Prizes, Auction & Sizzling Entertainment at Wanda Fundaiser

mj_leaf_fun.jpgJoin your friends and make new friends as you win fun prizes, bid on superlative auction items and enjoy the musical and comedic talents of singer/songwriter Victoria Newbill at the Wed. Oct. 4 fundraiser for our longtime dedicated medical marijuana activist Wanda Smith.

 

Even though Wanda lives literally out in the middle of nowhere near Phelan and is suffering from cardiovascular and respiratory ailments with weekly dialysis sessions, Wanda regularly made it to our meetings and most importantly to numerous city council and council board meetings.

 

At these meetings she was a persuasive and sincere spokesperson on behalf of medical marijuana patients and their right to have safe, reliable and local access to marijuana. Who could disagree with her motherly looks and admonitions?

 

Wanda_and_husband2.jpgNever one to turn us or anyone down when they needed help, she now needs our help. On September 3, Rob, her husband of 50 years, died unexpectedly. Living together for so many years on the distant outskirts of Phelan, they got by day to day with water trucked in and a diesel electric generator for power. They were about as off the grid as possible. With her health problems and living as simply as possible, she was not prepared or equipped to handle the funeral and other expenses associated with the loss of her husband and needs our help.

 

Let’s help Wanda and at the same time have a lot of fun and take home some wonderful prizes and auction items - bud products of all types, pipes, vaporizers, books, artwork, movie passes, gift certificates and so much more.

 

victoria_joint.jpegYes the prizes and auction are special but even more special will be the live performance by singer/songwriter Victoria Newbill. Just arrived in southern California from Portland Oregon where she performed her songs and music in clubs and venues throughout the Pacific Northwest. Showcasing her indie music styles encompassing rock to country, she will be performing songs from her premiere CD The Time is Now. From quirky to sublime, songs such as Light ‘Em Up, Revolution Now and Cowboy Circle Jerk will have your toes-tapping and your sides splitting with laughter.

 

wanda_fundraiser_2-page-001-1.jpgJoin your friends and make new ones at this special fundraiser to help our friend Wanda. Asking for a $10 donation at the door which includes five raffle tickets and all the fun and camaraderie you can handle. Additional raffle tickets can be bought for $2 each or three for $5. There will be a 50-50 raffle as well plus superlative auction items.

 

brandons.jpegThe event takes place in the private banquet room at Brandon’s Diner at 24626 Sunnymead Blvd. in Moreno Valley, CA 92553 – it’s just off the 60 freeway at the Perris Blvd. exit. Most dinners are $10 or less and the food is excellent and so are the portions.

 

Join us for dinner at 6:30 p.m. Food and beverages including adult use beverages, will be available all evening. The festivities start at 7:30 p.m. so if you can’t make it for dinner, please join us at 7:30 p.m. for the auction, raffles and our featured entertainer Victoria Newbill. For more information, email lanny@marijuananews.org or call 760-799-2055.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Wanda's Fundraiser is being held in place of the regular first Wed. of the month MAPP meeting in Moreno Valley which would have been Wed. Oct. 4. There will be no MAPP meeting at the Greenview Medical Clinic that night. On Wed. Oct. 4, please come to Wanda's Fundraiser at Brandon's Diner.

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MJ Bubble Gonna Bust + Quirky Fun Entertainer at Fundraiser

 

lge_marijuana-farm.jpgmagic_weed_taxes.jpgCalifornia Grows Way More Than It Consumes

Tax Dreams Will Go Up In Smoke, but $$$ Dreams Can Still Come True

 

Last month I wrote a newsletter about the circulating meme that California produces far more marijuana than it consumes. I expressed a guarded response as none of the reports presented any analysis or statistics backing this up.

 

mj_god_and_man.jpegIf true, this could have significant negative consequences for the ganja entrepreneurs who are investing tens of millions of dollars in building cultivation facilities in the cities that are expecting cannabis manna from heaven to alleviate their fiscal problems and provide the financial resources to improve schools, health care, community programs and a truckload of infrastructure improvements.

 

I stated I would do the research to ascertain what is going on. Well the research is done and not only is the meme of overproduction true, it appears to be even worse than originally foretold.

 

ca_food_agriculture.jpgIn a report prepared for the California Department of Food and Agriculture entitled Economic Impact Analysis of Medical Cannabis Cultivation Program Regulations, investigators unequivocally concluded that production for both medical and recreational marijuana is far out-stripping consumption.

“. . . this analysis estimates total statewide production equals 13.5 million pounds. This is likely conservative estimate, but it the first comprehensive, data-based estimate of total production in the state.”

and

Assuming casual users purchase one-eighth of an ounce (3.5 grams) per month and regular users purchase three-quarters of an ounce (21 grams) per month, total annual cannabis consumption in California is between 2.2 and 2.6 million pounds.

 

one_half.jpgdouble.jpgJUST HOW BAD IS THIS?
Even if we cut the estimate of production in half and double the amount of consumption,
California will still be producing almost two million more pounds than it consumes.

 

bubble_burst.jpgCalifornia cities that are allowing marijuana cultivation are literally salivating at the thought of the tax money that will be generated but if these statistics are right, this is a bubble that is going to burst with disastrous consequences.

 

Part of the problem is that marijuana proponents have generated high expectations of the revenue that will be produced with marijuana legalization and for some irrational reason these expectations seem to be centering on cultivation.

 

Yes there is significant tax revenues to be made but it is not with cultivation – like almost any other product, it is the manufacture and distribution where most money is made. For example in 2014, $9.4 billion worth of milk was produced by dairy farmers while the manufacture and distribution of the dairy products made from this milk totaled approximately $21 billion.

 

DSC07333.JPGwine_dollar.jpgMore apropos in comparison is the wine industry. The value of all cultivated grapes, whether for table or wine, is about $5 billion annually. In 2015, California’s wine industry generated $57.2 billion in revenue. Needless to say California and local government make far more money taxing the finished product than they do the grapes that make up the finished product.

