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.
SF Weekly, 17 Dec 2014 - LAWYERS, GAZA, AND MARIJUANA Alcohol and marijuana do not mix. Just ask Lagunitas: In 2006, the Petaluma-based microbrewer's weekly beer tastings went on an infamous hiatus after state liquor officers discovered some of those drinking there were also smoking marijuana (let's hope ABC never pays a visit to the Zeitgeist back […]
The Press Democrat, 15 Dec 2014 - In a sign of the burgeoning marijuana cultivation industry and its mainstream acceptance, an estimated 10,000 people flocked to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds over the weekend to honor the growers behind some of the finest and most powerful strains of pot in Northern California. The Emerald Cup, now in its second year in Sant […]
Los Angeles Times, 16 Dec 2014 - Despite 2013's Measure D, under which only about 135 existing medical marijuana dispensaries have permission to stay open in Los Angeles, the city has continued to issue tax registration certificates to new pot shops and keeps collecting business taxes from some 450 dispensaries. Talk about mixed messages. While the city […]
San Diego Union Tribune, 12 Dec 2014 - As you alluded to ("Is Vista tougher on med pot than San Diego?" Nov. 24), it appears the flaw in the city attorney's numbers of closed pot shops is that he is using many of the closings that came in great part with the help of U.S. attorney letters to landlords. However, we want San Diego City Attorney J […]
North Coast Journal, 11 Dec 2014 - Libertarian boy wonder Rand Paul, a U.S. Senator from Kentucky, recently told a Louisville news outlet he smoked pot in his youth. "Let's just say I wasn't a choir boy when I was in college and that I can recognize that kids make mistakes," Paul said. "And I can say I made mistakes when I was a kid. […]
The Chico News & Review, 11 Dec 2014 - Board of Supervisors Allocates a Half-Million to Marijuana Measure On Tuesday (Dec. 9), the Butte County Board of Supervisors unanimously authorized spending nearly a half-million dollars toward the added costs of code enforcement anticipated with the recent passage of Measure A, a stricter medical marijuana cultiva […]
Sacramento News & Review, 11 Dec 2014 - Hey, I hear Fresno is going to repeal their growing ban. What have you heard? - -Ray Zin Hey yourself. The Fresno County Board of supervisors had a meeting last week to discuss changing their ridiculous and overbearing ban on outdoor cultivation. The way the law stands now, no one can grow any cannabis at all and t […]
North Coast Journal, 11 Dec 2014 - A Fledgling Political Action Committee's Push to Regulate Weed in Humboldt It's Dec. 8, and three members of California Cannabis Voice Humboldt are sitting in the Journal's Old Town office. There's a sense of urgency - and even a little desperation - as they explain how the group has grown from its inaug […]
San Diego Union Tribune, 11 Dec 2014 - While having uniform standards to determine whether driving is impaired by ingestion of marijuana ("How stoned is too stoned to drive?" Dec. 7) would greatly assist law-enforcement, it seems doubtful that any can be created that will be applicable across the broad spectrum of individuals. There are simply too […]