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Fresno Becomes 41st California County to Adopt Medical Marijuana I.D. Card Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
SEPTEMBER 9, 2008

Fresno Becomes 41st California County to Adopt Medical Marijuana I.D. Card ProgramDecision Is a Sign that Counties Can No Longer Ignore Law

CONTACT: Aaron Smith, MPP California organizer, 707-575-9870

FRESNO, Calif. — The Fresno County Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 today to adopt a medical marijuana I.D. card system, making it the 41st county to comply with a requirement mandated by a 2003 state law. One board member abstained.

    By giving patients the option of obtaining cards identifying them as qualified medical marijuana patients, law enforcement officers will be able to quickly discern whether they are operating within the law, sparing taxpayers the burden of costly, time-consuming false arrests, advocates said.

    "California's voters, Legislature and the courts have made it clear that counties must comply with the state's medical marijuana law," said Aaron Smith, California organizer for the Marijuana Policy Project. "Hopefully the decision to implement this program in Fresno County will send a message to the other counties across the San Joaquin Valley that have yet to comply."

    The board had decided in July to delay a decision until the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on a challenge to the I.D. card program by the counties of San Diego and San Bernardino. Although the case was unanimously dismissed July 31, officials from both counties vowed to appeal to the California Supreme Court.

    "While their colleagues in San Diego and San Bernardino continue to avoid reality, Fresno board members today demonstrated they understand and respect the rule of law," Smith said. "There is no longer any excuse for any county official in this state to obstruct this simple, commonsense – and mandatory – I.D. card program."

    Patients and advocates hailed the decision as the latest sign that local and state officials have come to understand the importance of protecting the rights of seriously ill Californians to use medical marijuana to relieve their pain if their doctors recommend it. In August, Attorney General Jerry Brown issued the most comprehensive directives on how law enforcement should interact with medical marijuana patients and collectives, a move lauded by the state’s Police Chiefs Association as an important step toward clarifying the law. The guidelines state that the I.D. cards “represent one of the best ways to ensure the security and non-diversion of marijuana grown for medical use."

    "The Fresno Board of Supervisors' decision represents a victory for sensible, compassionate policymaking," said Dana Bobbitt, a Fresno resident who turned to medical marijuana to aide in his treatment for hepatitis C. "It's about time that our local leaders realized their obligation to uphold the rule of law and the will of the voters by implementing this program."

    With more than 25,000 members and 100,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. For more information, please visit www.MarijuanaPolicy.org.

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Location: 
Fresno, CA
United States

Americans for Safe Access: September 2008 Activist Newsletter

California Legislature OKs Job Rights for Cannabis Patients

The California legislature has taken action to guarantee employment rights for cannabis patients. The state senate this month sent to the governor's desk an assembly bill that would prevent discriminating against patients in "hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment" based on their status as a state-qualified medical cannabis user or a positive drug test for marijuana.

The bill, AB 2279, was introduced by Assemblymember Mark Leno in answer to a California Supreme Court decision that found medical marijuana patients can be fired for positive drug tests, even if their cannabis use is legal under state law and occurs only outside the workplace. AB 2279 is sponsored by ASA and was drafted with assistance from ASA's Legislative Analyst, Noah Mamber.

The bill leaves intact existing state law prohibiting consumption at the workplace and protects employers from liability by allowing exceptions for jobs where physical safety could be a concern.

Gary Ross Gary Ross, speaking to the media

"The California legislature has stood up for the right of patients to work and be productive members of society," said ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford, who represented Gary Ross, the software engineer whose firing became a test of California's medical marijuana law. "Now the governor must act to protect the jobs of thousands of law-abiding Californians who are fighting serious illnesses such as cancer and HIV/AIDS."

The employment rights bill has the support of unions representing nearly 1 million workers in California, as well as the National Lawyers Guild and several HIV/AIDS advocacy organizations. ASA lobbying helped gain the early endorsements of the statewide California Labor Federation, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

California joins Oregon and Hawaii in considering laws to protect medical marijuana patients from employment discrimination.

More about the bill can be seen at www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/AB2279.

