Medical Marijuana

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Press Release: Day After Lawsuit Filed Against DEA, U.S. Congress Decides To Question Agency

[Courtesy of Union of Medical Marijuana Providers] One day after the Union of Medical Marijuana Providers filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court, Central District of California (case CV07-07951) challenging the DEA's tactic of sending threatening letters to hundreds of owners of Commercial Property who rent to Marijuana Providers, the House Judiciary Committee will question the agency about the practice. Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) December 10, 2007 -- The DEA, who has declared war on California's Medical Marijuana Law, began the draconian tactic of sending letters to Commercial Property owners who rent to legally authorized Medical Marijuana Providers this summer. In the letter, the DEA informed the owners of these properties that if they continue to rent to dispensaries they may face federal prosecution which could result in a possible prison sentence for up to 20 years as well as seizure of their property. The Union of Medical Marijuana Providers which was formed in part, as a direct result of the DEA's letter writing campaign, as well as L.A.'s Arts District Healing Center, have been aggressively litigating this issue in both state and federal court for the past several months (state case in Los Angeles Superior Court, case 07K21837). Just yesterday, December 6, 2007 they filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Central District, which requested that the Court issue an injunction stopping the DEA from continuing to send these letters. "When I saw Representative Conyers statement regarding the DEA's abuse of their power in order to thwart California's law, I knew that our legal efforts were beginning to pay off," said James Shaw, Executive Director of the Union. "The DEA has alienated too many citizens with their heavy-handed 'above the law tactics' for too long. We welcome all the support we can find in our efforts to ensure our rights are protected." Steven Schectman, the Union's chief counsel said he has contacted Representative Conyers office today in order to provide his staff copies of the litigation that was filed in both state and Federal Court. "I am hopeful we can support the Judiciary Committee in any way possible. As a result of our research and investigation of the DEA's threatening letter campaign, in preparation of our litigation, we have become the most knowledgeable group, outside the DEA, who best understands the scope and import of their tactics. We are here to help." The Union of Medical Marijuana Providers (UMMP) is a legal advocacy group based in Los Angeles, California. The Union's membership comprises legally compliant cooperatives, collectives, and caregiver groups throughout the State of California. UMMP was founded in 2007 to address the shared concerns of legally compliant medical marijuana patient groups.
Location: 
Los Angeles, CA
United States

Press Release: Medical Marijuana Law Needs Fixing

[Courtesy of Iowans for Medical Marijuana]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 8, 2007

CONTACT: Carl Olsen Iowans for Medical Marijuana (515) 288-5798

Dear Governor Richardson,

In your press release dated August 17, 2007, you vowed to fight the federal intimidation efforts, and use every state resource to fully implement the state law making medical marijuana legal for the most seriously ill patients. We think it is inconsistent that New Mexico state law continues to classify marijuana as a schedule I controlled substance, N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-31-5(A)(2) (2007), with no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.

Although federal law currently classifies marijuana as a schedule I controlled substance with no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, the actual determination of whether marijuana has accepted medical use is specifically reserved to the states under the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA) (21 U.S.C. §§ 801 et seq.). This is clear from the recent decision by the United States Supreme Court in Gonzales v. Oregon, 546 U.S. 243 (2006).

Gonzales v. Oregon, 546 U.S. 243, 250 (2006) (referring to 21 U.S.C. § 903):

"No provision of this subchapter shall be construed as indicating an intent on the part of the Congress to occupy the field in which that provision operates . . . to the exclusion of any State law on the same subject matter which would otherwise be within the authority of the State, unless there is a positive conflict between that provision . . . and that State law so that the two cannot consistently stand together." § 903.

Gonzales v. Oregon, 546 U.S. 243, 269-270 (2006):

In deciding whether the CSA can be read as prohibiting physician-assisted suicide, we look to the statute's text and design. The statute and our case law amply support the conclusion that Congress regulates medical practice insofar as it bars doctors from using their prescription-writing powers as a means to engage in illicit drug dealing and trafficking as conventionally understood. Beyond this, however, the statute manifests no intent to regulate the practice of medicine generally. The silence is understandable given the structure and limitations of federalism, which allow the States "great latitude under their police powers to legislate as to the protection of the lives, limbs, health, comfort, and quiet of all persons." (Citations omitted).

