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ASA California Weekly Alert: May 11, 2007

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
ASA California Weekly Alert: May 11, 2007
Weekly Round Up
1. Amendment Targets State Sanctioned Medical Marijuana, Angel Raich Drops Case, ASA has the Answers for CA Attorney General, Fairfield Activists Stop Ban!

Take Action
2. While gathering around to celebrate Mother's Day talk to your family about medical cannabis

ASA Chapter and Affiliate Meetings
3. Saturday, May 12, Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara ASA Meeting
4. Saturday, May 12, Los Angeles: Los Angeles ASA Meeting
5. Thursday, May 17, Fort Bragg: Mendocino ASA Meeting
6. Thursday, May 17, Guerneville: Sonoma ASA Meeting
7. Thursday, May 17, Newport Beach: Orange County ASA Meeting
8. Sunday, May 20, Birds Landing : ***Rescheduled Solano Patients' Group Meeting***
9. Tuesday, May 22, Sacramento: ***Rescheduled Sacramento ASA Meeting***
10. Tuesday, May 22, San Francisco: San Francisco ASA Meeting
11. Wednesday, May 23, Oakland: East Bay ASA Meeting

City and County Hearings
12. Tuesday, May 15, Los Angeles: Los Angeles Planning and Land Use Management Committee to Hold Hearing for Dispensary Moratorium

Court Support
12. Wednesday May 16, San Francisco: Ed Rosenthal's Trial Begins
13. Friday, May 18, Indio: Gary Silva's Preliminary Hearing

Special Events
14. Tuesday, May 15, San Bernardino: Show Your Support of Medical Marijuana at the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors Meeting
15. Saturday, May 19, Newport Beach: Medical Cannabis Activist Town Hall

Weekly Round Up


1. Amendment Targets State Sanctioned Medical Marijuana, Angel Raich Drops Case, ASA Has the Answers for CA AG, Fairfield Activists Stop Ban!

Amendment Targets State Sanctioned Medical Marijuana
From Caren Woodson, ASA's National Campaign Director

Dear ASA activists, allies, patients, and friends,

On the evening of April 18, 2007, ASA’s National Office in Washington, DC, received notice that Sen. Coburn (R-OK) was planning to introduce an amendment to S.1082, the Food and Drug Administration Revitalization Act, which reauthorizes and amends the prescription drug user fee act (PDUFA), and other provisions of the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

While the amendment’s purpose is “To evaluate the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana,” it is clear that such an effort is aimed at obstructing the effective implementation of State-legalized medical marijuana.

ASA’s National Office quickly jumped into action! We informed our coalition partners and allies about the amendment and urged them to contact members on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) to vote against the amendment. The amendment passed out of committee and went to the Senate floor.

This week, the U.S Senate passed the FDA Revitalization bill with the Coburn Amendment included. ASA’s National Office will continue to monitor the development of the FDA Revitalization bill and all related measures in the House of Representatives.

While this is a very concerning amendment, we have time for our Government Affairs Team to create the most effective and powerful strategy. You can bet we will be vigilant with this amendment as it moves through the House. Most importantly, we ask You, our members, remain alert and be ready to spring into action if need be. We will keep you posted on any changes to the bill.

ASA would like to acknowledge our partners in the HIV community, including AIDS Action and the National Association of People with AIDS, who responded to ASA’s call to action on this issue with speed and diligence.

Read ASA's Statement on Senator Coburn's Amendment


Angel Raich Drops Case

Medical cannabis patient, Angel Raich ,dropped her medical cannabis case against the federal government last Thursday.

On March 14, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals put what appears to be the final touches on a widely watched medical marijuana case. In McClary-Raich v. Gonzales, the court addressed the issues remaining after the Supreme Court ruled the federal government has authority under the Commerce Clause to regulate medical marijuana.

Raich could have asked that the March decision be reviewed by a larger, 11-judge 9th Circuit panel; or that it be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court; or that it return to U.S. District Judge Martin Jenkins of San Francisco for a few unresolved issues. Those avenues were not very hopeful.

Raich's 5-year journey and fight is an inspiration to the movement. We look forward to working alongside Raich for better Federal legislation and patients' rights.


ASA has the Answers for CA Attorney General

In March, the California Attorney General's office sought input on a set of five questions it was being asked in a "request for opinion." The questions have to do with criminal and civil liability of public officials related to medical cannabis dispensaries. ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford drafted and sent a document on May 8 in response to the request for input.

Read Chief Counsel Joe Elford's Comments


Fairfield Activists Stop Ban!

