresting any and all Cannabis consumers regardless of legality. Why you ask ? Because they can, 215 truly only gives you a legal defense within the state of California. So it all boils down to one simple tactic for Law enforcement, arrest them all and let the courts sort it out. Which in turn only further restricts access and further strengthens the black markets grasp over California’s #1 cash crop. Yes though it remains illegal for responsible adult consumption, Cannabis beats out Grapes for California’s #1 cash crop. Not a single dime of that money for Cannabis is taxed or regulated.
Now in some part’s of California you will find cities and counties that have adopted ordinances and regulations that call for certain taxes and revenues generated from Medicinal Cannabis Collectives, dispensaries, and store front operations to be paid to the city or county. Even more counties and cities here in California have outright banned Collectives and dispensaries. If you were to look at the above picture of the Prop 215 election turnout, almost everywhere seen in green has some form of regulation and tax revenue and allowance in place. Everything in red has nothing and many of these cities and counties have gone as far as to outright bans that are still being challenged in court. Here we have the most neediest of the Cannabis Community being the only one’s providing tax revenues, and in most cases showing up in drones at city and county board meetings begging for regulations. While at the same time they watch the laws intended to protect them get kicked around like a political football. Which in turn only leads to further confusion, and further restricts access to the those who truly need cannabis.
–( They stab you in the back And they claim that you’re not looking.)– -Line-1- -verse-2- -Want more- By-Bob Marley
In 2009 the Obama administration issued a statement suggesting to prosecutors not seek to the arrest of medical marijuana users and suppliers as long as they conform to state laws, under new policy guidelines, and it is 2012 and last I checked Obama is still president. Here are some of Obama’s quotes prior to his election.
– “I don’t think that should be a top priority of us, raiding people who are using … medical marijuana. With all the things we’ve got to worry about, and our Justice Department should be doing, that probably shouldn’t be a high priority.” (June 2, 2007, town hall meeting in Laconia, New Hampshire)
–“The Justice Department going after sick individuals using [marijuana] as a palliative instead of going after serious criminals makes no sense.” (July 21, 2007, town hall meeting in Manchester, New Hampshire)
– “You know, it’s really not a good use of Justice Department resources.” (responding to whether the federal government should stop medical marijuana raids, August 13, 2007, town hall meeting in Nashua, New Hampshire)
Then why is he doing exactly what he explained to the American public was a waste of D.O.J resources ? If he was a man who practiced what he preached, why then was Oaksterdam raided just a few days ago ? Why then have countless other collectives and medical marijuana patients who are compliant within there state still facing persecution or possible forfeiture of property and finances ? The entire cannabis community united behind president Barack Obama during the 2008 election cycle. It seemed as if we had a presidential nominee wo wasnt afraid of discussing the hypocrisy of our cannabis ( Marijuana ) laws. But here we are in April of 2012 and we witnessed one of the longest operating and industry forging leaders get reduced to rubble by the federal government, not to mention more D.O.J resources wasted.
In my personal opinion, HELL NO ! I believe we can do better. We must now unite under one common cause that helps the entire cannabis community as a whole. One of the biggest problems plaguing the cannabis community today is the separation of qualified patients and the recreational users . Though the majority of the medicinal community still smoke their cannabis as a regular form of medicating, to the average Joe, you look just like you’re getting stoned. Not to mention people associate smoking with leisure and relaxation, which is also something commonly associated with “stoners”. Until we have TRUE medical Cannabis that is controlled, studied and tested by scientists and doctors these stereotypes will continue to plague the Medicinal cannabis consumer. The medicinal consumer will always be lumped in with the stoner, so long as he looks and acts like one. you know the old saying, if it looks like a duck, it quacks like a duck, it must be a duck ! Even the Great Jack Herer originally opposed Prop 215 because it stopped at medical use only.