United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, 532 U.S. 483, 492 (2001):

The Attorney General can include a drug in schedule I only if the drug "has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States," "has a high potential for abuse," and has "a lack of accepted safety for use . . . under medical supervision." §§ 812(b)(1)(A)-(C). Under the statute, the Attorney General could not put marijuana into schedule I if marijuana had any accepted medical use.

Although New Mexico Senate Bill 523, effective July 1, 2007, now includes marijuana in both schedule I and schedule II of New Mexico's state version of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, the question that we have for New Mexico is why New Mexico's version of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act continues to list marijuana as a schedule I controlled substance, N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-31-6 (2007), which has "no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States", N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-31-5 (2007). Under both New Mexico and federal law, the criteria for placing a substance in schedule I is "no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States".

We fear that this inconsistency is going to cause problems for patients in New Mexico who are attempting to comply with the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-31C-1 (2007), as amended by New Mexico Senate Bill 523, effective July 1, 2007.

Carl Olsen, George McMahon, Barbara Douglass

Directors of Iowans for Medical Marijuana (http://www.iowamedicalmarijuana.org/)

Members of the Board for Patients Out of Time (http://www.medicalcannabis.com/)

Petitioners in The Federal Marijuana Rescheduling Petition (http://www.drugscience.org/)

Location: 
NM
United States

ASA: Judiciary Committee Chairman Conyers Opposes DEA Tactics

[Courtesy of Americans for Safe Access] Judiciary Committee Chairman Conyers Opposes DEA Tactics Pledges to Question DEA During Oversight Hearings Dear Friend, As many of you know, DEA recently launched an entirely new tactic in their continued efforts to undermine the effective implementation of medical marijuana laws in California. They have sent hundreds of letters threatening prosecution and asset forfeiture against property owners who rent to legal medical cannabis collectives – a strategy that could have ramifications for medical marijuana programs nationwide. ASA Government Affairs Director Caren Woodson has been talking to House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers’ (D-MI) staff and other Democratic leadership to encourage them to oppose these tactics and stand up for patients in states where medical cannabis is legal. Today, Chairman Conyers issued at a statement saying: “I am deeply concerned about recent reports that the Drug Enforcement Administration is threatening private landlords with asset forfeiture and possible imprisonment if they refuse to evict organizations legally dispensing medical marijuana to suffering patients. The Committee has already questioned the DEA about its efforts to undermine California state law on this subject, and we intend to sharply question this specific tactic as part of our oversight efforts.” In conjunction with more than fifty raids at medical cannabis collectives in California this year, the asset forfeiture threats against property owners represent the most serious challenge to patients’ access in the United States today. Conyers’ support signals the first significant Congressional opposition to the DEA’s attempted end run around voters and state lawmakers. ASA welcomes this statement and we look forward to working with Chairman Conyers to finally end DEA interference in state medical marijuana laws. Congratulations to the hundreds of ASA members who helped put grassroots strength behind our work! Keep your eyes open for an Action Alert next week to put even more support behind Conyers’ initiative, and visit www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/Donate to make a contribution to support our effective advocacy today. Thank you, Steph Sherer Executive Director Americans for Safe Access -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Americans for Safe Access is the nation's largest organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research.
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

Americans for Safe Access: December 2007 Activist Newsletter

Victory for Patients' Right to Return of Marijuana

Appeals Court Says Police Must Give Back Property Despite Federal Law

ASA's legal team won another huge victory when a California appeals court said police must return marijuana seized from qualified patients. The November 28th ruling in favor of Felix Kha, a medical marijuana patient from Garden Grove, means police must return the eight grams of medical marijuana they took from him in a June 2005 traffic stop.

The rally at the governor's office ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford

Attorneys for the police claimed that they should not have to since federal law prohibits possession of marijuana, even for medical use. But a three-justice panel from the state's Fourth Appellate District unanimously rejected that claim, saying "it is not the job of the local police to enforce the federal drug laws."