 

 

 

CA Attorney General Directs Law Enforcement on Medical Marijuana

Comprehensive recommendations include protection of dispensaries

Guidelines for California medical cannabis patients and the operation of dispensaries that serve them have been issued by the state's attorney general.

Under the new guidelines, California law enforcement agencies should not take qualified patients into custody or seize their cannabis, so long as they are abiding by state law and local regulation. In instances where medical cannabis is seized, officials are required to return it to patients. The guidelines also provide recommendations for operating medical cannabis dispensaries in accordance with state law.

Jerry Brown Attorney General Jerry Brown

"Today we stand beside the Attorney General of California in his effort to fully implement the state's medical marijuana law," said ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford. "We welcome this leadership and expect that compliance with these guidelines will result in fewer unnecessary arrests, citations and seizures of medicine from qualified patients and their primary caregivers."

Americans for Safe Access and other advocates have been urging Attorney General Jerry Brown and other state officials to take action on implementing the medical cannabis program. The guidelines on return of patient cannabis are in keeping with recent court decisions won by Americans for Safe Access.

The most significant aspect of the guidelines may prove to be the recommendations for operating storefront medical marijuana dispensaries in accordance with state law. Lack of state guidance has meant that the issue of how to regulate the operation of such dispensaries -- which some estimates say more than half the state's cannabis patients rely on for access -- has been left to city councils, county supervisors and local zoning boards.

The guidelines note that "a properly organized and operated collective or cooperative that dispenses medical marijuana through a storefront may be lawful under California law." The key question is what constitutes proper organization and operation. The attorney general's guidelines claim that medical cannabis dispensaries must operate on a not-for-profit basis.

This stems from language in the Medical Marijuana Program Act (SB 420), passed by the state legislature in 2003. But the voter-approved Compassionate Use Act (Prop. 215) makes no mention of profit or non-profit in its call for the establishing of a state distribution system.

The guidelines also make clear that state and local law enforcement are not to use federal law as an excuse for arresting state-qualified patients or seizing their cannabis. In so doing, the attorney general affirmed several court decisions that find California's medical marijuana law is not preempted by federal law.

The differences between state and federal laws have led to escalating interference by federal officials. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Department of Justice have targeted California with a campaign of investigations, raids, seizures, prosecutions, and imprisonment of medical marijuana patients and providers.

In response, several California mayors, including San Francisco's Gavin Newsom and Oakland's Ron Dellums, have asked House Judiciary Chair John Conyers (D-MI) for oversight hearings. Rep. Conyers has publicly questioned federal tactics and demanded answers from the DEA.

"It is now up to Congress and the new President to align federal policy with California and other medical cannabis states," said ASA spokesperson Kris Hermes. "It is time to resolve the federal-state conflict that serves only to undermine California and other states' sovereignty and inflict harm on seriously ill patients and their care providers."

The new guidelines can be seen at: www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/AG_Guidelines.pdf.

ASA Forms Alliance with Student Drug Policy Group

The national leadership of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) and Americans for Safe Access have formed an alliance to work more closely on the common goal of a compassionate drug policy.

SSDP, one of the most effective and fastest-growing student organizations in the country, and ASA, the largest national organization working solely for safe access to medical cannabis for research and patients, are asking student chapters to become official ASA affiliates.

SSDP chapters across the country have long worked on ASA campaigns, and over the years many ASA staffers have had their beginnings with SSDP. But by becoming official affiliates, SSDP chapters can work directly with ASA on federal and local campaigns, promote educational events on campus, and make a larger impact.

SSDP chapters can contact ASA's national office to find out how to:

· Host screenings of the award-winning documentary Waiting to Inhale and bring writer and director Jed Riffe to speak about the film
· Host lectures with medical cannabis researchers, patients, activists, and others to speak on the medical cannabis movement
· Work with ASA on campaigns to influence schools and communities to help change medical cannabis laws at the state and federal levels.

ASA's is providing SSDP chapters with professional activist training in event planning, lobbying, media training, and other activist skills, as well as giving student activists a chance to gain experience on professional legislative campaigns. ASA is also helping SSDP chapters work together locally, regionally and nationally.