 

Just like any other agricultural product, most of the money will not be made in cultivation of marijuana especially as the cost of cultivation will plummet. When California farmers enter the market big time after 2023 when Prop. 64 allows unlimited cultivation size, the cost for the raw product will plunge even further.

 

American.Gothic.Cannabis.jpgI know there are many small growers out there that claim you can’t grow marijuana on a big scale like you can grow tomatoes, grapes or coffee. Maybe you can’t, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Our farmers are very resourceful and if there is money to be made cultivating cannabis on a large scale, they will figure out how to produce a quality product that they can sell and make money on.

 

mj_products.pngYes there will be room for boutique marijuana cultivators, but people are not flocking to boutique grape growers – they are flocking to boutique wineries. For those of you who truly want to get into the cannabis business and make money at it, you should look at manufacturing and distributing. Create delectable edibles, craft killer concentrates, produce quality pre-rolls, manufacture tinctures, balms, lotions and all those other cannabis products that people want. Let the farmers grow it for you to manufacture and distribute.

 

mj_across_us.gifAccording to statistics compiled by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, California produces almost half of all the fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in the country, as well as a whopping share of the livestock and dairy our nation consumes. No doubt when marijuana is legal throughout the U.S and can be transported as easily across states lines as walnuts (California produces 99% of all walnuts sold in the U.S.), California’s marijuana crop will be exported across the country and around the world.

 

That level of legalization is probably a decade away. Until then, there is one other way to ensure that the marijuana cultivated in California will be consumed and it is a way that is sure to drive those opposed to marijuana up-the-wall. Like the milk, wine, cereal, and other industries that manufacture products from agriculture commodities, the cannabis industry needs to form trade associations that market their products to the public.

 

The Dairy Council of California touts how healthy milk is even though we outgrew our need for milk at around 4 years of age and all the science points to milk not being all that good for adults. The Wine Institute of California makes a big deal out of a glass of red wine being heart healthy which is really nonsense – you want to do something good for your heart –forgo the wine and take a 30 minute walk four or five times a week.

 

top_health_benefits.jpegWith its scientifically proven ability to lessen stress, mitigate depression, decrease the likelihood of developing cancer, safely diminish pain and reduce alcohol consumption, the cannabis industry should be able to put the milk and wine industries to shame with programs and publicity extolling the virtues of cannabis consumption.

 

drunk.gifIf cities, counties and the state want to make significant tax revenues it will come from manufacturers and distributors and not from farmers. I have no idea what cities and counties are thinking and I especially have no idea what all these cultivating ganja entrepreneurs are thinking, but I can’t help but wonder what they have been drinking.

 

auction_woman.jpgvictoria_cd.jpegDon’t Miss Fun & Exciting Fundraiser for Wanda

Featuring Entertainment by NW Famed Singer/Songwriter Victoria Newbill
Raffles, auction, dinner and more!!

 

The fundraiser on Wednesday, October 4 to help our long-time dedicated IE activist Wanda Smith is going to be a real blow-out with exciting raffles, sensational auction items and now live entertainment featuring the outrageous and talented singer Victoria Newbill.

 

Wanda.JPGWanda is in poor health with cardiovascular problems and having to undergo kidney dialysis on weekly basis. She needs our help. She has written a personal letter which you can read by CLICKING HERE.

 

Let’s help Wanda and at the same time have a lot of fun and take home some wonderful prizes and auction items - bud products of all types, pipes, vaporizers, books, artwork, movie passes, gift certificates and so much more.

 

Yes the prizes and auction are special but even more special will be the live performance by singer/songwriter Victoria Newbill – just arrived in southern California from Portland Oregon where she performed her songs and music in clubs and venues throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Showcasing her indie music styles encompassing rock to country, she will be performing songs from her premiere CD The Time is Now. From quirky to sublime, songs such as Light ‘Em Up, Revolution Now and Cowboy Circle Jerk will have your toes-tapping and your sides splitting with laughter.

 

raffle_ticket.jpgJoin your friends and make new ones at this special fundraiser to help our friend Wanda. Asking for a $10 donation at the door which includes five raffle tickets and all the fun and camaraderie you can handle. Additional raffle tickets can be bought for $2 each or three for $5. There will be a 50-50 raffle as well plus superlative auction items.

 

auction_dog.jpgWe can always use more items for the raffle and auction – the more we get, the more money we can raise to help Wanda. Although ganja items are always appreciated, we would cherish any item you can donate. If you have any items to donate, please contact me at lanny@marijuananews.org or call me at 760-799-2055.

 

brandons.jpegThe event takes place in the private banquet room at Brandon’s Diner at 24626 Sunnymead Blvd. in Moreno Valley, CA 92553 – it’s just off the 60 freeway at Perris Blvd. exit. Most dinners are $10 or less and the food is excellent and so are the portions.

 

Join us for dinner at 6:30 p.m. The festivities start at 7:30 p.m. so if you can’t make it for dinner, please join us at 7:30 p.m. for the auction, raffles and our featured entertainer Victoria Newbill.

Note: The fundraiser for Wanda is being held in place of the regular monthly MAPP meeting in Moreno Valley.

#marijuana  #marijuananews  #marijuanalegalization  #marijuanacultivation  #marijuanafundraiser  #cannabis  #medicalmarijuana  #MAPP  #marijuanaantiprohibitionproject  #marijuanataxes

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MJ Prisoner Absurdity - AB 1578 in Suspense - Fundraiser for Wanda

prison.jpgmarijuana-store.jpgPoignant Prisoner Letter
Illuminates Legal MJ Absurdities

He's in prison for 20 years but you can buy
legal marijuana one mile from the prison

Trump Vs. Obama Pardons

Luke_Scarmazzo.jpegLuke Scarmazzo is serving a 20-year mandatory minimum sentence for “conducting a criminal enterprise, cultivating more than 100 marijuana plants and possession with intent to distribute.” Luke Scarmazzo and partner Ricardo Montes operated The California Healthcare Collective in Modesto, Calif. This letter was written from solitary confinement at FCI Lompoc, in Southern California.

