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.
The Times-Herald, 11 Sep 2014 - Illegal marijuana grow sites continue to thrive in our national forests because recreational marijuana use, although against the law, just doesn't seem to go away. Think of it as prohibition for the new millennium. Instead of backwoods stills producing alcohol, we have hidden gardens producing pot. This, of course, has be […]
Los Angeles Times, 10 Sep 2014 - An Irvine attorney was convicted Wednesday of having a PTA volunteer falsely imprisoned in a drug bust that was part of a revenge scheme. Kent Easter, 40, was convicted of one felony count of false imprisonment by deceit in a retrial of the case, the Orange County district attorney's office said. A judge declared a mistr […]
Los Angeles Times, 08 Sep 2014 - An apparent robbery of a marijuana-growing operation in Fresno resulted in a fatal gunfight Thursday that left two suspects dead and a 15-year-old girl being used as a human shield by fleeing robbers. Two of the alleged gunmen who broke into the house in south Fresno are in custody and three remain at large, said Lt. Louis He […]
SF Weekly, 10 Sep 2014 - WATCH THE SKIES His weathered face and his whitening hair make Butch Small look older than his 58 years. He looks better than he should, according to the doctors who told him two years ago that he'd soon die from a combination of hepatitis C and cirrhosis of the liver. He'd been sober a quarter-century, he says, but the boo […]
San Francisco Chronicle, 06 Sep 2014 - I had to shake my head as I read "Illegal marijuana grow sites despoil our national forests" (Open Forum, Sept. 3). Since 2010, California voters have had the opportunity to stop this destruction by legalizing marijuana, but have chosen not to, even though polls indicated legalization was favored by a majority […]
San Francisco Chronicle, 06 Sep 2014 - Regarding "Illegal marijuana grow sites despoil our national forests" (Open Forum, Sept. 3): Sam Hodder is barking up the wrong tree. Illegal marijuana grows in national forests are a direct result of marijuana prohibition. Federal anti-marijuana enforcement is the root cause of the problem, not the solution. […]
San Francisco Chronicle, 05 Sep 2014 - The United States Department of Justice should fight pot farms on federal lands by putting a bounty on all caught on pot sites. Hunters could add to their incomes, and recruitment will become harder for these outlaws.
The Chico News & Review, 04 Sep 2014 - Re "This isn't Ferguson" (Editorial, Aug. 28): Your editorial about Ferguson, Mo., was right on. To further understand the militarization of our police forces and how it is being instituted, consider the following: SWAT teams have grown 14,000 percent over a 10-year period, Al Jazeera reports. Ninety […]
Sacramento News & Review, 04 Sep 2014 - Plus: Don't miss the 15th-ish Occasional Cannabis Comedy Festival on September 15 at Harlow's I want to open a cannabis dispensary. What should I do? - -Ann Trapenoor