As ASA affiliates, SSDP chapters can benefit from ASA's credibility with legislators and healthcare groups as an organization focused exculsively on medical cannabis as a healthcare crisis. In return, ASA benefits from the powerful presence of SSDP chapters across the country.

"College students have played a central role in all social justice movements, this one included," said George Pappas, ASA Field Coordinator. "This an excellent opportunity for young activists, and one more step to making this movement a force for change."

For more information on how to get started, contact ASA Field Coordinator George Pappas (George@AmericansforSafeAccess.org) at (510) 251-1856, or SSDP National Field Director Micah Daigle (micah@ssdp.org) at (415) 875-9463.

Chapter Update: ASA Launches Mentorship Program

ASA is launching a mentorship program to help new chapters and affiliates establish themselves. The ASA Chapter Mentorship Program is a response to the increasing interest in medical cannabis issues across the country.

New research, patient testimonials, and the abusive actions of federal agencies have led concerned citizens to speak out. Americans fed up with cruel, outdated policies are forming ASA chapters. Community organizations grappling with healthcare crises are becoming ASA affiliates. Condition-based groups whose members already use cannabis under threat of arrest are joining ASA campaigns.

Through "chapter mentorship," emerging ASA chapters are connected with seasoned veterans. New activists are guided through their campaigns step-by-step, while building relationships with groups that have reputations for success.

The goals of the ASA Chapter Mentorship Program are to:
1. Expand the number of ASA chapters and affiliates across the US
2. Strengthen the impact of existing ASA chapters and affiliates
3. Promote greater cooperation, communication, and interconnectedness among ASA chapters and affiliates, leading to more success

The "mentored-to-mentor" relationship means regular communication and support, as groups paired by ASA work step-by-step to plan and implement campaigns. Mentors help identify strategic projects, engage in step-by-step project planning, and communicate regularly to make change.

This program is for official ASA chapters or affiliates, though groups will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Interested chapters or parties should submit a one-page application outlining the recent activities of their group, why they need an ASA Mentor, and at least two specific projects they need help with. Questions and applications should be directed to George Pappas at George@AmericansforSafeAccess.org or (510) 251-1856.

Jurors Fight Back Against the War on Medical Marijuana

Further proof that railroading medical marijuana defendants in federal court has consequences:
Two jurors who convicted two Modesto men of running a criminal enterprise in connection with a medical marijuana dispensary want the defendants to get a new trial.

Jurors Craig Will of Twain Hart and Larry Silva of Tollhouse say they wouldn't have found the men guilty had they known the penalty was 20 years to life in prison.

They said a story in the San Francisco Chronicle about medical marijuana led them to believe the crimes weren't that serious.

Ricardo Ruiz Montes and Luke Scarmazzo are scheduled for sentencing Sept. 15 in U.S. District Court in Fresno. Their attorneys also will argue a motion for a new trial. [San Francisco Chronicle]

It is just an inescapable reality that these medical marijuana show trials infuriate jurors and provoke bad press. After suffering multiple humiliations in their years-long crusade against Ed Rosenthal, you’d think federal prosecutors would have cut this charade out already:

Rosenthal was convicted of violating federal drug laws, but seven of the 12 jurors said afterward that their verdict would have been different if they had been allowed to consider evidence about the medical use of the marijuana and Rosenthal's status as an agent in the Oakland program. They requested leniency for Rosenthal.


Last April [2006], the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said in a 3-0 ruling that Rosenthal was entitled to a new trial because one of the jurors improperly sought outside advice about the case. [San Francisco Chronicle]

5 years after his arrest, Rosenthal was given a 1-day sentence, time served. That’s what happens when federal prosecutors turn the law into a political weapon, perverting justice to the point that they themselves become the enemy in the eyes of the jury. First Rosenthal’s jurors lobbied for leniency, until one eventually confessed to misconduct and provoked a retrial.

