420 Magazine Background

ASA California Weekly Alert: June 22, 2007

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Weekly Round Up
1. California State Senator Proposes Back Sales Tax Relief; El Dorado ID Card Program Approved; Medical Cannabis Film in Post Production Needs Support

Take Action!
2. The Public Has a Right to Know! Protect Patients by Supporting Bill to Increase Law Enforcement Accountability!

ASA Chapter and Affiliate Meetings
3. Tuesday, June 26, San Francisco: San Francisco ASA Meeting ***Location Change***
4. Wednesday, June 27, Oakland: East Bay ASA Meeting
5. Thursday, June 28, Clearlake: Lake County ASA Meeting
6. Thursday, July 5, San Mateo: San Mateo ASA Meeting

City and County Hearings
7. Tuesday, June 26, Susanville: Lassen County Board of Supervisors to Vote on ID Card Program
8. Thursday, June 28, San Francisco: San Francisco Planning Commission to Hear Dispensary Permit Application

Weekly Round-Up
1. California State Senator Proposes Back Sales Tax Relief; El Dorado ID Card Program Approved; Medical Cannabis Film in Post Production Needs Support

California State Senator Proposes Back Sales Tax Relief

In 2005, the California Board of Equalization (BoE) voted to adopt a new policy to collect sales tax from dispensaries and other medical marijuana providers. At the time, ASA testified at several public hearings, presenting a position paper against collection of sales tax, as it would invariably be a cost absorbed by the patients. To read about ASA's position on sales tax,
click here.

Following the decision to issue seller's permits, the BoE regulations required the payment of back sales tax revenue with a statute of limitations of 8 years. ASA has strongly opposed, with others, payment of back taxes in order to maintain the viability of existing dispensaries and, thereby, safer access for patients. Relief from this significant financial cost will also prevent the elimination of benefits and services currently provided by numerous dispensaries across the state. Back tax relief will also ensure better adherence to BoE requirements, since providers will more willingly to comply if their solvency is not at risk.

With help from ASA and other organizations and advocates, State Senator Carole Migden (D-SF) came up with a solution to the back sales tax debate when she introduced SB 529 earlier this week.

Senator Migden's proposed bill ensures back tax relief for medical cannabis dispensaries provided they comply with the following requirements:
1. Dispensary collectives must apply for voluntary disclosure of tax relief by March 31, 2008
2. Dispensary collectives must make a good faith effort to comply with the tax relief provision by applying for a sales permit, filing state sales tax returns, and remitting tax amounts due, effective on the approval of the bill.

The back sales tax relief would be contingent on compliance with the above good faith actions. Dispensaries that fail to apply for a sellers permit, report sales tax, and pay sales tax to the state, would not be able to benefit from back tax relief.

This bill is an important compromise for both dispensaries and the Board of Equalization, because it relieves the burden of paying large amounts of back taxes whilst encouraging compliance with and participation in the BoE's sales tax scheme. To read the bill,
click here.


El Dorado ID Card Program Approved

Earlier this week, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve the medical cannabis ID card program. El Dorado's program requires a doctor's recommendation and two processing fees. The county has yet to determine what county office they will use to run the program out of.

This is an important victory for El Dorado County and for patients' safe access. Recently, ASA activist and Sacramento ASA Chapter leader, Lanette Davies had a letter to the editor published in the Sacramento Bee referencing El Dorado's decision and calling on her county to do the same and implement an ID card program.
Click here to read Lanette's letter to the editor . This direct activism and citizen participation contributes to successful passing of county ID card programs. ASA encourages its members to follow Lanette's lead and write letters to the editor about medical cannabis issues to local papers. Click here to get pointers on writing a letter to the edito r .


Medical Cannabis Film in Post Production Needs Support

"RxCannabis" is a feature documentary film - currently in post production - on the struggle for medical marijuana in California. It is written and directed by Harvey Stein. (Harvey directed the ASA commercial that aired last Fall on major network affiliates in San Diego, starring Pam Sakuda, Rudy Reyes and others.)

"RxCannabis" features time spent with well-known patient/activists Rudy Reyes, Pam Sakuda and Craig McClain; outspoken advocates of legalization like Judge Jim Gray; researchers like Lester Grinspoon, Rick Doblin, and others. They also shot material on the LA raids and aftermath.

"RxCannabis" is an unforgettable story of People Power in action against entrenched reactionary politicians.

The Director and Producers have had interest from contacts at HBO and IFC, and they believe there's a good chance that they will get theatrical distribution. They believe "RxCannabis" is an ideal way to help get the word out about the medical marijuana movement.

For more info about "RxCannabis," and to see the trailer and a "webisode," please go to:
RxCannabis

The production team needs about $30,000 more investment money to complete post production on "RxCannabis". For a way to support the finishing of "RxCannabis" for as little as $25, please check out:
Fundraising — Fundable — Feature length documentary "RxCannabis" seeks finishing funds!

Take Action!

2. The Public Has a Right to Know! Protect Patients by Supporting Bill to Increase Law Enforcement Accountability!

The California State Assembly Public Safety Committee will hear a SB 1019, a bill which will increase accountability of law enforcement this Tuesday, June 26 at 10:30am in Sacramento!!

This important piece of legislation would overturn a misguided California Supreme Court case in Copley Press that has had the effect of closing down public access to information about police complaints in jurisdictions throughout the state.

All too often medical cannabis patients encounter problems with law enforcement agents. Without access to these records, many of their complaints would never be heard and the rights of medical cannabis patients would continue to be endangered.

