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ASA California Weekly Alert: June 8, 2007

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Weekly Round Up
1. Attorney General Needs to Take a Stand, Pleasanton Bans Dispensaries but Expresses Support, ASA vs. Butte County's Position Against Collective Cultivation

ASA's Legal Tip of the Month
2. Medical Marijuana Edibles and the Law

ASA Chapter and Affiliate Meetings
3. Saturday, June 9, Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara ASA Meeting
4. Sunday, June 10, Birds Landing: Solano Patients Group Meeting
5. Tuesday, June 12, San Francisco: San Francisco ASA Meeting
6. Tuesday, June 12, San Diego: San Diego ASA Meeting
7. Wednesday, June 13, Willits: Mendocino County ASA Meeting
8. Thursday, June 14, Lakeport: Lake County ASA Meeting
9. Saturday, June 16, Los Angeles: Los Angeles ASA Meeting
10. Tuesday, June 19, Sacramento: Sacramento ASA Meeting
11. Thursday, June, 21, Newport Beach: Orange County ASA Meeting
12. Thursday, June 21, Guerneville: Sonoma County ASA Meeting

City and County Hearings
13. Tuesday, June 14, Milpitas: City Council to Vote on Dispensary Ban
14. Friday, June 15, San Luis Obispo: Planning Commission Hearing on Dispensary Permitting
15. Tuesday, June 19, Fontana: Fontana Planning Commission to Discuss Dispensary Ordinance.

Court Support
16. Friday, June 22, Sacramento: Pre-trial Hearing for Dr. Mollie Fry & Dale Schafer
17. Friday, June 22, Fresno: Motions Hearing for California Healthcare Collective

Special Events
18. Friday, June 8-10, Santa Rosa: Sonoma ASA Tabling at the Health and Harmony Festival

Weekly Round-Up

1. Attorney General Needs to Take a Stand; Pleasanton Bans Dispensaries but Expresses Support, and ASA vs. Butte County's Position Against Collective Cultivation
Attorney General Needs to Take a Stand on Dispensaries
California Attorney General Brown failed to take a stand on the legality of dispensaries on Wednesday when his office stated publicly that it chose not to provide an opinion on the matter. Given the many requests from collective members, patients, activists, citizens, and elected officials for clarification, ASA is disappointed in the Attorney General's lack of leadership. ASA believes that dispensary are legal and are protected under state law. To read about ASA's position on dispensaries
click here.

The Attorney General needs to protect the rights of patients to safe and legal access to their medicine. To read more about the Attorney General's refusal to guide Californians on dispensaries
click here.

Pleasanton Bans Dispensaries but Expresses Support

On Tuesday Pleasanton City Council voted unanimously to ban storefront dispensaries at the suggestion of the city police force and city attorney. Directly following the vote, Councilman Matt Sullivan made a motion to establish a task force to investigate the community's needs for medical cannabis and whether patients' needs were being met. The council also addressed the discrepancies between federal and state law by motioning to write a letter to local congressional leaders in support of the State's Rights to Medical Marijuana Act, or HR2233 .

The motion to establish a special task force assessing the needs of patients recognizes some of the hurdles patients are confronted with. Their commitment to write a letter in support of HR2233 is a proactive approach to federal and state legal contradictions. Even though a ban has an immediate negative impact, the follow up actions of the City Council have the potential to have a positive impact in California and nationwide.

ASA vs. Butte County's Ban on Collective Cultivation

ASA filed a lawsuit on behalf of a patient collective challenging Butte County's policy of banning collectives. At a pivotal hearing on Friday, ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford will argue against the demurrer, which will decide whether the case will go forward or will be dismissed.

Patients who are unable to cultivate medical marijuana themselves and cannot find a caregiver to do it for them often turn to private patient collectives as a way to obtain their medicine. Collectives are explicitly allowed under state law and must be accommodated by local law enforcement. In the fall of 2005, the Butte County Sheriff conducted a number of raids on private patient collectives. One such raid occurred at the home of David Williams, a member of a 7-patient collective who lives near Paradise, California. Williams was forced to uproot and destroy more than two dozen plants just prior to harvest, due to the incorrect rationale that every member must physically cultivate the marijuana.


ASA's amended civil suit complaint against Butte County (filed 4/5/07)
ASA's Legal Tip of the Month

2. Medical Marijuana Edibles and the Law

Americans for Safe Access has received many reports from patients and dispensaries that law enforcement considers edible medical marijuana products to be illegal. Unfortunately, this is an incorrect interpretation of the law. California Health & Safety Code Section 11018 defines "marijuana" as "all parts of the plant Cannabis Sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds or resin." (emphasis added.) In 2003, in order to clear up confusion around the legality of concentrated cannabis, the California Attorney General (AG) issued a legal opinion on the matter. The AG concluded that Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, included concentrated cannabis within the definition of marijuana, and that patients and providers should be protected from criminal sanctions.

