MARIJUANA NEWS, ROOTS, AND CULTURE FROM HUMBOLDT AND MENDOCINO COUNTIES……….. ~EMERALD TRIANGLE NEWS AGENCY 2011~ EMERALD TRIANGLE, CALIFORNIA
Chaotic and Contradictory Marijuana Laws for Medical Marijuana Patients
The local, state and federal laws regulating medical marijuana in California grew even hazier with the Obama administration’s recent memo that threatened to prosecute anyone in the business of growing or supplying pot to patients.
The memo represented a significant departure from its sensible October 2009 guidelines that essentially assured dispensaries and patients that the federal government was not interested in going after operations that complied with state law.
Now the clinics are put in the untenable position of wondering whether the next knock on the door might be from federal agents.
The state of the law could not be more chaotic and contradictory. Marijuana remains classified as an illegal drug under federal law, period. California voters sanctioned the use of marijuana for medical purposes in 1996, but the state has all but looked the other way about where and how those dispensaries have been obtaining bulk quantities of the drug. The voter-approved initiative offered little guidance – other than expressly allowing cultivation for personal use – and elected leaders in Sacramento have largely avoided the supply question.
Some cities, notably Oakland, have tried to fill the void by legalizing large-scale indoor growing operations – but backed off when the U.S. attorney warned that it would be in violation of state and federal law.
Meanwhile, dispensaries have proliferated in many cities, classified ads for friendly doctors are abundant, and patient ID cards are not much more difficult to obtain than a box of Sudafed. Personal possession of less than an ounce of marijuana without a doctor’s recommendation has been reduced to an infraction, with a $100 fine.
California voters wisely rejected Prop. 19 last year, which would have legalized marijuana without sufficient controls and restraints. It would have made no sense to replace one form of chaos with another – and almost certainly would have attracted an aggressive federal response.
The feds are raising fair questions about whether a see-no-evil approach to the growing and supply chain has allowed cartels and other crime operations to exploit the lax oversight.
Perhaps the feds might be more willing to defer to state laws if they were more structured and realistic. But that would require a level of leadership that has been missing on this issue at the state level over the past 15 years.
"The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this." Albert Einstein, "My First Impression of the USA," 1921
Ngaio Bealum joins us to discuss the effects of the West Coast medical marijuana crackdown, promoting May 20 Portland Mt. Tabor Theater show; Dave Bienenstock from HIGH TIMES with a preview of the newsstand issue and San Francisco's Medical Cannabis Cup; music by The Effinays
Live report from attorneys Lance Rogers and Michael Cindrich at the San Diego NORML protest of DEA abuse of Daniel Chong; highlights from the DFW NORML Cinco de Mota march; Rant: Debunking No on I-502 Misinformation, Again.
Daily Review, 10 Mar 2014 - SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Law and order may soon be coming to the Wild West of weed. A California lawmaker has introduced legislation to regulate the state's freewheeling medical marijuana industry - the farmers that grow the drug, the hundreds of storefront shops that sell it and especially the doctors who write recommendations a […]
Los Angeles Times, 11 Mar 2014 - City attorney steps up enforcement on shops and targets landlords who rent out space. More than 100 pot shops have shut down since Los Angeles started enforcing its new rules restricting medical marijuana dispensaries, City Atty. Mike Feuer announced Monday.
Chico Enterprise-Record, 06 Mar 2014 - It's not often we find ourselves agreeing with Gov. Jerry Brown, but we think he perfectly stated some of the same concerns we have about the legalization of marijuana. As an added bonus, he did it on a national stage. That's important, because the viewpoint is something everybody nationwide needed to hear - - […]
San Francisco Chronicle, 05 Mar 2014 - Gov. Jerry Brown's smooth ride to re-election just hit the first pot hole with his proclamation that legalizing marijuana might not be good for, not only California, but the country ("Gov. Brown unsure legal pot good idea," March 3). It's those "negative ripple effects." First Washington, t […]
Chico Enterprise-Record, 04 Mar 2014 - The letter written by Rebecca Finn about another election is right on. The people of Butte County voted five district supervisors to represent the majority of the voters in Butte County. Supervisors voted for tighter restrictions so, if you have five acres, you are only allowed one 5-foot by 10-foot area to grow. That a […]
Washington Post, 03 Mar 2014 - (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown said he is not sure that legalizing marijuana in his state is a good idea because the country could eventually lose its competitive edge if too many people are getting stoned. Brown (D) said he worries that if pot smoking gains more legitimacy in the nation's most populous state, it could have negat […]
San Francisco Examiner, 28 Feb 2014 - The Police Department was "shaken" Thursday by indictments unveiled against five current officers and one former officer for a host of federal charges, including constitutional-rights violations, extortion, lying in court and on police reports, and dealing drugs. "Our department is shaken," said a vis […]
Chico Enterprise-Record, 28 Feb 2014 - Read the newspapers, listen to the radio, watch television. Almost every day another crime is committed in our community by none other than recreational marijuana users, sellers and thieves. This month, in a car chase from Chico to Magalia, officers found marijuana and meth. A probation officer arrested a probation viol […]
Sacramento News & Review, 27 Feb 2014 - Will California's anti-smoking laws impede the opportunity for business growth after legalization? My question stems from the idea that there could be Dutch-style coffee shops and smoking lounges, or some such other California incarnation of a social establishment catering to patrons of the green. What are the […]