 

He has written a poignant and insightful letter from prison about just not his unfair, cruel and unjust imprisonment, but about the current state of marijuana law reform and the need for continued action.

 

trump_Arpaio.jpegIt is interesting to note that in the letter he writes that President Obama has pardoned his partner and co-defendant Ricardo Montes. It is interesting to note that President Obama many pardons to non-violent drug and marijuana offenders. Although it is still early in the Trump administration, his one pardon of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt in a racial-profiling case related to his hardline tactics while going after undocumented immigrants, does not portend well for those convicted of marijuana or drug offenses.

 

It certainly underscores both the difference in views on enforcement of laws, temperament and compassion of President Trump vs. President Obama.

 

To read Luke Scarmazzo’s letter, CLICK HERE.

 

suspense2.jpegThe Suspense is Over

AB 1578 in Suspense

 

suspense.jpegAB 1578, which would prevent state and local police from assisting the feds in the arrest and prosecution of marijuana providers in compliance with California law, has been relegated to a suspense file and will not be considered by the state legislature until after January 1. For those of you who took the time to call your state senator (and thank you very much for doing so), this may be a bit frustrating but it’s all part of the political game.

 

The move came after Democrats got a little panicked over passing the ganja sanctuary bill at the same time they passed an immigrant sanctuary bill that would prevent law enforcement from cooperating with the feds in the arrest of undocumented immigrants. Dems do the right thing - just doing too many rights things at one time is scary

 

Although there is no real rational reason why they both couldn’t be passed, the nitty-gritty political reality was that the ganja sanctuary bill did not have anywhere near the voluminous support the immigrant sanctuary bill did so it got relegated to the suspense file.

 

To be fair, immigrants are far more threatened by the Trump Administration’s actions than are marijuana consumers. It is not likely that the Trump Administration will do much in the way of going after California’s or other states marijuana legalization laws during this delay while AB 1578 sits in the Suspense file.


rohrfarr.jpgAs it stands the 3-month extension of the federal budget bill and the raising of the debt ceiling that was made in unlikely and seemingly implausible deal between Trump and the Democratic leaders in Congress (without any significant input from Republicans) includes the continuation of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment that prevents the Justice Dept. from enforcing federal law in states that have regulated medical marijuana distribution systems.

 

That doesn’t mean we should let our guard down but rather we should see this as a period in which we must continue to demand recognition of state laws by the federal government while the Trump Administration and the Republican controlled congress continue to not get much done.

 

As for AB 1578, those in the know are predicting that it will get passed by the California senate in January followed by a vote of concurrence in the Assembly and then to the Governor where it is expected to be signed.  It is certainly not a done deal, but it was not killed in Senate which is a good indication that it will eventually get passed.

wanda.jpgFundraiser for Wanda Smith

Long-Time Dedicated IE MJ Activist

Wanda Smith has always been a dedicated advocate and worker for medical marijuana and marijuana law reform. Even though she lives literally out in the middle of nowhere near Phelan, Wanda regularly made it to our meetings and most importantly to numerous city council and council board meetings.

 

At these meetings she was a persuasive and sincere spokesperson on behalf of medical marijuana patients and their right to have safe, reliable and local access to marijuana. Who could disagree with her motherly looks and admonitions?

 

Never one to turn us or anyone down when they needed help, she now needs our help. On September 3, Rob, her husband of 50 years, died unexpectedly. Living together for so many years literally out-in-the-middle of nowhere on the outskirts of Phelan, they got by day to day with water trucked in and a diesel electric generator for power. They were about as off the grid as possible. Living as simply as they need, she is not prepared or equipped to handle the funeral and other expenses associated with the loss of her husband and needs our help.

 

A small group of her friends, and I am privileged to be one of them, have come together to hold a fundraiser to provide her with the needed funds to help with these expenses and the adjustment to a life without her partner of 50 years.

 

The fundraiser will take place on the evening of Wednesday, October 4. It is being held in the private banquet room at Brandon’s Restaurant in Moreno Valley. Although we are all saddened by the death of her husband, the fundraiser will be a joyous celebration of life.

 

mj_paraphernela.jpgTo raise funds, there will be both an auction and a raffle with many prizes donated by her friends. We are looking for additional raffle prizes and auction items and would appreciate donations. Yes donations of marijuana buds, edibles, tinctures and so on would be wonderful especially marijuana pipes and other accessories. Surely many of you have a bong and/or pipe and/or vaporizer that is just been sitting on the shelf collecting dust and could be donated to help raise funds at this worthwhile event. Donations, of course, do not have to be marijuana related and if you have other items that could be donated for the raffle or auction, they will be greatly appreciated as well.

 

A Facebook page is being developed where donations can be made directly to Wanda. Information on making donations directly to her as well as more information on the October 4 fundraiser will be found in the next newsletter. In the meantime, if you have any items you can donate, please either send me an email at lanny@marijuananews.org or give me a call at 760-799-2055. Wanda needs our help – she deserves whatever help we can provide. Your support and help is greatly appreciated. #cannabiscommunity #marijuana #fundraiser #marijuanalegalization #medicalmarijuana #browniemarydemocrats

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Last Chance! Keep Feds Out of CA & GOP Flips MJ the Bird

 

dont_tread.jpgPROTECT CALIFORNIA’S
MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION LAWS

We Made the Difference Before,
We Can Do It Again

 

support_ab_1578.jpgThere are two articles in this newsletter that are intrinsically interrelated. The first one is urging you to take a couple minutes to call your state senator asking him or her to support AB 1578, the ganja sanctuary bill that is coming up for a vote this week in the state senate.

 

The second article underscores the need for AB 1578 as the Rules Committee in the House of Representatives has blocked every single cannabis related bill from coming up for a vote.

 

Although AG Sessions has been more smoke than fire, that doesn’t mean when the opportunity arises he won’t be coming after marijuana providers in California. This is especially true if he sees that congress will take no action to prevent him from doing so – in fact he will probably see it as a green light to unleash the federal police.