That’s what you get when the drug war divorces itself from public morality. The American people don’t believe in criminalizing medical marijuana providers and they cannot be counted upon to cooperate cheerfully with political prosecutions. If anyone’s been wondering why the DEA doesn’t go ahead and try to take down every dispensary in California, well, now you know.

Smoke a Joint, Get Your Boss Fired

Yikes, it looks like marijuana hysteria in Japan has nearly ruined the sport of sumo wrestling:

Kitanoumi Toshimitsu, head of the Japan Sumo Association and former sumo star of the 1970s, stepped down after two wrestlers were accused of smoking marijuana only weeks after a third was sacked for possession of the same drug. [Telegraph]

I’ve never understood why anyone cares if athletes use marijuana. If you’re concerned about the message it sends, then tell ‘em you won’t test for it as long as they stay off the cover of High Times. Why create opportunities for your athletes to embarrass you? Just don’t test them; it’s that easy. And if they get caught with it, just be glad it wasn’t crack.

Yet in Japan, pot is apparently such a big frickin’ deal that the head of the whole Sumo organization has resigned in shame because a couple wrestlers got stoned. If only the Drug Czar would resign in shame the next time a cop gets high.

Press Release: Fresno Supervisors to Vote on State-Mandated Medical Marijuana I.D. Card Program Tuesday

MEDIA ADVISORY   
SEPTEMBER 8, 2008

Fresno Supervisors to Vote on State-Mandated Medical Marijuana I.D. Card Program TuesdayBoard's Decision to Come on the Heels of Appeals Court's Unanimous Dismal of San Diego, San Bernardino's Challenge to Program

CONTACT: Aaron Smith, MPP California organizer, 707-575-9870

FRESNO, Calif. — The Fresno County Board of Supervisors will make a decision Tuesday about whether to implement the Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program required by California law, 2 p.m., in the County Board Chambers in the Hall of Records at 2281 Tulare St.

    Although 40 California counties have implemented the program – including Merced, Tulare, Inyo and San Benito as well as Los Angeles, Orange and Kern – Fresno has yet to act. The board had decided in July to delay a decision until the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on a challenge to the ID card program by the counties of San Diego and San Bernardino. The case was unanimously dismissed July 31.

    WHAT: San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors meeting to decide on state-mandated Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program

    WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008, 2 p.m.

    WHERE: County Board Chambers in the Hall of Records at 2281 Tulare St.

    With more than 25,000 members and 100,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. For more information, please visit www.MarijuanaPolicy.org.

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Location: 
Fresno, CA
United States

Urge Governor Schwarzenegger to Protect Patients' Employment Rights

[Courtesy of Americans for Safe Access] Dear ASA Supporter, Right now, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is considering signing a bill into law that will protect the jobs of hundreds of thousands of medical cannabis patients in California. We cannot let this effort fail! Contact the Governor's office immediately to tell him he must sign AB 2279 into law! We've come a long way in protecting patients' rights to work. Assemblymember Mark Leno introduced AB2279 in February, and your phone calls, emails, and letters helped get the bill passed in both houses of the California Legislature. Now, the final step is the Governor's signature. He can either veto it or sign the bill, and he needs to hear from everyone in California, now more than ever before. It's up to you now to push past this final hurdle towards protecting patients' employment rights. Call the Governor and tell him how you feel. Tell him to sign AB 2279 and make it California law! When the California Supreme Court ruled in Ross v. Ragingwire that patients could be fired simply for using medical cannabis as allowed under California law, we knew we had to fight. We built support with the Service Workers International Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which represent over one million California workers. We also enlisted the help of local Chambers of Commerce, HIV/AIDS advocacy organizations, and many other organizations that have taken a stand to ensure patients do not face workplace discrimination. There is no time to lose. The Governor is already hearing from lobbyists and big business who oppose AB2279. But if you think that medical cannabis patients should be allowed to hold jobs, we need you now! Visit ASA's action page to email the Governor's office and tell him that he must protect the jobs of workers in our communities. He MUST sign AB 2279 into law! Then, call his office at 916-445-2841 and say: "Hi, my name is [YOUR NAME], and I am asking that Governor Schwarzenegger sign AB 2279, the medical cannabis workers' rights bill into law. California is going through tough economic times, and right now hundreds of thousands working individuals can be fired just because of their status as legal medical cannabis patients. People with illnesses should be encouraged to work whenever possible. They should not risk discrimination because of their condition. Thank you." Thank you for all of your continued support, and for being the driving force behind this campaign. Sincerely, George Pappas Field Coordinator Americans for Safe Access P.S. For more information on AB 2279, visit: www.AmericansforSafeAccess.org/AB2279
Location: 
CA
United States