Last Wednesday, May 9th, the Fairfield Planning Commission voted against a dispensary ban. 6 out of 7 commissioners voted to draft an ordinance that limits dispensaries to conditional uses. This will be followed up on in 2 weeks at their next regular meeting. They will present an ordinance to the City Council that permits dispensaries.

The activists attending the meeting had a direct effect on the commission's decision. It was the hard work that ASA affiliate, Solano Patients' Group, and Compassionate Coalition that changed the commission's mind. This is an important victory, because it shows the important impact organizing and activism can do for change.

There is still much work to be done. According to Linda Jimenez of Solano Patients' Group, an ASA affiliate, and one of the key leaders in this victory, the Fairfield City Council has expressed its intentions to ban dispensaries in the past. Activists in the Solano County Region need to contact Compassionate Coalition and Solano Patients' Group to find out how they can help.

E-Mail:
Linda4SPG@compassionatecoalition.org

Great work Solano Patients' Group, Sacramento ASA Chapter, Compassionate Coalition, and all the activists and patients that made it out to the hearing. Thank you for keeping this movement moving forward!
Take Action!

2. While gathering around to celebrate Mother's Day talk to your family about medical cannabis

Take a couple of minutes out of your Mother's Day to bring awareness of medial marijuana to your family. Talk to your family members and friends about the importance of legalized medical cannabis.

After the kids clean the house, give presents, and make family brunch have a family discussion. Educate those close ones who may not know about Medical Cannabis issues.
ASA Chapter and Affiliates Meetings
3. Saturday, May 12, Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara ASA Meeting

Join the newly formed Santa Barbara ASA Meeting! We will be discussing Vehicle code 23222 (having possessing medicine while operating a motor vehicle) and Patients' Rights!

3pm-5pm @ Antioch University
801 Garden St. Room #203 Santa Barbara

For More Information, contact: Jennifer at (805) 637-5365
4. Saturday, May 12, Los Angeles: Los Angeles ASA Meeting

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

We will be discussing:

1. Messaging for Tue.'s Moratorium Hearing
2. Response to LAPD/Van Nuys Assaults on Patients
3. Recent Raid Updates
4. Local Policy Updates
5. National Policy Update feat. presentation on National AIDS Watch Day
6. Launching of Alliances/Accreditation in CA

We hope to see you all there. For more info, call Chris at (323) 464-7719.
5. Thursday, May 17, Fort Bragg: Mendocino ASA Meeting

This is the Mendocino Chapter's second meeting. We are planning fundraisers, ordinance rewriting, advertising ASA and planning seminars to educate officials and the public. We're sure there will be parties to celebrate our progress in the future. Please join us for the development of our chapter.

6:30pm at Herban Legends
18300 Old Coast Hwy # 3
Fort Bragg, CA 95437

For more information contact Tom:
tom.davenport@vintagenet.us
6. Thursday, May 17, Guerneville: Sonoma 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 come share their opinions on what should happen locally, statewide, and nationally. More info 707-332-6556
7. Thursday, May 17, Newport Beach: Orange County ASA Meeting

Come to the OC ASA Meetings to discuss upcoming and current medical marijuana issues in our community.

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
8. Sunday, May 20, Birds Landing: ***Rescheduled Solano Patients' Group Meeting***

Come meet with us on Sunday, May 20th. We will be coming together to not only celebrate our recent victory, but also to discuss our strategy for the next hearing.

Sunday, May 20th at 3:00pm
Collinsville Rd.
Birds Landing, CA

For more information call: 707-635-3752
9. Tuesday, May 22, Sacramento:***Rescheduled Sacramento ASA Meeting***

Please join Sac ASA to plan for the future of safe access locally, statewide, and nationally!
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
10. Tuesday, May 22, San Francisco: San Francisco ASA Meeting

Join SF ASA to discuss and plan for local, state and national issues. Get active locally to protect safe access!

7:30 p.m.
CA Marijuana Party Bookstore
223a 9th St. @ Howard in San Francisco
11. Wednesday, May 23, Oakland: East Bay ASA Meeting

Join East Bay ASA to discuss strategies for responding to raids, Oakland dispensary regulations, court support, and more.

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

Wednesday, May 23rd @ 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

Please spread the word and pass this on to your East Bay neighbors!
City and County Hearings

12. Tuesday, May 15th, Los Angeles: Los Angeles Planning and Land Use Management Committee to Hold Hearing for Dispensary Moratorium

The LA Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM) will hold one final public hearing on the proposed moratorium on new medical cannabis collectives in LA, before sending the ordinance to the City Council for approval. Medical cannabis patients and advocates support the moratorium as a first step in developing sensible guidelines for facilities in our community.