 

dea_raid.jpgThis is why AB 1578 is so important as it will prevent local police from cooperating with the feds in any raids they undertake against licensed and legal marijuana providers. Without the aid of local police, the feds do not have the manpower to undertake most raids which will severely impact their ability to disrupt California’s and other state’s marijuana legalization programs.

 

AB 1578 was down by four votes just two days before it was voted on and thanks to folks like you who made calls to their state assembly members, we were able to get the needed votes to pass. It passed by only one vote vividly demonstrating the importance of every call made in support.

 

In the state senate it will receive the same fierce opposition from law enforcement as it did in the assembly. The police desperately want to cooperate with the feds if for no other reason than they are scared they will lose federal money if AB 1578 passes. They are doubling and tripling down on their efforts to frighten and even threaten our elected officials with loss of their support come election time.

 

Police and prison guards funnel more money into election campaigns than any other business. It is very scary for a politician to be on the short end of their sticks and that is why it is so important for them to hear from their constituents.

 

CallSenator_1200x627.pngPlease take two minutes to call your state senator and ask them to support AB 1578. If you don’t know who your state senator is and the phone number to call – it is super easy to get. Just CLICK HERE and you will be taken to a webpage where you will see the names of both your state assembly member and state senator.

 

Click on your state senator’s name and you will go directly to his or her web page. Their phone number can usually be found at the bottom of the home page. If not, click on the CONTACT button at the top of the home page.

 

Many of them have voice-mail so you can call anytime and leave a voice message asking them to support AB 1578. If not you will have to call back during regular capitol hours which are Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To call them CLICK HERE now.

 

call_on_phone.jpgAs for what to say, just saying vote Yes on AB 1578 would be enough, but adding something like “don’t let the feds interfere with the vote by California citizens to legalize marijuana” wouldn’t hurt. Just like the assembly, it is going to be a close vote so your state senator’s vote could be the critical one. Call now – just CLICK HERE.

 

mj_ban.jpgREPUBLICANS
"JUST SAY NO"
TO ALL
MARIJUANA
LAW REFORM BILLS

 

Even though most of the marijuana law reform measures that have been introduced in Congress have broad bi-partisan support, congressional Republican leaders will not allow a vote to go forward on any of them.

 

GOP-no.jpgHere is what the Republicans won’t let your Congress member vote on:

 

  • the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, which prevents the feds from using federal dollars to interfere with state-legal medical cannabis programs;
  • protecting state-approved hemp programs
  • allowing banks to do business with the cannabis industry;
  • reduce the funding for the Drug Enforcement Agency’s cannabis eradication program;
  • expand access for cannabis research;
  • end federal incentives to revoke driver licenses from individuals charged with cannabis crimes;
  • allow Washington D.C. to implement its voter approved tax-and-regulate programs;
  • provide protections for state-approved adult-use programs similar to the protections provided by Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment.

 

The denial by the Republican leadership to allow votes on these bills puts the lie to their oft intoned support for the federal government to butt out of decisions and issues that should be left to the states to decide.

 

They are well aware that the vast majority of Democrats in the House will support these bills and enough Republicans will support them to easily provide enough votes to pass.

 

The same would be true in the Senate and these bills would then land on President Trump’s desk. Whether he would sign them or give in to AG Jeff Sessions we will never know.

 

It is possible that one of these pieces of legislation, the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment might get passed as the Senate has passed it so it will be included in the Budget bill that the House will consider.

 

rorhbacher_bluemeauer.jpegSpeaking out on the move by House Republicans to prevent a vote on their amendment, Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) said the decision to not allow a vote “is putting at risk millions of patients who rely on medical marijuana for treatment, as well as the clinics and businesses that support them.”

 

Amplifying their concern, the two Congressman stated “This decision goes against the will of the American people, who overwhelmingly oppose federal interference with state marijuana laws. These critical protections are supported by a majority of our colleagues on both sides of the aisle. There’s no question: If a vote were allowed, our amendment would pass on the House floor, as it has several times before.”

 

trmp_signing.jpgIndeed they are right as the last time this amendment was in the Budget bill, it did get passed and sent to the President for his signature. Although the Budget bill was signed by the President, Trump placed a signing statement next to the amendment stating he was not bound by the amendment.

 

do-not-keep-calm-call-your-senator-now.pngI trust you understand the vital importance of having AB 1578 passed and implemented. If you haven’t yet taken the two minutes to call your State Senator’s office – do it now. CLICK HERE.

fourteen_cents.jpg

That's right - just 14¢ a day is all it takes to become a dedicated, cherished and exclusive member of MAPP's 420 CLUB. Surely it is just a pittance but your 14¢ combined with the other members of our 420 CLUB go a long way in keeping us going.

Please join today - your credit card will be automatically charged $4.20 every month. Your support would be greatly appreciated.

To join our 420 CLUB just CLICK HERE.

Hesitant to make a commitment, then a one-time donation would be much appreciated, just CLICK HERE.

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Forgot Where You Left Your Keys? That's Good + MAPP Reboots?

forgetting.jpegThe Ability of Cannabis
to Enhance Forgetfulness
May Be One of Its
Most Important Virtues



From my latest column in Culture magazine, an entirely new, if not off-the-wall take on why marijuana is beneficial.

 

car_key.jpgCannabis’ impact on short-term memory is one of its most notable and often criticized attributes. Never mind that it can reduce dependence on opioids, anti-psychotics, insomnia medications and decrease alcohol consumption—forgetting where you left your keys is deemed a greater danger.

 

As it turns out, not only is forgetting where you left your keys no big deal, it may even be beneficial. New research by Paul Frankland and Blake Richards of the University of Toronto and published in Neuron, a peer reviewed journal for the neuroscience community, concluded that forgetting actually makes us smarter.

 

CLICK HERE TO READ ENTIRE ARTICLE

 

MAPP_Logo.jpg
MAPP MEETING

TIME TO REBOOT?

 

ca_new_weed.jpgWith the advent of marijuana legalization in California, everything has changed. From thousands of burgeoning marijuana entrepreneurs to cash starved cities enacting regulations to allow and tax the sale of marijuana to everyone 21 and over and not just medical marijuana patients, it is time to take a new approach in the IE to access to marijuana.