A great day for the Martin family and the medical cannabis movement

[Courtesy of Rebecca Saltzman]

Michael Martin speaking at the press conference before his sentencing hearing.

I woke up this morning feeling nervous and unsettled. My friend and colleague Michael Martin was to be sentenced this afternoon, and I prepared myself for the worst. But after an emotional rally and lengthy sentencing hearing, I felt at ease because Mickey is not going to prison.

After pleading guilty in federal court to manufacturing marijuana edibles, with the government finding more than 400 plants, Mickey faced a guidelines range of 30 to 37 months imprisonment.  However, due to the tension between state and federal law and the lack of any evidence that any edible produced by Mickey was diverted to recreational use, United States District Court Judge Claudia Wilkin exercised her discretion to sentence Mickey to 5 years probation, with one year to be served in a halfway house and one year to be served in home confinement.

The hearing was intense. Judge Wilkin asked several astute questions about state law and the interplay between state law and federal law. Clearly, she saw that the conflicting laws made medical marijuana cases unique. After Mickey's attorneys spoke about state law and the need for a change in federal law, Mickey spoke for himself. He talked about the cancer patients that had been able to eat after using his edibles. He spoke about his loving family and his service to the community. He explained that he had only done what he did to help people, and never to profit. Half way into his speech, most of the dozens of supporters packing the court room were in tears.

His speech and the stack of support letter the judge had received made a difference. And after the judge announced his sentence, the entire court room of supporters stood up and clapped.

Of course, Mickey never should have been prosecuted in the first place and deserves no punishment for providing medical cannabis edibles to ailing California patients. But this punishment was the best he could have hoped for. It means that he will not miss any years of his children's lives and that he can continue to work and provide for his family.

This sends another message by a federal judge that the federal government should not waste its time bring these cases.

Location: 
CA
United States

Bob Barr Praises Federal Court Ruling Upholding Right of States to Allow Medical Use of Marijuana

Atlanta, GA - “The principle of federalism seemed dead three years ago when the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the federal government to run roughshod over state laws permitting the medical use of marijuana,” says Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party presidential nominee. Barr says the tide may be turning with the recent decision by U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel, who refused to dismiss a case by city and state officials against the federal government for raiding a medical marijuana group in San Cruz, California. “Keeping the case alive was significant enough,” notes Barr. “But Judge Fogel suggested that the Bush administration might have violated the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution in adopting a policy intended to effectively void California’s medical marijuana law." As Judge Fogel explained, a trial must proceed on whether the federal government attempted to make ‘California’s medical marijuana laws impossible to implement and thereby forcing California and its political subdivisions to recriminalize medical marijuana.’ In short, says Barr, the courts may end up deciding that while the federal government may implement a policy that runs contrary to state rules in an area of traditional state authority, namely the criminal law, Washington may not work to overturn state law. “After spending billions of dollars and arresting millions of people, we seem no closer to eliminating illicit drug use than we were at the start,” Barr says. “But we certainly have lost a lot of our freedom. While we might disagree about the best approach to problem drug use, we should be willing to accept the compassionate use of marijuana by those who are sick and dying. Certainly states have authority under the Constitution to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana as medicine. The federal government has no constitutional authority to interfere,” insists Barr. Barr says that neither Sen. Barack Obama nor Sen. John McCain is willing to consider real change to current policy. “Sen. Obama says the federal government shouldn’t interfere with state policy, but he says he doesn’t want to waste his political capital on the issue," Barr explains. "Sen. McCain was for respecting state authority before he was against it. Neither the Democratic nor the Republican presidential candidate is willing to put constitutional principle—or the lives of those who are suffering from AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, and more—before federal power." Barr says as president, he would "direct the DEA to initiate, for the first time, a truly open and objective scientific evaluation of the medical potential of marijuana." Moreover, Barr says he would ensure that all federal officials, including those in the Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Agency, respect the decisions of states that choose to allow the medical use of marijuana. Finally, Barr would undertake a comprehensive review of federal crimes, which have expanded far beyond the few narrow cases foreseen by the nation’s Founders. "What the federal government does, it should do well, but it attempts to do far too much today," Barr says. "We must never forget that we are supposed to be living in a free society." "Such a decision, especially if upheld on appeal, would have significant and positive repercussions in other matters of public policy in which the federal government has used the power of federal law to thwart decisions by citizens of individual states," Barr notes. Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. (This press release was reprinted by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)
Location: 
CA
United States

