Are you looking forward to the potential of Cannabis legalization in California come 2016? So am I! Have been for quite some time now. Since 2009 I have actually dedicated my life to sharing and educating people about the truths and potential of Cannabis Hemp. Its one of the main reasons I am writing this article today. The future of Cannabis legalization in California may seem almost destined to pass with flying colors in 2016. I assure you, it is not going to be as simple as it is perceived. What some may consider legalization, doesn’t necessarily equate to the legalization you may be expecting. Now with that being said, there are only a few ways to ensure that real legalization happens in 2016. And almost all of them start and end with you. Yeah you, the reader. Not just you, me and everyone else also.
First things first. If you’re sitting back waiting for the (DPA) Drug Policiy Alliance, (Norml) National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, (ASA) Americans For Safe Access, and other so-called activists groups to deliver legalization for you. You probably would not get to excited about the final result. Do you believe they will form an initiative that favors the average patient, or consumer over the current medical marijuana industry leaders and stake holders? If you do, you have been sadly mislead. Why? Because these very organizations are ran and supported by, you guessed it, the very Industry leaders and business owners who enjoy their absorbent profits from the current unregulated model. How could I possibly know this? I have seen it first hand. I have traveled up and down this state to several cannabis events sponsored by these groups. I have seen the subversion they use to promote the Industry over the plant itself. I specifically recall the big ASA lobbying event at the state capitol a few years back. Where they specifically advertised the weekend as a patient lobbying day. So I wanted to check this lobbying day out for myself. I figured at least it would be an educational experience. Which it was, for several reasons.
When we arrived at this local union hall in the middle of nowhere in Sacramento one of the first things I noticed was there was a lot of dress shirts and Dockers. Everywhere! They all had their ASA lobbying day badges around their Necks looking professional. They had very nice and lavish charter buses they had rented to bus the “Patients” from other districts to Sacramento. Where were these patients? After clambering around during their meeting recording what I could with my camera I had seen virtually no patients. Every word out of their mouths was about lobbying there representatives the following day at the capitol building . All about regulating the medical marijuana industry. The thing I found most interesting was after the meeting I wanted to speak with some of these patients and get there take on the meeting. Almost every single person I spoke with was a patient in the legal sense, but not your everyday average patient. They were all Industry insiders, and Dispensary owners there to lobby their representatives for more restrictive regulations in regards to the medical cannabis industry. I think one of the most telling signs was how excited Don Duncan got once Stephan Deangelo and his Brother showed up at the capitol building. My point is, they tell you one thing to your face, and do another behind closed doors. They verbally promote legalization, regulation and reform. But not the kind that benefits the everyday consumer and patient. If you are relying on them to author something that will meet your needs as a Consumer or a Patient. Think again!
One of my favorite Hemp activists Chris Conrad wrote a really good piece back during the TaxCannabis prop-19 debate. ( http://weedactivist.com/2010/07/25/another-word-on-jack-and-prop-19-from-chris-conrad/ ) (Excerpt) – Initially Jack deeply hated Prop 215. He literally stumped up and down the state cursing out hemp activists who backed it. He screamed at us, called us traitors for working on medical use, and claimed that Dennis Peron was secretly against legalization. When 215 was filed, Jack filed the California Hemp Initiative (CHI) on the 1996 ballot to block it. and changed the name to “California Hemp _and Health_ Initiative” so people signing it would think they had signed Prop 215, to mess with the signature count. When I called him on it, he said he was trying to keep Prop 215 off the ballot because, among other things, “people will stop working for legalization and we’ll be stuck with medical forever. No hemp, no legalization; that will be the end.” Later he circulated the CCU petitions for pay, then before the election came to support it completely. Now some people actually credit Jack for ‘passing Prop 215. Jack vociferously opposed Senate Bill 420, but he loved the dispensaries it allowed to open. ( click the Above link to read the entire piece).
Jacks words – “people will stop working for legalization and we’ll be stuck with medical forever. No hemp, no legalization; that will be the end.” Jack Knew it then, and they also knew it then. Guess what ? They still know it now! This is exactly what we have been dealing with for the last 19 years. The industry leaders and club owners don’t want there quasi legal black market profits going anywhere. So enter the DPA, Norml and ASA with their attempts at dividing the legalization movement as a whole. They certainly don’t want the everyday average consumer to be able to cultivate their own Cannabis at home, over buying their middle man marked up products in their stores. Do you think (Norml), (ASA) and the (DPA) want everyone in California cultivating a possible 99 plants legally? Do you think they want to lose that revenue stream? Not just the dispensary owners and industry leaders but the activist groups themselves? No they don’t! and they are very active right now at subverting attention away from the CCHI 2016 initiative for other initiatives that have not even been written yet. Yet they all love to invoke the legacy of jack Herer. Like Stephan Deangelo of Harborside in Oakland Ca. One of the Worlds largest dispensaries in the world by the way. He constantly speaks of how good friends him and Jack were, and how they shared the same vision in regards to legalization and cannabis, Well I will have to beg to differ here. I personally asked Stephan Deangelo during the CCHI 2012 signature campaign, at Harborside’s yearly shindig called The Deep Green Festival if he supported the Jack here Initiative. He simply replied, I do not support any initiative until they have already registered for the ballot. So the man who makes the most money, and the most profits in California, from the Patients of the medical cannabis industry no less, won’t support or finance any legalization effort until it has already officially made the ballot. Share the same vision my ass!
The point is, if you rely on industry leaders, and activists groups to do the work for you, you’d better get ready for a heaping pile of disappointment. Trust me when I say they will let you down every time. In the words of Jack Herer – “You guys have to be warriors for your own freedom. You can’t depend on me or anyone else to do it for you. This freedom comes from our willingness to put our acts on the line and teach people all the comprehensive information we have learned about cannabis hemp.” We don’t need big money, we need big motivation and big determination from an educated base of citizenry. The CCHI 2016 is organizing up and down, and throughout the entire state as I write this article. We are organizing a base of volunteers and supporters to get the signatures necessary to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. Please click the link at the top right of the site for more information on how you can get involved with the fight to liberate cannabis 100% for everyone.
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