 

At the MAPP meeting on Wed. Sept. 6 in Moreno Valley, we will be discussing new approaches to improving access with a special emphasis on connecting with both cities and counties that are in process of enacting licensing requirements and regulations. We need to be aware of what is happening and be part of the process so that the licensing requirements, regulations and taxation are reasonable.

 

The Wed. Sept. 6 MAPP meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. and is held at the Greenview Medical, 22275 Alessandro Blvd, Moreno Valley, CA 92553. Milk, punch and a delicious assortment of cookies will be served.

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How to Get Local Officials to Dance With MJ Businesses

dance_step.jpegFirst You Need to
Learn How to Dance

 

80_years.jpgThe importance of working within the political process to further marijuana legalization and access cannot be underestimated. Since marijuana was outlawed 80 years ago with the marijuana tax act, the choice by elected officials on all levels of government has been to make it as unavailable as possible through criminal and civil sanctions from imprisonment to confiscation of assets. Progress will now only come when our LOCAL elected officials chose to put in place policies that further safe, reliable, local and affordable legal access to marijuana.

 

m_voting.jpgThe changeover from unavailability to availability has come mostly come from the passage of voter-approved initiatives forcing elected officials to make it available. Although many elected officials in favor of continuing to ban products that people want and try their best to impede the directives issued by voters in passing these initiatives, we do have courts that generally uphold the laws passed by voters as long as these initiatives do not violate constitutional mandates.

 

banned_mj.jpegMarijuana advocates and consumers have been very successful instituting reforms legalizing marijuana and setting up distribution systems on the state level, but have been far less successful on the local level. Although California voters passed a marijuana legalization initiative setting up a specific distribution system and the state legislature through the passage of SB 94 has codified this system with licenses and regulations, most Californians will not have local access as their local city and county governments are passing bans on any kind of commercial cultivation, manufacture and distribution in their communities.

 

mj_playing_cards.jpgIt is now imperative that marijuana advocates and consumers turn their attention from the state level to the local level. It is not a new game but it is a new deck of cards and requires a lot of new players. Working on the state level required a lot of hands on deck but the hands were usually concentrated in large urban areas coordinating efforts aimed at statewide political action.

 

Not so for local. People working in Los Angeles or San Francisco will have little effect on political actions in Fresno or Eureka. If safe and reliable access is to be obtained on the local level, it will be done by people like you who are willing to put forth the effort to get involved in their local communities to bring about the local access they want and their communities need.

 

wonk.jpgA functioning game plan has been developed that can serve as a blueprint to help achieve that most wanted local access in your community and make it possible for you to get a business license where you live. It has been implemented successfully in Los Angeles and Riverside Counties and it can be implemented where you live. It is not that difficult and you don’t have to be a political wonk to do it and be successful.

 

Let me stress that although the example I present here is what I have done through the Democratic Party, there is no reason that this cannot – and should not – be done through the Republican Party as well.

 

poll_rep_vs_dem.pngGranted the Republican Party is generally hostile to marijuana law reform but that is not uniformly true. Polls show that 40% of Republicans favor legalization – not a majority but close and getting closer every year - Sessions and Trump notwithstanding. Although expecting anything to come out of Republicans on the federal level borders on delusional, that is not true on the local level. I truly hope that those of you who are Republican will follow through on the local level with what I am about to present.

Yes, yes and yes - I know there are other political parties like Libertarians and Greens, but unfortunately (and I really do mean unfortunately) there are very few elected Libertarians or Greens to influence who are serving on local city councils and county boards. I encourage you to work with the few of them that are as they will most likely be more than willing to implement the laws needed to make marijuana available in your community.

OK here’s the plan . . .

yes_on_m.jpgIn March almost 80% of Los Angeles voters approved Measure M, which established a licensing, taxation and regulatory structure for cannabis businesses in Los Angeles. With such overwhelming support, LA voters rightfully expected a robust and compliant implementation of the requirements of Measure M but got a cop-out limited immunity from prosecution instead of a regulated licensing system which is required by state law. The members of the Los Angeles City Council needed to be reminded that they are elected to serve and implement the will of the voters and not to capitulate to the saber-rattling of Trump and Sessions.

 

la_city_council.jpgWith fourteen Democrats and just one Republican serving on the LA City Council, a forceful and stern reminder from the Los Angeles Democratic Party is what was needed for them to develop the backbone and intestinal fortitude to put in place a reasonable and complaint licensing system.

 

Local political parties play a major role in providing support for local candidates helping with fundraisers and most importantly in the all-important get-out-the-vote campaigns so important to any candidates’ success. Consequently local elected officials pay attention to the concerns of their local political party.

 

With that in mind, the Brownie Mary Democrats introduced a resolution at the August meeting of the Los Angeles Democratic Party calling on “the Los Angeles City Council and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to implement full licensing for cannabis businesses in Los Angeles as promised by Measure M and as dictated by state law.” To read the full text of the resolution CLICK HERE.

 

ladparty.jpgThe resolution was passed unanimously by the LA Democratic Party on August 8 and is now being distributed both by mail and personal delivery to the offices of the fourteen Democratic members of the LA City Council and to Mayor Garcetti. Even before it was passed, word of the resolution had spread too many members of the City council leading to conversations and even statements in support of the resolution to drop the limited immunity cop-out and to provide for full and state compliant licensing for all marijuana businesses.

 

more_imrogilio-JPG.jpgThe same is now being done in Riverside County where the County and most of the cities are jumping at close to the speed of light on the bandwagon of bans on the commercial cultivation, manufacture and distribution of marijuana as allowed under Prop. 64. To reverse these bans and stop the introduction of bans in cities that have not banned them yet, the Riverside County Democratic Party passed a resolution on August 14 that “encourages the county of Riverside and the cities within the county to cease banning and to enact ordinances regulating the commercial cultivation, manufacture and distribution of marijuana.” To read the full text of the resolution CLICK HERE.