"California law enforcement is now on notice that they cannot seize and keep the medicine of seriously ill patients," said ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford, who represented Kha. "The court has ensured that patients have a way to get their cannabis back."

The ruling was more than two years in the making. After a marijuana possession charge against Kha was dismissed in August 2005 because he had a valid doctor's recommendation, an Orange County Superior Court judge ordered the return of his medicine. But the City of Garden Grove refused and appealed the order.

The issue was ripe for review, as state courts have split on the issue previously. The question found the California Attorney General and the California Police Chiefs Association on opposite sides. Both filed "friend of the court" briefs in the case on opposite sides of the issue, with the state Attorney General in support of Kha.

In analyzing reports from nearly 800 patient encounters with local or state police in 53 of California's 58 counties, ASA found that more than 90% resulted in medicine seizure by police, regardless of probable cause.

The court's ruling also affirms a 2005 policy change by the California Highway Patrol (CHP). CHP abandoned its policy of mandatory seizure of medical marijuana after a court challenge from ASA.

"Both today's court ruling and the new CHP policy go a long way toward restoring patients' rights in California," said Elford.

For further information, refer to:
Decision by the California Fourth Appellate District Court
Background on Felix Kha's return of property case

 

Double Win For Cannabis Caregivers in Colorado

Attorney Brian Vicente Champions Patient Rights

Colorado courts have been the scene of two momentous victories for patients in that state, thanks to the tireless work of attorney Brian Vicente. Both cases help clarify Colorado's medical marijuana law as it applies to caregivers.

Brian Vicente Brian Vicente, director of the Colorado Campaign for Safe Access

In the first case, a caregiver couple in Fort Collins was awarded the return of medical cannabis and cultivation equipment seized from their home in August 2006.

In June, a Larimer County judge dismissed all charges against James and Lisa Masters, citing an illegal search by police. Then on November 29, he ordered a full Return of Property, including the 39 cannabis plants the Masters were growing and about 8 ounces of dried medicine.

Colorado state law specifically requires that police return seized cannabis to qualified patients and spells out how to handle growing plants.

"The state medicinal marijuana law requires authorities to maintain the plants and not destroy them or damage them in any way," Vicente told the media after the ruling. "I'm fascinated to see if the police have been following the law."

Vicente - who is director of the Colorado Campaign for Safe Access, a joint project of Sensible Colorado and Americans for Safe Access - said he intends to pursue financial compensation for the Masters, since the refusal of police to return the plants in a timely manner has destroyed the plants' medicinal value.

"We believe the plants were probably worth at least $100,000," he said.

The ruling in the Masters case comes little more than a week after another big win by Vicente.

On November 20, a state court overturned a Colorado Health Department policy that limited the number of patients for which a caregiver could provide cannabis. The department had capped the number at five, though the law approved by voters stated no limit.

The ruling came thanks to Damien LaGoy, who has AIDS and hepatitis C. He sued the state after his caregiver request was denied based on the five-patient restriction.

"I was in a very dangerous situation," LaGoy told the media at a news conference after the decision. "I was trying to get medical marijuana from some of the darkest spots in town, risking my life at times."

The court overturned the five-patient policy because it had been adopted in a closed meeting, a violation of the Colorado open meetings act.

"The health department just randomly selected five as the limit in a secret, clandestine meeting that was not open to patients or caregivers or doctors or the scientific community," said Vicente.

Advocates in Colorado hope the ruling will pave the way for the establishment of better community-based solutions to safe access, such as the collective dispensary model adopted throughout much of California.

The Masters may be the first to test that, as well. They opened a patient collective in Ft. Collins in October.

ASA Argues Medical Marijuana Employment Rights

California Supreme Court Case to Decide Fate of Qualified Patients

A 45-year-old disabled veteran is at the center of a California Supreme Court case that will decide whether California medical marijuana patients can be fired for using the medicine state law allows.

On November 6, ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford appeared before the court on behalf of Gary Ross, a software engineer who was fired in September 2001 for failing an employer-mandated drug test - even though Ross had a valid doctor's recommendation for cannabis and only used the drug away from work.

Gary Ross Gary Ross, outside of court.

Elford, along with co-counsel Stewart Katz, argued that state law should protect Ross and other medical marijuana patients.

