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ASA California Weekly Alert: May 25, 2007

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Weekly Round Up
1. Ed Rosenthal Rally/Trial Update; Riverside Raid Update; Tod Mikuriya: A Memorial

Take Action!
2. It's a Holiday Weekend: Petition Your Communities!

ASA Chapter and Affiliate Meetings
3. Tuesday, June 5, Sacramento: Sacramento ASA Meeting
4. Thursday, June 7, San Mateo: San Mateo ASA Meeting

City and County Hearings
5. Tuesday, May 29, Fairfield: Fairfield City Council to Vote on Dispensary Ban

Court Support
6. Tuesday, May 29, San Francisco : Ed Rosenthal Federal Trial Final Arguments
7. Friday, June 1, Sacramento: Status Hearing for Louis Wayne Fowler
8. Monday, June 4, Placerville: State Criminal Trial for Don Kearney Begins

1. Ed Rosenthal Rally and Federal Trial; Riverside Raid Update; Tod Mikuriya: A Memorial

Ed Rosenthal Rally and Federal Trial Update

Medical marijuana advocate and author Ed Rosenthal told the U.S. District Court on Wednesday that he would be presenting no witnesses in his defense against federal charges of marijuana cultivation and distribution, saying the government had failed to prove its case.

Several witnesses have refused to testify for the prosecution against Rosenthal. At an earlier, pre-trial hearing on the matter, Assistant U.S. Attorney George Bevan, Jr. told the court that he did not think that even incarcerating the "recalcitrant" witnesses for contempt would be likely to compel their testimony, since their reluctance to testify against Mr Rosenthal was "cause related." Judge Breyer noted that as a matter of law the remedy must be designed to elicit the testimony sought, so without an expectation of compliance, he cannot legally jail them.

Rosenthal is fighting a retrial on three charges related to cultivating medical marijuana, as well as two additional counts related to distribution of marijuana to patients.

This Wednesday 100 medical marijuana activists gathered together to show their support for the medical cannabis advocate. Taking place in front of the San Francisco Federal Building, the ASA-sponsored and organized rally lasted over an hour in the warm mid-day sun. ASA's Executive Director, Steph Sherer, MC'd the event, which opened with Ed Rosenthal addressing the crowd and calling on them to join him on Tuesday, May 29th at 9:00am for the prosecution's closing arguments. Other speakers at the rally included one of Rosenthal's Attorneys, Shari Greenberger, and San Francisco ASA Chapter's Alex Franco, who read a statement by San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi. Following the scheduled speakers, several community members spoke about the importance of this trial and the impacts it has had will have in the medical marijuana movement.

Thank you to all the East Bay ASA Chapter members who took time out of their busy schedules to make signs, slogans, and calls to get people to come out to the rally this past Monday. Without your help we couldn't have had such a successful rally!

Riverside Raid Update

Last Tuesday Riverside Police Department raided California Caregivers Association-Riverside with a warrant from a local judge. No one was arrested, however, Riverside PD also raided the house of a collective member.

The police stole all of the collective's resources and medicine. Local authorities cited edible cannabis preparations as the reason for the raid. Edibles are legal in the state of California and ASA assumes that the recent increase in edible cannabis enforcement is just law enforcement's newest excuse to harass medical cannabis providers. Unconfirmed reports from witnesses at the scene show local law enforcement may have stolen confidential records belonging to collective members.

Tod Mikuriya: A Memorial

This past Sunday, the Medical Cannabis Movement lost one of it's founders and great champion, Dr. Tod H. Mikuriya. Dr. Tod died from complications of cancer at his Berkeley home, his family said. He was 73.

According to Valerie J. Nelson's article in the Los Angeles Times, Dr. Tod was one of the co-authors of Proposition 215, the state ballot measure that legalized marijuana for the seriously ill who have a doctor's recommendation, Dr. Tod had written approvals for almost 9,000 patients.

Dr. Tod had studied the marijuana's therapeutic potential since the 1960s and briefly directed marijuana research at the National Institute of Mental Health. He left when he realized the government only "wanted bad things found out about marijuana," he told the online newsmagazine AlterNet in 2004.

In 1999, Mikuriya founded the Society of Cannabis Clinicians to educate colleagues about the plant's medical uses. He wrote books on the subject and kept a list of medical conditions that had been eased by cannabis; among the 285 ailments were many cancers, insomnia and stuttering.

Tod Hiro Mikuriya was born in 1933 in Bucks County, Pa., to the former Anna Schwenk, a German immigrant, and Tadafumi Mikuriya, a Japanese samurai. His mother taught special education and his father was a civil engineer who often designed bridges.

Growing up, he attended Quaker schools and paid his way through college by folk singing. He graduated from Reed College in Portland, Ore., in 1956 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and served as an Army medic before earning a medical degree from Temple University in Philadelphia in 1962.

While at Temple, he came across a reference to the medical use of marijuana in a pharmacological text, which triggered his lifelong interest.