 

As was done with Measure M in Los Angeles, this resolution will be presented to the two Democratic supervisors on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors and to every elected Democrat sitting on a city council in Riverside County.

 

With many, if not the majority of local elected officials in Riverside County and a significant number of other counties belonging to the Republican Party, marijuana advocates and consumers who are Republicans should especially take note and get involved on the local level with their county Republican Party. Granted the fight will be more uphill than it would be with the Democratic Party, but this is California where marijuana is now legal.

 

R_D_INDEPENDENT.pngWhether Democrat or Republican or whatever, marijuana advocates and consumers need to get involved on the local level. If you are not affiliated with either the Democrats or Republicans, then jumping into party politics as described above is problematic, but perhaps you have friends or family members who are and through them you will be able to accomplish the same.

 

You might even consider registering in one of the big two parties in order to engage in getting the parties to work for us. You can always “unregister” after you have accomplished what you set out to do, but I bet you won’t. Some of you might even find it challenging and empowering and continue to stay involved. We desperately need the marijuana community involved.

 

Get_involved.jpgIf you are thinking this is something you might want to get involved in, please feel free to contact me at any time with questions or for additional information. Send an email to me at lanny@marijuananews.org or call me at 760-799-2055.

 

No matter how successful we have been on the state level, it is all-for-naught if those accomplishments are not available on the local level. Are you willing to step-up not just for yourself, but for your community?

 

trump_sessions.jpgSome of you might be thinking I am ignoring the seven ton elephant in the room i.e. the feds and the saber rattling by AG Sessions and the apparent support by President Trump for his saber-rattling. Yes I am concerned but at the present time it doesn’t look like Congress is in the mood to allow Sessions to do much more than rattle his saber.

 

With an on-going FBI investigation and more people being beheaded then on Game of Thrones, the Executive Branch is in state of seemingly unending disarray. Not to be outdone, Congress is up to its neck in alligators with the federal budget bill and the need to raise the debt ceiling occurring almost simultaneously this September.

 

mj_genie.jpgNot to imply that there is no reason to be concerned, but frankly it doesn’t seem likely that much will happen related to marijuana on the federal level – good or bad. This gives us more time to secure our rights to safe, reliable and local access to legal marijuana on the state and local level. The more we accomplish on the state and local level, the more difficult it will it be for the prohibitionist federal agencies and police to put our genie back in the bong.

 

MAPP_Logo.jpgMAPP MEETINGS
Canceled in Palm Springs & Joshua Tree
WILL BE HELD IN MORENO VALLEY WED. SEPT. 6

 

Due to the Labor Day weekend holiday, the meetings of MAPP in September in Palm Springs and Joshua Tree will be not be held, but the meeting on Wed. Sept. 6 in Moreno Valley will take place. The next newsletter will have information on that meeting, the subjects to be discussed and the featured speaker.

 

420_club_bldg.pngThere is so much to do to protect our
rights to access marijuana and we
could use a little help from our friends.
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Is California's Marijuana Boom Going Bust? Really?

 

win_lose.jpgmj_money_tree.jpgCities Bet the Bank on Marijuana

Winning the Bet is Questionable

 

A recent article in the LA Times quoted a number of industry reps speculating that marijuana production in California has already exceeded demand.

 

hezekiah.jpg“We are producing too much,” and state-licensed growers “are going to have to scale back. We are on a painful downsizing curve.” - Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers’ Assn.

 

According to the article, even Lori Ajax, Director of California’s Bureau of Cannabis Regulation “agreed with Allen that some cannabis cultivators may have to scale back.”

 

If this is true and California is producing way more marijuana than Californians can consume, then it would seem that all these downtrodden cities that are rushing in to cash-in on the supposed marijuana boom are going to be in for a big letdown.

 

Recent articles in local newspapers have cities like Adelanto, Coachella, King City and others betting the bank that marijuana will turn their depressed economies around.

 

The Victorville Daily Press reported that in the city of Adelanto:

 

adelanto.jpgTwo days after enthusiastically adopting a rosy budget that was buoyed by early projections for commercial cannabis, city officials embraced a more-is-more approach and greatly expanded the industry’s potential footprint here.

 

During a special meeting, the City Council approved a re-zoning resolution permitting commercial marijuana activities on nearly 2,000 acres in Adelanto’s west side and on another 300 acres in the more central part of the city.

 

The moves were the culmination of several months of talks between city officials and stakeholders, including the Adelanto Growers Association, and also contained sweeping clean-up measures for zones not related to commercial pot.

“I know the mayor has a tendency to ask for a whole lot as fast as possible,” Mayor Rich Kerr told the Planning Commission on July 3, before the body recommended the Council pass the resolution, “and you know what, you guys give me a whole lot as fast as possible and I really appreciate that.”

Kerr added that there were 12 to 15 entrepreneurs ready and interested in developing on the land.

In the city of Coachella, the Desert Sun reported that:

coachella_city_1.jpgMayor Steven Hernandez said tourism, medical cannabis and infrastructure will propel the city of Coachella into the future. “We are the land of eternal sunshine, our horizon now encompasses the tourism market, the cannabis industry and new synergy in our downtown.”

Development projects include a new public library, which will be four times bigger than the city’s existing facility, a new county office for social services, which will bring in 200 new jobs, a new hotel and a new marijuana cultivation space that will produce $2.3 million of taxable revenue a year.

In article published in the Monterey County Weekly, the paper states:

 

king-city.jpgKing City is expecting an “infusion of cash – to the tune of $100 million – from investors who are looking to cash in on the so-called Green Rush. If it works, King City is positioned to become the cannabis capital of Monterey County, and the thriving center of South County.

 

If the cannabis boom goes as expected, according to (City Manager Steve) Adams’ calculations, it will generate some $2.8 million a year in taxes, increasing the city’s budget by more than 35 percent. For jobs that will include everyone from farm workers to chemists, the salary range is anticipated to be $35,000-$100,000 annually.”

 

As for the number of jobs, Adams does some quick math in his head. It could easily generate 750 jobs, he says.