In addition, with the passage of SB 420, the Medical Marijuana Program Act, by the California legislature, patients and caregivers are explicitly protected from criminal liability. One of the criminal statutes exempted in SB 420 for patients and caregivers, Health & Safety Code Section 11357, includes reference to concentrated cannabis. Problematic interactions with law enforcement may not be avoidable, but things to can do to lessen that likelihood include ensuring all edibles in your possession are well wrapped and clearly labeled "for medical use." If you produce edibles yourself, ensure that: a) the ingredients and finished product are out-of-reach of children and people who are neither patients not caregivers; b) the facility and tools used to produce the edibles are clean and sanitary (consider compliance with local and/or state clean room requirements); and c) the packaging of edibles does not violate copyright laws nor unduly attract the attention of youth.

ASA Chapter and Affiliate Meetings

3. Saturday, June 9th, Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara ASA Chapter Meeting

We will be working on ASA's Fight Gridlock! Demand Research Now! campaign which targets the government's monopoly on medical marijuana research materials. Please come and let your voice be heard! Look forward to seeing everyone this Saturday!

Where: Antioch University Room 203
801 Garden St.
S.B. CA 93101

When: Sat. June 9th
3pm-5pm

For more info or questions please call Jennifer or e-mail:
JenniferLn@gmail.com or 805-637-5365.

4. Sunday, June 10, Birds Landing: Solano Patients Group Meeting

We will be discussing the latest in medical marijuana news, discuss court support in our county, and feature special events. We will also be hearing updates from our coalition partners on their campaigns. Please join us!

Sunday, June 10th at 3:00pm
2145 Collinsville Rd.
Birds Landing, CA

For more info, contact Linda:
linda4spg@compassionatecoalition.org

5. Tuesday, June 12, San Francisco: San Francisco ASA Meeting

ASA SF is holding a meeting on Tuesday June 12 @ the activist resource center 223a 9th st. 7:30-9:00.

Come hear a special presentation by ASA's Campaign Director, Kris Hermes, concerning medical marijuana in San Francisco and you.

Did you know that when the San Francisco dispensary regulations take effect patients will be denied safe access to medical marijuana unless they have a state issued id card?

Currently only 1/3 of patients in San Francisco choose to purchase a state issued id card. The rest will not be allowed access. How will this effect you? Can you do anything about it? Come find out. All are welcome.

7:30pm @ CA Marijuana Party Bookstore
223a 9th St. at Howard in San Francisco

For more info, e-mail Alex:
aaafranco@yahoo.com

6. Tuesday, June 12, San Diego: San Diego ASA Meeting

Our San Diego Chapter is working to improve access for patients throughout the county. Please come show your support for safe access this Tuesday!

For more info about the chapter, please visit their site:
Normandale -

Twiggs Coffee House
4590 Park Blvd.
In the Green Room
7:00-8:00 p.m.

7. Wednesday, June 13, Willits: Mendocino County ASA Meeting

This meeting, the Mendocino ASA Chapter will be discussing important chapter protocol and structure. Please join us and bring give your important input in the development of this new group. Help protect patients and improve access to medical cannabis in Mendocino County. Please join us!

7:00pm @ Vassar's Family Pizza
144 N. Main St. in Willits

For more info, call Ukiah: 707-684-0107

8. Thursday, June 14, Lakeport: Lake County ASA Meeting

Lakeport 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!

Thursday, June 14th @ 6:00pm
Cafe Victoria , 301 N Main St in Lakeport

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

9. Saturday, June 16, Los Angeles: Los Angeles ASA Meeting


Saturday May 12th, 1-3 PM
California Patients Group
6208 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica/Vine in Hollywood, CA


We hope to see you all there. For more info, call Chris at (323) 464-7719.

10. Tuesday, June 19, Sacramento: Sacramento ASA Meeting

Please join Sac ASA to discuss current medical cannabis news, strategize new campaigns to further safe and legal access for patients, and discuss other pressing issues in the movement. Bring a friend!

7:00 p.m.
Crusaders Hall
320 Harris Avenue, Suite H
Sacramento, CA

For more information or to get involved, please contact Lanette:
cannacare@earthlink.net

11. Thursday, June, 21, Newport Beach: Orange County ASA Meeting

Come to the OC ASA Meeting to discuss our recent ASA Town Hall meeting. If you were unable to make it to the Town Hall meeting, please attend our regular chapter meeting this month. We will begin to implement the new strategies for safer and legal access to medicine in Orange County.