"Neither the People of California nor the state legislature intended to exclude medical marijuana patients from a productive workforce," said Elford. "California must continue its leadership role in protecting disabled workers."

Ross's physician had recommended he use cannabis for chronic back pain that resulted from injuries sustained during his military service. But his employer, RagingWire Telecommunications, refused to make an exception to its policy of terminating anyone testing positive for marijuana.

"I was fired not for poor performance but for an antiquated policy on medical marijuana," said Ross. "This practice undermines state law and the protections provided for patients."
Ross filed suit against RagingWire, alleging discrimination, but a Sacramento Superior Court and then the Third Appellate District Court rejected his argument. ASA then joined his case and appealed to the California Supreme Court.

The court received many 'friend of the court' briefs in support of Ross, including briefs from 10 national and state medical organizations and one signed by all of the legislative co-authors of California's Medical Marijuana Program Act.

"Mr. Ross is not only standing up for his own rights, but for the rights of every Californian to comply with Proposition 215 and not face discrimination at work," said Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), one of the co-authors of the MMPA.

A decision is expected by February of next year.

For more on Gary Ross' landmark employment rights case, see: www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/Ross.

Drew Carey Takes on Medical Marijuana Issue

Episode Features Interview with ASA's Steph Sherer

In this second episode of The Drew Carey Project, released on Reason.tv, Drew interviews ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer and takes a look at federal interference with medical cannabis dispensing in California.

In the video, Steph shares her story with Carey, who is currently the host of the TV game show The Price is Right, and talks about how her own experiences led to her founding of Americans for Safe Access. Drew also visits a Los Angeles dispensary and goes on to interview Steve Whitmore, spokesperson for the LA County Sheriff's Department, as well as Bill Leahy, Vietnam vet and medical marijuana patient.

The piece has garnered a significant amount of media attention. Many articles have compared Carey's activism to that of Carey's predecessor as host of The Price is Right, Bob Barker, who signed off every show with a public service announcement asking the audience to spay and neuter their pets.

The video is the second episode of The Drew Carey Project, a joint venture between Carey and Reason magazine. Its mission is to create "a series of video documentaries that take a hard look at the variety of threats to our liberties -- and celebrate what it really means to be free."

You can view Carey's report at www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/DrewCarey.

NATIONAL ACTION ALERT

Give Thanks! Send Holiday Greeting Cards
to Prisoners of the Medical Marijuana War

This holiday, be sure to send a greeting card to the men and women serving time in prison for medical marijuana offenses. These brave individuals have sacrificed their freedom for medical marijuana patients. Please wish them holiday greetings and let them know how much the medical marijuana community appreciates them.

If you have not yet written to a medical marijuana prisoner, you can find tips on how to write a letter and information about these prisoners at: www.AmericansforSafeAccess.org/WritetoPrisoners.

Keith Alden
96424-011
FCI Sheridan Satellite Camp
P.O. Box 6000
Sheridan, OR 97378

David Oakley Harde
16536-097
USP Lompoc Satellite Camp
3705 West Farm Road
Lompoc, CA 93436

Thomas Kikuchi
Prisoner #ULK-745
Dyer Detention Facility
550 6Th Street
Oakland CA 94607

Stephanie Landa
09247-800
FCI Dublin Satellite Camp
5675 8TH ST
Dublin, CA 94568

Dustin Robert Costa
62406-097
FCI Big Spring
1900 Simler Ave.
Big Springs, TX 79720

Click here to download a pdf of
this newsletter to print and distribute
.

Americans for Safe Access * 1322 Webster Street, Ste. 402 * Oakland, CA 94612
info@AmericansForSafeAccess.org * 510-251-1856 * www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org

Location: 
United States

ASA Victory: The End of Medical Cannabis Seizures in California

[Courtesy of Americans for Safe Access] 

Court rules that police must enforce state, not federal law

Dear ASA Supporter,

Yesterday, a California Appeals Court ruled that “it is not the job of the local police to enforce the federal drug laws.” Ending years of dispute, the court ruled in favor of Felix Kha, a medical marijuana patient seeking the return of his medical marijuana that was seized by police. “It should now be abundantly clear to law enforcement across the state that it is not acceptable to seize the medicine of seriously ill patients,” said Joe Elford, who represented Kha as Chief Counsel with Americans for Safe Access (ASA).