Dr. Tod specialized in psychiatry at Oregon State Hospital in Salem and completed his training at Mendocino State Hospital. By 1970, he had moved to Berkeley and entered private practice. He has had a positive impact in so many activists' and patients' lives. Dr. Tod's work has help build the foundation of the Medical Marijuana movement. His memory will forever be ingrained in this movement.

"We have lost a great leader and pioneer in the medical cannabis movement. Dr. Tod will continue to be in our hearts and minds as we push forward to have safe and accessible medicine for patients all over the United States," said ASA's Executive Director, Steph Sherer.

A memorial service will be held at 4:30 p.m. today at Quaker Berkeley Friends Church, 1600 Sacramento St., Berkeley. Memorial contributions may be made to Reed College.

Read Dr. Tod's obituary in the LA Times.
Tod H. Mikuriya, 73; psychiatrist who championed legal medical marijuana - Los Angeles Times

2. It's a Holiday Weekend: Petition Your Communities!

Take advantage of the 3-day weekend to petition at your holiday events, festivals, and local parks.

Background: In 1999, the Institute of Medicine recommended that additional medical cannabis research be conducted and that the use of smoked cannabis be permitted for patients with debilitating symptoms who met a specific set of conditions. Recently, long-overdue research was published in Neurology indicating that smoked cannabis effectively reduces chronic neuropathic pain as well as acute pain for people living with HIV/AIDS. Despite the IOM recommendations, federal agencies discourage medical cannabis research like this study on neuropathic pain.

That is why ASA is petitioning Congress to hold hearings to conduct congressional oversight hearings to investigate why federal agencies have resisted full implementation of the Institute of Medicine's 1999 recommendations on medical cannabis. Please download a PDF of the
petition and circulate in your communities.

This is your chance to call on Congress to hold hearings on medical cannabis!

3. Tuesday, May 5, Sacramento : 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

4. Thursday, June 7, San Mateo: San Mateo ASA Meeting

A new chapter of ASA has been formed in San Mateo. Please join them for their third public meeting to discuss dispensary regulations, law enforcement issues, protecting patient and collective growers, and establishing an emergency response plan. Get active locally to protect safe access!

DATE: Thursday, June 7, 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

5. Tuesday, May 29, Fairfield: Fairfield City Council Votes on Dispensary Ban

Fairfield City Council will be meeting and voting on whether they will ban dispensaries in Fairfield or not next Tuesday, May 29. Please come out and show your support for medical marijuana.
Download ASA's talking points on dispensaries.

Tuesday, May 29th at 7:00pm
Fairfield City Hall
City Council Chambers
1000 Webster Street
Fairfield, CA

For more information on the hearing please contact Linda Jimenez: linda4spg@compassionatecoalition.org .

6. Tuesday May 29, San Francisco: Ed Rosenthal Federal Trial Closing Arguments

An appeals court last year overturned Rosenthal's 2003 conviction. The U.S. Attorney's Office brought new charges against Rosenthal last October, but Judge Breyer dismissed the bulk of them as "vindictive prosecution." If convicted of the remaining marijuana charges, Rosenthal faces no time or other penalty, as he has already served his one-day sentence and three years of supervised release. The Federal re-trial began on Tuesday May 15th and closing arguments are on Tuesday, May 29th beginning at 9:00am.

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

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

For trial updates go to Green Aid.

7. Friday, June 1, Sacramento: Status Hearing for Louis Wayne Fowler

The DEA and Sheriff conducted a raid on Sacramento County dispensary operator Louis Fowler, 51, on July 7, 2005. In addition to the raid on the Alternative Specialties dispensary, allegedly as a result of operating without a business license, three other locations were raided by the DEA and Sheriff where two indoor gardens allegedly with more than 800 plants were found. Fowler was charged federally with manufacture of marijuana and illegal possession of weapons. Fowler is
released pending trial in Sacramento.

Friday, June 1st @ 10:00am
Courtroom of Judge Edward Garcia
U.S. District Court
501 I Street
Sacramento, CA

8. Monday, June 4, Placerville: Don Kearney State Criminal Trial Begins

Monday, June 4 Don Kearney's state criminal trial goes before Judge James Wagoner at the
El Dorado County Superior Court . El Dorado County Sheriffs raided his private patient collective cultivation site and arrested disabled U.S. veteran and chronic pain and glaucoma patient Don Kearney on July 13, 2005. Kearney is being charged with cultivation and possession with intent to sell more than 900 plants. The District Attorney has refused to dismiss the case and intends to try him. Additionally, the federal government is proceeding with asset forfeiture on Don’s house.

Please come out to Don’s trial to show the jury that he is part of our community and we stand behind him.

June 4, 2007 at 8:30am
El Dorado County Superior Court
495 Main Street, Placerville, CA.

Sonnet Seeborg Gabbard
Field Coordinator
Americans for Safe Access

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

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