 

According to an article published in the Riverside Press Enterprise, The City of San Jacinto has:

 

san_jacinto.png…estimated that cannabis cultivation businesses could add $3 million annually to the city’s coffers through fees and taxes. In voting to allow cultivators, the council approved a non-binding resolution stating the revenue can only be spent for public safety, street/road repairs, economic development and the creation of a Cannabis Oversight Committee.

 

grow_economy.jpgIt’s not just small economically depressed cities that are jumping on the marijuana bandwagon, major metropolises from Long Beach to Oakland are getting involved big time in raising significant tax revenues from marijuana businesses.

 

rude_awakening.jpgIf the statements that California is already producing more marijuana then Californian’s will consume, then these cities are in for a rude awakening as are all the “developers” who are pouring millions of dollars into building marijuana cultivation facilities.

 

Then again maybe their optimism and rosy projections may not be that far off base. No one really knows.

 

just_the_facts.pngOne thing I haven't seen is any analysis with figures validating predictions of marijuana overproduction. Where are the statistics showing how much marijuana is consumed in the state at the present time and the projected growth in consumption now that is it legal and easier to obtain? Where are the numbers showing how much marijuana is needed to be produced and the acreage needed to be grown to meet the current and projected demand?

 

With all these cities counting on marijuana income to balance their books and pay for vital city services, there needs to be some hard facts and figures on consumer demand and production estimates. It is amazing and frankly beyond comprehension that all these government entities are going forward with so little information on what demand and the ability to meet that demand will be.

 

Has reefer madness become reefer fantasy?

 

up_graph__.jpgDue to marijuana’s beneficial properties of significantly reducing alcohol consumption and the use of prescription pharmaceuticals, I believe and sincerely hope that marijuana use will literally skyrocket demand to heights that will make all these prophecies of revenue to restore and revitalize these cities struggling economies come true.


IN THE MEANTIME - What is the upshot of all this, what will happen to this potentially very significant surplus of quality California cannabis and my take on what is sure to become a flash point for local governments, individuals, police and a cast of characters savory and unsavory is a another story that will be found in my next newsletter.

 

MAPP_Logo.jpgmapp_meet.jpgMAPP meetings
discuss ending bans to
facilitate demand & production

 

The question of whether demand and production is too much, just right or not enough, needs to be known, but one thing is for sure – if municipalities continue to ban cultivation and distribution, then the question of demand vs. production becomes almost academic.

 

ban_mj.jpgresist_the_ban2.jpgAs part of our efforts to provide for safe, reliable, local and affordable access to marijuana on the local level, the August meetings of MAPP will be further exploring the issue of how to stop cities and counties from banning and start them down the road to licensing and regulating the cultivation, manufacture and distribution of marijuana as permitted under the laws approved by the state’s voters.

 

Attend the MAPP meeting near you and join in on the discussion of demand vs. production and how to ensure robust ingestion by convincing local elected officials to stop banning and start permitting.

 

Wednesday, August 2 at 7:30 p.m. – Moreno Valley/Western IE MAPP meeting – Guest speaker: Terrance McBride, IE marijuana entrepreneur and CEO of Phadeville. Greenview Medical Clinic, 22275 Alessandro Blvd, Moreno Valley, CA 92553

 

Saturday, August 5 at 12 noon - Palm Springs/Coachella Valley meeting – Crystal Fantasy, 268 N. Palm Canyon Dr., downtown Palm Springs 92262.

 

Saturday, August 5 at 3 p.m. - Joshua Tree/Morongo Valley meeting – Beatnik Lounge, 61597 Twenty-Nine Palms Hwy., Joshua Tree 92252.

If you find my blog of interest, subscribe to my FREE email newsletter - just CLICK HERE.


420_club_bldg.pngThere is so much to do to protect our
rights to access marijuana and we
could use a little help from our friends.
Become a friend and
hang out at our 420 Club

Donate $4.20/month
CLICK HERE TO JOIN

CLICK HERE TO MAKE A ONE-TIME DONATION

 

advertise_with_us_woman.jpgIf you are reading this, others are too!
Support our efforts and your business
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Will Russia Save Marijuana Legalization from Sessions Wrath

 

sessions_cracking_down_on_mj.jpgrussian_bear.jpgSessions Frothing to Go
After Marijuana Legalizers!

Could Russia Foul It All Up?

 

AG Jeff Sessions has been menacingly waving multiple swords for months threatening states that have legalized medical and adult-use marijuana with a variety of different federal law enforcement actions. Examples of his sword-waving are:

sessions_reefer_madness.jpg1. Sent a letter to congress in May asking that the Rohrabacher/Farr amendment, which prevents the DOJ from spending money enforcing federal marijuana prohibition law in states with regulated medical marijuana distribution programs, be repealed,

 

2. Claims of evidence linking marijuana use to an “historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime,”

willie_nelson_sessions.jpg
3. On Monday, July 17, told the National District Attorneys Association. "We plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures” and has reportedly authorized a re-invigorated asset seizure program. This program could be used by Sessions to impede the sale of marijuana in states where it's legal as the government doesn't need to file criminal charges to take someone's money, property or other assets,

 

4. Threatens to withhold federal funds if states do not cooperate in enforcement of federal laws.

session_madness_poster.jpg
President Trump’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, will release a report by the end of July that is expected to support Session’s much ballyhooed linkage of marijuana to violent crime while recommending tougher sentences for those cultivating, distributing and using it. It should be no surprise to learn that Sessions is the Chair of the Task Force.

 

As much of an old-line drug warrior as imaginable, Sessions is raring for the fight seemingly unconcerned that opposition to his renewed War on Drugs is not just from Democrats, but from Republican leaders in Congress as well.

 

rand_paul.jpgAs part of a rare bipartisan group of Senators cooperatively working to enact legislation which would allow states to continue implementing their voter approved medical marijuana laws free of any federal interference, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky), who supported the Obama Administration’s revision of the War on Drugs criminal charges and sentencing guidelines has stated “I will oppose anybody from the administration or otherwise that wants to interfere with state policy.”

