~ Marijuana News, Rootz and Culture from the Heart of the Emerald Triangle ~
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.
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Daily Press, 07 Feb 2016 - I'm from the generation that fell in love with drugs, I'm sorry to say. Timothy Leary implored us to "turn on, tune in and drop out." Some of my friends did that, though most of them later regretted it.
Los Angeles Times, 07 Feb 2016 - Costa Mesa police say there was nothing to indicate that mall storefront was Native American sanctuary. Police officers who thought they were shutting down a marijuana dispensary in Costa Mesa last month were in fact raiding a Native American church that uses cannabis and other controlled substances in its spiritual ceremonie […]
Chico Enterprise-Record, 07 Feb 2016 - Time is too short to waste it spinning your wheels, especially in local government where every exercise costs staff time and money. The city of Chico avoided one unnecessary fire drill Tuesday and wisely chose to take a wait-and-see attitude on a second one, all related to the always-confusing topic of marijuana regulat […]
Sacramento Bee, 06 Feb 2016 - Re "Drug addicts finally a priority in politics" (Editorials, Feb. 4): The Bee's editorial board is absolutely right that what matters most right now is that something gets done by Congress to address opioid addiction and overdose in this country. But the most well-funded business lobby in this country is not goin […]
Sacramento News & Review, 04 Feb 2016 - I heard a club got raided the other day? I thought raids were a thing of the past. What gives? - -Blue Steele Close. It wasn't a cannabis club that got raided, but a cannabis processing facility. Med West Distribution (which makes stuff for the Bhang line of cannabis products) in San Diego was raided by by the […]
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The Chico News & Review, 04 Feb 2016 - Re "Hasty decisions" (Newslines, by Meredith J. Cooper, Jan. 28): The benefits of medical marijuana, both medically for patients and financially for the state and local governments, should be fair across the board. In the case of Colorado, the state has shown benefits for the schools and government through […]