Please attend the hearing on Tuesday, May 15, to support the moratorium and ask the City Council Members on the PLUM Committee to move forward with this item quickly!

L.A. PLUM Committee
Tuesday, May 15 at 2:00 PM
City Hall (Downtown), Room #350
200 N. Spring St., LA 90012

Download
ASA talking points on dispensary regulations, moratoriums and bans.
Court Support

13. Wednesday May 16th, San Francisco: Ed Rosenthal's Trial Begins

Calling all activists! Ed Rosenthal is back in court on May 16th facing a Federal re-trial. As many of you remember, Ed Rosenthal's previous case was thrown out due to jury misconduct. Despite no compelling reason to re-try Rosenthal, the government convened a federal grand jury in 2006 to seek an indictment. Last month Federal District Court Judge Charles Breyer ruled today that Rosenthal was vindictively prosecuted, and dismissed charges of tax evasion and money laundering. The Federal prosecutor is still going ahead with case. With an admission in court by the U.S. Attorney that it would not seek additional punishment beyond the one-day sentence Rosenthal was given after being convicted at his first trial, the prosecution has little reason to proceed with the case. The vindictive re-trial begins next week.

Medical Cannabis activists are encouraged to show their support for Ed Rosenthal by attending the trial.

Federal Building
Courtroom of U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, 19th Floor
450 Golden Gate
San Francisco, CA

*See below for details on ASA Sponsored Ed Rosenthal Court Support Rally May 23rd*
14. Friday, May 18th, Indio: Garry Silva's Preliminary Hearing

Despite assertions from federal officials that they would not be going after medical marijuana patients or small cooperatives, DEA agents, along with Riverside County Sheriff's officers, raided a small medical marijuana collective cultivation outside of Palm Desert that had recently been pictured in the press, injuring a 53 year old medical marijuana patient Garry Silva.

Garry was arrested and charged in March of 2006. His preliminary trial is May 18th at 8:30am. Garry’s lawyers will ask for dismissal of all charges filed against him by the Riverside County DA from the raid on his home in which he sustained disabling injuries when he was pummeled to the floor by law enforcement officers.

Please come out and provide court support for Garry Silva and for patients' rights.

Friday, May 18 at 8:30am
Room 3N, Larson Justice Center
46200 Oasis, Indio, CA

For more information, contact Lanny Swerdlow: lannyswerdlow@earthlink.net
Special Events

15. Tuesday, May 15, San Bernardino: Protest at the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors Meeting

Join medical marijuana patients and supporters at the Tuesday, May 15 San Bernardino Board of Supervisors meeting at County Government Center at 383 Arrowhead in San Bernardino. They will speak about the county’s continuing disregard for state law by refusing to issue the Medical Marijuana ID cards as mandated by the state legislature in accordance with the vote of the people and held up as legal and binding by the California Superior Court.

People who would like to carpool to the Board of Supervisors protest should meet at the Joshua Tree Community Center parking lot on Tuesday, May 15 a little before the meeting starts at 8:30 a.m.

Tuesday, May 15, 8:30am
County Government Center
383 Arrowhead St. San Bernardino, CA

For more information contact Lanny Swerdlow:
lannyswerdlow@earthlink.net
16. Saturday, May 19th, Newport Beach: Medical Cannabis Activist Town Hall

Please join Steph Sherer, ASA's Executive Director for an Orange County Activist Town Hall on May 19th from 3-6 pm. This event will be a an opportunity for the community to come together while Steph walks everyone through a strategic planning session to create next steps for Orange County implementation of Prop 215 And SB 420. This will include defining problems in the community, as well as determining goals and creating campaigns to tackle these problems and achieve community goals.

Steph Sherer will also give a brief update from ASA about national and state campaigns.

Who: Orange County Medical Cannabis Community and ASA's Executive Director
What: Orange County Activist Town Hall
When: May 19, 2007 from 3PM- 6 PM
Where: Law Offices of WENTWORTH, PAOLI & PURDY, LLP
4631 Teller Avenue, Suite 100
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Why: Because these laws aren't going to implement themselves

For more info contact Bill:
OCLawyer@aol.com
17. Wednesday, May 23rd, San Francisco: Ed Rosenthal Support Rally

Ed Rosenthal needs our help! Come out in support for Ed Rosenthal and medical marijuana. We must show the public that medical marijuana patients and advocates will not stand for vindictive trials. Please come out on May 23rd at 1:00pm on the Federal Building steps.

More Details to come!

Wednesday May 23 at 1:00pm
Federal Building
450 Golden Gate, San Francisco

If you have questions or want to volunteer to help with the rally please contact Sonnet:
Sonnet@safeaccessnow.org


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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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