Time is running short to convince Northern California’s Assembly members on the Committee—Fiona Ma (D) and Greg Aghazarian (R)—to restore civilian oversight. Having heard the unfounded criticisms of the bill’s opponents, it is critical that they hear from us—its ardent supporters!

Because of this short timeframe, we urge you to consider doing the following:

* Put in a call to the capitol offices of Fiona Ma (916.319.2012) and Greg Aghazarian (916.319.2026) and tell whoever answers that you support SB 1019. Tell them:
The public has a right to know! Police misconduct happens in public, is reported by the public, and investigations are paid for using the public tax dollars. We have a right to know about police activity, misconduct hearings, and punitive actions taken.
Law enforcement must face public accountability! Unlike all other public employees, the public is now prevented by state law from learning about police misconduct and discipline issues. California provides far less information to the public about police complaints than most other states including Texas, Florida, Ohio, and South Carolina. Law enforcement is dodging accountability to the public through their lack of transparency.
SB 1019 will overturn the Copley Press decision and help restore police accountability, build public trust, and promote public safety in communities throughout the state.
As a medical cannabis patient, I am asking you to please protect the public's rights and vote for SB 1019
For more information on SB 1019, click here .


ASA Chapter and Affiliate Meetings

3. Tuesday, June 26, San Francisco: San Francisco ASA Meeting ***Location Change***

San Francisco ASA will be discussing important dates coming up at this meeting. The Planning Department will conduct a hearing on the Dispensary amendments on July 12th, and the legislation will go before the City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee on July 26th. Let’s work on getting the best possible regulations out of this process.

The next ASA SF meeting will be held on Tuesday June 26th 7:30 to 9:00 at:

Bowzer's Pizza ( Note the new location)
371 11th St
San Francisco , CA 94103

4. Wednesday, June 27, Oakland: East Bay ASA Meeting

The East Bay ASA Chapter will be discussing the exciting new ASA National Campaign, Fight Gridlock: Demand Research! We will follow up discussion by contacting our elected officials and participating in citizen lobbying. Other agenda items include:
-Court Support update
-Volunteer opportunities
-Local Medical Cannabis issue update
-Bay area Festivals ****Please bring a list of local festivals in your community*****

Please join us and make your voice heard! Refreshments will be served.

Wednesday, June 27th @ 7 pm

Americans for Safe Access Headquarters
1322 Webster Street, Suite 402, Downtown Oakland
Just a couple blocks from the 12th Street BART station!

For more information or to get involved, contact Rebecca:
Rebecca@SafeAccessNow.org or 510-251-1856 x 308

5. Thursday, June 28, Clearlake: Lake County ASA Meeting

Clearlake and Lake County medical cannabis patients and caregivers are gathering to discuss their most recent protests, letters to the editor, and other exciting activism. Please join us!

June 28th: 6:00pm @ D & M Compassion Center
15196 Lakeshore Dr., Clearlake

For more information, contact Donna:
LakeCoASA@msn.com

6. Thursday, July 5, San Mateo: San Mateo ASA Meeting

On Thursday, July 5, we will be having our San Mateo ASA Meeting. It is very important that all supporters of ASA and medical cannabis living in the San Mateo area come to this particular meeting. We will be voting important lasting key chapter issues.

DATE: Thursday, July 5, 2007
TIME: 7:30-8:30
PLACE: PCRC, 164 South Blvd. San Mateo, CA
Finger foods, desserts, coffee, tea, water

For more information or to get involved, please contact Brent: brent_saupe@yahoo.com .

City and County Hearings

7. Tuesday, June 26, Susanville: Lassen County Board of Supervisors to Vote on ID Card Program

Next Tuesday, June 26, the Lassen County Board of Supervisors will be conducting a hearing on the implementation of the statewide medical marijuana ID card program. The Public Health Department is seeking the board's approval to move forward with the program in Lassen County.

Once the voluntary program is made available, local patients will have the opportunity to obtain the ID cards through the county. The program provides further protection from detainment, arrest or the seizure of medicine for those who choose to become cardholders.

If you live in Lassen County, please take a few minutes to contact the Board of Supervisors and express your support for this important program.

Lassen County Board of Supervisors contact info:

E-mail:
coadmin@co.lassen.ca.us
Phone: (530) 251-8333

Please contact the board, politely urging them to order county staff to begin accepting applications for the ID cards, without further delay.
*Please only take action if you live in Lassen County.*

The board meeting will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 9:30am in Susanville. Please attend this important hearing to show your support for California's medical marijuana ID program and patients' rights in Lassen County.

Lassen County Board of Supervisors
Tuesday, June 26, 9:30am
707 Nevada Street
Susanville, CA 96130
(this is a professional meeting, please dress and act accordingly)

Thank you for taking action to protect Lassen County's medical marijuana patients.

For more information, contact Aaron Smith at
safeaccessnow@gmail.com or 707-575-9870

8. Thursday, June 28, San Francisco: San Francisco Planning Commission to Hear Dispensary Permit Application

On Thursday, June 28th the San Francisco Planning Commissino will be holding a hearing to discuss the issuance of medical cannabis dispensary, Emmalyn’s permit application. The commission's preliminary recommendation is to not take Discretionary Review and approve the project as submitted. We need you to come out an show your support for Safe and Legal Access in San Francisco!

Thursday, June 28 at 1:30pm
San Francisco Planning Commission
Commission Chambers - Room 400
City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place


--


Sonnet Seeborg Gabbard
Field Coordinator
Americans for Safe Access
AmericansForSafeAccess.org

Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research.

Join us today... AmericansforSafeAccess.org

Headquarters
1322 Webster St Suite 402
Oakland, CA 94612
P: 510-251-1856 ext. 321 F: 510-251-2036
 
Top Bottom