Medical Marijuana: Los Angeles City Council Extends Moratorium

A year-old moratorium on the opening of new medical marijuana dispensaries within the Los Angeles city limits will be extended for at least another six months. The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to extend the moratorium for that period as it wrestles with new draft regulations covering the dispensaries.

Los Angeles is home to hundreds of dispensaries and had seen a dispensary boom prior to the moratorium that was first enacted in August 2007. Under guidelines published last week by Attorney General Jerry Brown, dispensaries are legal, but only if they are established as co-ops or collectives and are nonprofits -- a restriction that is certain to meet with legal challenges. It is unclear how many LA dispensaries meet those criteria.

The council voted to extend the moratorium on a 14-0 vote. Prior to voting, Councilman Dennis Zine said the continued moratorium would give the city attorney's office time to craft a dispensary policy that would ensure marijuana is made available to legitimate medical patients while preventing "abuses."

Under California's medical marijuana law, a legitimate patient is anyone who has received a doctor's recommendation to use marijuana. The broadly written state law does not limit such recommendations to a defined set of diseases or symptoms. Instead it lists a number of diseases, such as cancer, AIDS, and glaucoma, then adds the words "or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief."

Marijuana: Fayetteville, Arkansas, Lowest Priority Initiative Turns in More Signatures

A municipal initiative that would add Fayetteville, Arkansas, to the growing list of cities and counties that have adopted lowest law enforcement priority initiatives for adult marijuana possession offenses appears headed to the November ballot after organizers handed in nearly 1,000 new signatures last Friday.

Petitioners turned in more than 5,000 signatures on August 20, but after they were examined by city officials, only 3,385 signatures were found to be valid. It takes 3,686 signatures to put the initiative on the ballot.

The Fayetteville City Clerk was examining the signatures this week. Even if only 300 of them turn out to be valid, the measure will be on the November ballot.

Sponsored by an umbrella group known as Sensible Fayetteville, the measure would not only direct Fayetteville police and prosecutors to make such offenses their lowest priority, it would also order the city clerk to send an annual letter to state and federal officials. That letter would say:
"The citizens of Fayetteville have passed an initiative to deprioritize adult marijuana
offenses where the marijuana is intended for personal use and request that the federal and Arkansas state governments take immediate steps to enact similar laws." The letter would be sent each year until state and federal laws change.

"We needed about 300 additional signatures, and so far, we've collected upwards of 900," Ryan Denham, campaign director told the Northwest Arkansas Morning News last Friday. "We've almost tripled what we needed, and we're still going. We'll turn them in at the end of the day."

The two-week final push to get over the hump was the culmination of a months-long campaign, Denham said. "We've been working on this since last November. We've been at the post office, the University of Arkansas and we've been going door-to-door. This is a local campaign, but it's a national issue and we hope people understand that," he said.
"A number of cities are starting to recognize what a waste the current policy is," Denham added. "Marijuana arrests are clogging the system and wasting our resources. We'd rather not have an adult arrested for possessing one ounce of marijuana. We'd rather see them cited."

Similar laws have been passed by communities in Missouri, Montana, Washington, California and Colorado, as well as nearby Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

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