~ 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.
Los Angeles Times, 06 Oct 2015 - A Study Says Kids With Warm Views of Pot Are More Likely to Drive Drunk or High Later. A new study of Los Angeles-area kids suggests a specific way to reduce the risk that they will drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs as teenagers: Challenge their positive beliefs about marijuana, and start doing it as early as sixt […]
Chico Enterprise-Record, 04 Oct 2015 - Can any of you out there honestly say that the drug war launched six decades ago has accomplished anything at all besides building a massive police/prison industry? Has it curtailed drug use by our youth or lessened the supply? Not at all. Demand is at an all-time high and prices are at an all-time low due to the oversu […]
Appeal-Democrat, 04 Oct 2015 - REDDING (TNS) The board that governs the Central Valley Region's water policy voted 4-0 to enact new restrictions and regulations on outdoor medical marijuana grows at its meeting in Redding on Friday. The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board approved the regulations, talked about water theft and touched on […]
Appeal-Democrat, 03 Oct 2015 - In the midst of harvest season, it's not uncommon to hear the phrase "a large amount of marijuana" on police radios. While deputies work around the calendar to bust illegal grows, peak harvest season is also peak seizure season as the size and odor of marijuana plants draws the attention of complaining neighbors […]
Los Angeles Times, 03 Oct 2015 - Central Valley Agency Sets Best-Management Practices for Marijuana Cultivation. Pot growers have been put on notice by state regulators that they will have to follow the same rules as the rest of agriculture in protecting the state's droughtstricken water supply.
Los Angeles Times, 01 Oct 2015 - Re "Cleaning up after pot farmers," Editorial, Sept. 23 As representatives of craft and artisanal cannabis farmers in California, we applaud The Times' editorial, which addressed environmental damage caused by unregulated and illegal cannabis growers.
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North Coast Journal, 01 Oct 2015 - The Pinoleville Pomo Nation, based out of Mendocino County, was raided by the sheriff's office last week and hundreds of marijuana plants were seized. The Journal reported in January that the tribe said it would build a 110,000-square-foot marijuana growing facility on its 99-acre Rancheria near Ukiah, anticipating leg […]
Sacramento News & Review, 01 Oct 2015 - I have two questions for you: (1) Have you ever been the victim of "laced" weed? (2) Is marijuana addictive? - -TJ First: I have never been the victim of "laced" weed. One time I did have a huge, heart-racing panic attack whilst driving to a gig in the boonies of Montana, so I went to the ER and […]