Yesterday’s victory marks the culmination of two years of litigation led by ASA. This important decision would not have been possible without the generous contributions of ASA supporters.

To help ASA continue the fight for patients’ rights, donate today!

"The ruling can help someone else that is in really bad need of access to their medicine." Felix Kha said after hearing of the victory. Felix is not alone: Americans for Safe Access (ASA) has compiled reports from nearly eight hundred patient encounters with local or state police during a period of more than two years. These reports show a glaring trend: more than 90% of all encounters result in medicine seizure by police regardless of any probable cause. According to reports received by ASA, rampant seizure of medical marijuana from qualified patients and primary caregivers has taken place in 53 of California's 58 counties.

As of yesterday, California law enforcement will be “fulfilling their more traditional duty to administer the laws of this state,” according to the court’s ruling. This precedent-setting victory was achieved through years of meticulous planning by ASA’s Legal Affairs Department, none of which would have been possible without our members and supporters, whose donations fund the $200,000 annual budget of our Legal Affairs Department.

Donate today! Support ASA’s Legal Affairs Department and help set precedents to ensure patients’ rights!

With your help we can fund several other important legal challenges to achieve the lasting victory we seek: Truly safe and legal access to medical cannabis for every patient who needs it. Thank you for your continuing generous support!

Warmly,

Steph Sherer
Executive Director
Americans for Safe Access

P.S.: To learn more, please refer to Felix Kha's return of property case and the Decision by the California Fourth Appellate District Court.

Location: 
CA
United States

Press Release: Appellate Court Strongly Vindicates Patients Right to Medical Marijuana Seized by Police

[Courtesy of Americans for Safe Access] For Immediate Release: *November 28, 2007 Appellate Court Strongly Vindicates Patients Right to Medical Marijuana Seized by Police Ending years of dispute, court rules that police must enforce state and not federal law Santa Ana, CA: A California Appeals Court ruled today in favor of Felix Kha, a medical marijuana patient from Garden Grove seeking the return of his 8 grams of medical marijuana that was seized by police. In a ruling that rejects law enforcement's claim that federal law preempts the state's medical marijuana law, the court asserted "we do not believe the federal drug laws supersede or preempt Kha's right to the return of his property." The court further stated that, "it is not the job of the local police to enforce the federal drug laws..." After more than 2 years, the appellate court has answered a divisive question pitting the State Attorney General against the California Police Chiefs Association. Both filed "friend of the court" briefs in the case on opposite sides of the issue, with the Attorney General in support of Kha. "It should now be abundantly clear to law enforcement across the state that it is not acceptable to seize the medicine of seriously ill patients," said Joe Elford, who represented Kha as Chief Counsel with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a national medical marijuana advocacy group. "And if, for whatever reason, a seizure occurs, the court has ensured that patients have a mechanism to get it back." Kha was cited for marijuana possession and had his medicine seized in June 2005, but after the case was dismissed in August 2005, an Orange County Superior Court judge ordered the return of his medicine. However, the City of Garden Grove not only refused to return Kha's unlawfully seized property, it also appealed the order, an unprecedented action by a California city. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) has compiled reports from nearly eight hundred patient encounters with local or state police during a period of more than two years. These reports show a glaring trend: more than 90% of all encounters result in medicine seizure by police regardless of any probable cause. According to reports received by ASA, rampant seizure of medical marijuana from qualified patients and primary caregivers has taken place in 53 of California's 58 counties. These violations of state law occur in both urban and rural locales, in the north as well as the south, and by both city and county law enforcement. The court's ruling also affirms a policy change by the California Highway Patrol (CHP), which until 2005 held the record for the worst violator of Proposition 215. The CHP's policy of mandatory seizure of medical marijuana was challenged in court by ASA, after which the state's top law enforcement agency amply modified its policy. "Both today's court ruling and the CHP policy should go a long way to restore patients' rights in California," continued Elford. For further information, refer to: Decision by the California Fourth Appellate District Court (http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/G036250.PDF) Felix Kha's return of property case (http://www.safeaccessnow.org/article.php?id=4412).
Location: 
Santa Ana, CA
United States

Medical Marijuana: Courts in California and Colorado Rule Cops Must Return Patient's Medicine

Court rulings in two medical marijuana states this week slapped down law enforcement agencies who don't want to uphold the law. In both cases, judges ordered law enforcement agencies to return marijuana seized from patients or providers.