OC ASA Meeting
7-9 PM
Law Offices of WENTWORTH, PAOLI & PURDY, LLP
4631 Teller Avenue, Suite 100
Newport Beach, CA 92660

For more information, contact Bill:
OCLawyer@aol.com

12. Thursday, June 21st, Guerneville: Sonoma County ASA Meeting

When: Thursday from 7pm-9pm
Where: Marvin's Gardens 15025 River Road (towards Guerneville)

Please join Sonoma's chapter of American's for Safe Access. Patients, supporters, caregivers and friends are welcome to impact safe access for patients. Please come and share your opinions on what should happen locally, statewide, and nationally. For more info, 707-332-6556.

City and County Hearings

13. Tuesday, June 14, City Council to Vote on Dispensary ban.

Milpitas City Council will hold a special hearing on Tuesday, June 14 to vote to ban dispensaries. Please come out and show your support for medical marijuana.
Download ASA's talking points on dispensaries.

Tuesday June 14th at 5:30pm
Milpitas City Hall
455 E Calaveras Blvd, Milpitas, CA

14. Friday, June 15, San Luis Obispo: Planning Commission Hearing on Dispensary Permitting

The San Luis Obispo Planning Commission will consider a request for a Minor Use Permit to allow the establishment of a Medical Marijuana Dispensary. Please show your support for the dispensary and the medical marijuana movement by attending this meeting.

Planning and Building Department
976 Osos Street, Room 200
San Luis Obispo, CA

15. Tuesday, June 19, Fontana: Planning Commission to Discuss Dispensary Ordinance

The Fontana Planning Commission is scheduled to meet to discuss a dispensary ordinance. Planners likely will have a new ordinance ready for the commission's consideration. It is unclear whether the ordinance will call for a moratorium or ban. Please come out and show your support for medical marijuana.
Download ASA's talking points on dispensaries.

Fontana Planning Commission
Tuesday, June 19th at 6:00pm
City Council Chambers
Fontana City Hall
8353 Sierra Ave., Fontana, CA 92335

Court Support

16. Friday, June 22, Sacramento: Federal Pre-trial Hearing for Dr. Mollie Fry & Dale Schafer

Federal Pre-trial hearing for Dr. Mollie Fry and Dale Schafer will be held on Friday, June 22 in Sacramento. El Dorado County Medical marijuana physician Mollie Fry and her husband, attorney Dale Schafer, were arrested as a result of a September 28, 2001 raid on their clinic in Cool, California, in which patient records were seized. After the Raich decision, on June 22, 2005, Fry and Schafer were indicted for marijuana found on the premises during the raid. Fry is also facing a separate action by the DEA to revoke her license to practice medicine.

Please come and show your support!

Pre-trial begins at 10am before Judge Frank C. Damrell, Jr.
U.S. District Court, 15th Floor at 501
"I" Street in Sacramento.

17. Friday, June 22, Fresno: Federal Motions Hearing for California Healthcare Collective

Please come and support California Healthcare Collective defendants on Friday June 22 at the Federal motions Hearing.

After the City of Modesto failed to shut down the California Healthcare Collective by banning dispensaries, the DEA was called in. On September 27, 2006, the collective was raided and four people were arrested (two operators and two staff) on charges of distribution of marijuana and conspiracy to distribute. The two operators were also charged with possession of firearms and money laundering. Later, an additional five people were indicted, bringing the total to nine people being prosecuted by the federal government. All defendants have been released on bail pending trial, with the exception of Monica Valencia, who was recently imprisoned on a misdemeanor state charge and may be held until her federal trial.

Come out and show your support!

Friday, June 22nd at 10:30am before Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill
U.S. District Court, 2500 Tulare Street, Fresno, CA.

Special Events

18. Friday, June 8-10, Santa Rosa: Sonoma ASA Tabling at the Health and Harmony Festival

Sonoma ASA will be tabling the Health and Harmony Festival at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds next weekend. They will be educating festival participants on medical cannabis, petitioning, and increasing medical cannabis awareness.

Sonoma ASA's Santa Rosa meeting will be preparing materials and the table at the fairgrounds on Thursday the 7th.

Please come out to the Health and Harmony Festival and help spread the word about medical cannabis.

Friday, June 8th gates open @ 12:00pm
Saturday, June 9th and Sunday, the 10th gates open @ 10:00am
Health and Harmony Festival
Sonoma County Fairgrounds
1350 Bennett Valley Rd
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

For information on the festival:
Harmony Festival: The Bay Area's Progressive County Fair with Music & Camping! .

If you wish to help out or need more event details, please contact Sarah: 415-756-4587.
--


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
 
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