But the very same thing can be said for the stoners. just as there must be a place for the qialified patient, there must also be a place for use by the responsible adult consumer. In my personal opinion legalizing and regulating for responsible adult consumption is more important due to the sheer numbers of recreational cannabis consumers. This meaning the average Joe is more likely to encounter and interact with a stoner then a qualified patient. On May 31st, 2011. California NORML estimates that there are now over 750,000 medical marijuana users in the state, or 2% of the population. According to U.S. SAMHSA data, the total number of users in the state, including non-medical ones, amounts to 6.7% of the population (2.5 million) within the past month, or 11.3% (4.1 million) within the past year. Now remember cannabis ( Marijuana ) is illegal, would you admit to a stranger that you use an illegal substance ? So these surveys are only estimates and according to these statistics, last year in 2011 there was 750,000 medical marijuana patients. In that same year there were 4.1 million people in TOTAL that admitted they consumed cannabis wether it be legal medical use or for recreational use. So that leaves us with a number of 3,350,000 recreational users to 750,000 qualified patients, so who do you think you are more likely to interact with ? So about 5.46% of all people included in this study are medical users. Based off of this study roughly 1 in 5 of all who consume cannabis ( Marijuana ) is medical.
This places California only slightly above the national average in marijuana use ( 6.0% monthly and 10.4% yearly). Use of marijuana by California school youth has declined since Prop. 215 passed, according to data from the Attorney General’s Survey of Student Drug Use in California. The increase in medical marijuana use therefore appears to reflect a tendency for existing users to “go medical,” rather than the enlistment of new users. So instead of reforming our cannabis laws, we force those 4 out 5 cannabis consumers to use only medical or take the risk of criminal prosecution. These laws are tailored to favor the minority and not the majority, and even the minority has faced nothing but 16 years of opposition from local, state, and federal governing bodies. Dont get me wrong I know the medicinal powers of the cannabis plant, but I personally have witnessed cannabis do amazing things for people. That is why I believe we need REAL medical cannabis that is controlled by Scientists and Doctors who are working with and studying the many amazing compounds that make up the cannabis plant for measureable medical applications. What we have now with prop 215 is a quasi legal system that barely works for the minority, and the only ones clambering that things are just fine, are the Doctors writing the recommendations, Collective and dispensary owners, and growers profiting from the very system in place.
In the last 16 years the Cannabis movement as a whole has been making huge strides in gaining acceptance among the American public. Richard Lee and his Oaksterdam college have played a huge roll in the efforts to educate and advocate for medical cannabis and the legalization of cannabis. Richard Lee is the only dispensary owner that has ever funded a campaign to put himself out of business with prop 19. and by doing so he educated the nation even further to the many benefits of the cannabis plant. In my personal opinion Richard Lee can take partial claim to the recent polls showing 50% approval of legalizing cannabis. Now that’s not to say that prop 215 and the author Denis Peron and the many others who co-authored it didn’t play just as a big a role, if not a bigger role in educating the public about cannabis. But one thing I have always admired about Richard Lee is that he does not fear change, he embraces it. He has forged new and greater standards within our community. While at the same time advocating for all cannabis consumers and producers.
For the first time in American history 50% of Americans now say the use of marijuana should be made legal, Gallup first asked about legalizing marijuana, in 1969, 12% of Americans favored it, while 84% were opposed. Support remained in the mid 20’s in Gallup measures from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s, but has crept up since, passing 30% in 2000 and 40% in 2009 before reaching the 50% level in this year’s Oct. 6-9 annual Crime survey. THE TIME IS NOW ! we must unite as cannabis consumers and reform our laws to protect the majority, and not force the majority to abuse the minorities legal system.
BY: Dustin F. Lowery
( Link to change.org, please sign the petition ) –>https://www.change.org/petitions/stop-the-medical-marijuana-raids?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=own_wall
Letter from- Richard Lee
Why This Is Important
On Monday, April 2, my school — Oaksterdam University in Oakland — was raided by the DEA, IRS, and US Marshals. Oaksterdam provides training to the medical cannabis industry, and is fully compliant with state and local law.
President Obama promised at the beginning of his administration to respect state medical marijuana laws. He has broken this promise time and time again — and the consequences have been devastating.
This was a senseless act of intimidation. But I’ve been an activist far too long to become intimidated — and with the majority of Americans and common sense on our side, I know this is a fight we can win.
With our government trillions in debt, why is our government using taxpayer dollars to come after me, Oaksterdam, and the thousands of patients who need medical marijuana just to get through the day?
Tell President Obama and the DEA: Enough is enough. Keep your campaign promise, and stop the raids on the medical cannabis industry!
Thanks Richard Lee for all you have done for the cannabis community.
Time to make a phone call!
Tell GOV JERRY BROWN TO CALL OFF THE FEDS. OUR STATE, OUR RIGHTS
Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160
Call Federal Prosecutor Melinda L. Haag, SF (415)436-7200 — (415)436-7234