In Colorado, a Larimer County District Court judge ruled Monday that the sheriff's department must return 39 marijuana plants and growing equipment seized from a Fort Collins couple during an August 2006 raid. After listening to four hours of testimony in which patients told him James and Lisa Masters were growing for them, Judge James Hiatt issued a verbal order requiring the department to turn over the plants and equipment to the couple. Although the couple were not registered as caregivers, they were acting as caregivers and thus protected by the law, the judge held.

The couple's attorney, Brian Vicente, who also heads the marijuana advocacy group Sensible Colorado, warned authorities that his clients will seek compensation if the sheriff's department does not deliver the plants in good condition. "If they've allowed these plants to die, they've broken the law," said Vicente, adding that he estimated their combined value at $100,000.

The district court ruling could be appealed. Larimer County District Attorney Larry Abrahamson had not decided by week's end whether his office would appeal.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, a California appeals court ordered the Garden Grove Police Department to return marijuana it seized from a patient. Police had seized eight grams of marijuana from Felix Kha during a June 2005 traffic stop. Prosecutors dropped marijuana possession charges after Kha proved he had a doctor's recommendation. Kha asked for his medicine back, and his trial judge agreed. But the city appealed, arguing that it should not have to violate federal drug laws.

In its Wednesday opinion, a three-judge panel from the Fourth Appellate District slapped the city down, saying state law comes first. "By returning Kha's marijuana to him, the Garden Grove police would not just be upholding the principles of federalism... They would be fulfilling their more traditional duty to administer the laws of this state," the opinion read. "We do not believe that federal drug laws supersede or preempt Kha's right to a return of his property,'' they later continued.

Medical marijuana advocates, who have tallied dozens of similar seizures by local law enforcement agencies, called the ruling a victory for patients' and states' rights. "It should now be abundantly clear to law enforcement across the state that it is not acceptable to seize the medicine of seriously ill patients," said Joe Elford, who represented Kha as Chief Counsel for Americans for Safe Access.

Internships: Two Openings at Americans for Safe Access

Americans for Safe Access is hiring interns for its Washington and Oakland offices:

Washington, DC:

As part of ASA's Graduate & Undergraduate Government Affairs Internship Program, interns will work closely with ASA's Director of Government Affairs to research policy issues, facilitate grassroots outreach and assist with administrative work. Internships are unpaid, but ASA staff will work to ensure academic credit is received, if applicable.

Responsibilities will vary but in general include administrative support to the Government Affairs staff; researching and reviewing medical cannabis policy topics; drafting of memos, advocacy materials and letters to federal policy makers; and, attending hearings, briefings and various meetings where appropriate.

Qualifications include a demonstrated willingness to undertake unfamiliar initiatives with enthusiasm and creativity; an informed knowledge about the issues facing medical cannabis patients and their providers; a sense of humor; excellent research, communication and organizational skills; the ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously while working independently or as a team; and some basic understanding of the federal legislative process. Some prior campaign experience preferred but not necessary.

Interns are expected to work in between 15-30 hours per week. The minimum duration of an internship is 8 weeks. To apply, please fax or e-mail a cover letter, resume, and short writing sample (no more than 5 pages) to hr@safeaccessnow.org.

Oakland, CA:

Grassroots Intern for Medical Marijuana Advocacy Group

ASA is currently seeking an undergraduate intern to work closely with their Field Coordinator to research policy issues, facilitate grassroots outreach and assist with administrative work.

Responsibilities include researching city and county medical marijuana regulations as well as opportunities for local activists to question candidates about medical marijuana; compiling content for medical marijuana websites reaching out to condition-based communities (HIV/AIDS, cancer, seniors, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain); accompanying the Field Coordinator on trips to local chapter meetings; staffing ASA's outreach table at local conferences and events; and assisting the Field Coordinator with maintaining contact with ASA's grassroots leaders, assembling mailings and other administrative work

Qualifications include commitment to the mission and goals of Americans for Safe Access; computer literacy; being comfortable with acquiring new skills; strong written and oral communication skills; a sense of humor, high ethical professional standards, and a multi-cultural perspective; working well in a team environment; and dedication to working closely and cooperatively in a community-based organization with diverse staff, volunteers, and community members.

The internship is an unpaid experience, but ASA staff will work to ensure academic credit is received, if applicable. Interns are expected to work between 15-20 hours per week. To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to HR@SafeAccessNow.org.

The DEA is waging war on California

[Courtesy of MPP] 

The DEA is continuing to terrorize medical marijuana patients and their caregivers. On November 20, DEA agents raided the Long Beach Compassionate Cooperative (L.B.C.C.), a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles County. In addition to seizing assets, federal agents arrested the owner and warned that other area dispensaries could face the same fate. Read the news coverage here.

In recent months, MPP has raised $150,000 of the $180,000 that’s needed to launch our new project in California to fend off these raids. Please donate now to help close the $30,000 gap.

Since the beginning of the year, the DEA has executed dozens of raids in California, including:

• January 11: 11 dispensaries in West Hollywood
• March 29: Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers in Morro Bay
• May 1 and July 16: Nature's Medicinal Cooperative in Bakersfield
• June 13: Farm Assist Caregivers in Pomona
• July 17: Healing Nations Collective in Inland Valley
• July 25: 10 dispensaries in Los Angeles County
• August 29: 3 dispensaries in San Mateo
• October 11: Arts District Healing Center in Los Angeles
• October 30: Compassionate Caregivers of Alameda County
• November 1: C-3 Collective in Garden Grove
• November 2: 105/405 in North Hills

The DEA has also instituted a chilling new form of interference in California’s medical marijuana law: In July, the DEA began threatening landlords who lease space to medical marijuana dispensaries with prison time and forfeiture of their property — a move that was condemned in a Los Angeles Times editorial as a “deplorable new bullying tactic.” The L.B.C.C.’s landlord was a recipient of one of these letters.

Please fight for the will of California voters and for safe access to medical marijuana by donating to MPP’s California plan today.

In the coming year, MPP will be working with a coalition of reform organizations, dispensary owners, health care professionals, patients, activists, and state legislators to protect patients and dispensaries operating legally under state law, but we need your help. Would you please help fund a lobbyist in Sacramento to represent the medical marijuana community against the DEA’s reign of terror?

The situation in California is critical, and what happens in California matters to all of us: Just as California launched the modern era of the medical marijuana movement with the passage of Prop. 215 in November 1996, so, too, will it pave the way for state-recognized dispensaries with the legislation we will help pass next year. And, with your help, MPP and our allies will end state and local cooperation with federal law enforcement — which regularly utilizes local police for assistance during the DEA’s raids. Please join us in making sure that California resources will no longer be used to subvert the state’s own laws. This is important not only to Californians but to residents of every state seeking to enact compassionate medical marijuana laws.

We’re going to make medical marijuana access safe for seriously ill patients. Can I count on your help by making a donation to our California efforts today?

Thank you for your generosity during this critical time.

Sincerely,

Rob Kampia
Executive Director
Marijuana Policy Project
Washington, D.C.

P.S. As I've mentioned in previous alerts, a major philanthropist has committed to match the first $3.0 million that MPP can raise from the rest of the planet in 2007. This means that your donation today will be doubled.

Location: 
CA
United States

Ron Paul on Medical Marijuana

Ron Paul shows Giuliani, McCain, and Romney how to talk about medical marijuana without sounding like a monster. Hint: tell everyone you care about sick people. Voters love that stuff.

Ron Paul, supposedly a fringe candidate, seems to understand formerly cherished conservative principles like "states rights" better than any other republican running.

The success of Paul's campaign is yet another demonstration that smart and compassionate positions on drug policy are neither exclusively liberal nor politically suicidal.

Location: 
United States

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Safe Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School