 

President Trump must be aware of Session’s intentions and is encouraging him to go forward by providing him with the means to do so. Last month Trump affixed a signing statement to the Congressional Budget bill that he is not legally bound to the defunding provision that prevents the DOJ from interfering in states medical marijuana laws.

 

Is there any hope? Any chance that Session’s sword will be sheathed and the attack aborted? Yes there is and it is coming from a most unexpected quarter – Russia.

 

Trump-Russia-dealings.pngEver since his inauguration, Trump has been besieged by allegations that Russia interfered in the U.S. presidential election on his behalf. Supported by statements issued by Russian president Vladimir Putin, Trump has repeatedly denied any involvement personally and by members of his administration and election campaign.

 

Before becoming part of the Trump administration as AG, Sessions was chairman of the Trump campaign's National Security Advisory Committee. It would be highly inappropriate, if not bordering on criminal, for Sessions to meet with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian Ambassador to the United States, while serving on Trump’s election campaign, but meet with him he did.

 

sessions_confirm_hearing.jpgSessions is not a political neophyte and must have been fully aware just how “inappropriate” such a meeting would be. How else to account for his "alternative fact" statement in his January confirmation hearings for the position of AG that he “did not have communications with the Russians.”

 

When the Washington Post reported in March that Sessions had two meetings with Kislyak during the campaign, Sessions quickly recanted his previous testimony that he “did not have communications with the Russians.” He now clearly remembered that he met with Kislyak “in an official capacity as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee” with no campaign issues being discussed.

 

Going out further on a limb, Mr. Sessions also failed to list the meetings when filling out the required government forms to secure a security clearance. Asked to list any contact he or family members had with foreign governments or their representatives over the past seven years, Sessions failed to include his meetings with Kislyak. Although a spokesman for the DOJ stated that Sessions was advised by DOJ staff not to list meetings with foreign dignitaries and their staff connected with his Senate activities, he surely knew it is a federal crime to make false statements or withhold relevant information on a background check form. He was Alabama’s attorney general.

 

no_contextual_relations_sessions.jpgContinuing to insist that he engaged in no campaign discussions with Kislyak or any other Russian, he testified at a Senate hearing in June, “Let me state this clearly: I have never met with or had any conversations with any Russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election.” “Further, I have no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected to the Trump campaign.”

 

Last week an article in the Washington Post revealed that U.S. spy agencies had intercepted messages sent by Kislyak to his superiors in Russia reporting “that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race.”

 

lie_under_oath.jpgThe article went on to report that “One U.S. official said that Sessions — who testified that he had no recollection of an April encounter — has provided “misleading” statements that are “contradicted by other evidence.” A former official said that the intelligence indicates that Sessions and Kislyak had “substantive” discussions on matters including Trump’s positions on Russia-related issues and prospects for U.S.-Russia relations in a Trump administration.”

 

From denying any “communications with the Russians” to denying “any conversations with any Russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election,” Sessions has tied himself in multiple knots to the point of possibly having committed perjury in sworn testimony before Congress.

 

In addition to his own personal transgressions relating to contact with Russians during the Presidential campaign, Sessions is now being investigated by the newly appointed FBI Special Counsel, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, for obstruction of justice for his role in the firing of former FBI Director James Comey who was pressing forward with an investigation probing into Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election and contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

 

Of course, the filing of criminal charges by the DOJ against Sessions in time to stop his crusade against marijuana legalization is remote. It is far more likely that Trump will have the DOJ investigate Hillary Clinton for using a private email server and “losing” 33,000 emails then Sessions for perjury and/or obstruction of justice.

 

serve_as_AG.jpgThe glimmer of hope for getting rid of Sessions sooner rather than later lies with the President himself. Angered by Sessions decision to recuse himself from the FBI’s Russia investigation, Trump told the New York Times that Sessions decision was “very unfair” to him.

 

In another article published on July 20, the NY Times reported that:

 

Longtime Trump ally Roger Stone argued this week that Trump has been disappointed in Sessions. “The president initially bonded with Sessions because he saw him as a tough guy. Now he’s saying: 'Where’s my tough guy? Why doesn’t he have my back?’ There’s a lack of aggressiveness with Sessions, unless it involves chasing people for smoking pot.”

 

trump_choking_sessions.jpgFurther amplifying Trump’s impatience with Sessions was a Presidential tweet sent out on July 23 reading:

 

“So many people are asking why isn't the A.G. or Special Council looking at the many Hillary Clinton or Comey crimes. 33,000 e-mails deleted?”

 

Followed by another Presidential tweet on July 24 reading:

 

“So why aren't the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys crimes & Russia relations?”

 

Youre-Fired-2.jpgWhether President Trump fires Sessions or he is forced to resign due to criminal indictments, Trump could just appoint another equally bad AG. Of course, it might be hard to find one as racist, misogynistic, xenophobic and reefer mad as the former Senator from Alabama, but I am sure if Trump looked under enough rocks he could find one.

 

The long delay engendered by replacing Sessions with a new AG would give the forces of reason and rationality on both sides of the aisle the time needed to further protect marijuana legalization laws in those states that have them and allow states considering marijuana legalization the time to needed to pass and enact them.

 

MAPP_Logo.jpgAUGUST MAPP
MEETINGS

 Continue to probe local actions to
implement local access to marijuana

Although Sessions may be an existential threat to implementing local access to marijuana, the bans being enacted by cities and counties are real and immediate. The August MAPP meetings will continue to explore this issue featuring a special presentation at the Moreno Valley MAPP meeting on Wed. August 2 featuring Terrance McBride, IE marijuana entrepreneur and CEO of Phadeville.

 

head_shot.JPGMcBride is seeking to develop programs in the IE to create partnerships with industry and distributors to create an atmosphere conducive to developing marijuana businesses while providing a new tax base and other benefits to the community.

 

Mark your calendar now to attend one of the MAPP meetings near you.

 

Wednesday, August 2 at 7:30 p.m. – Moreno Valley/Western IE MAPP meeting - Greenview Medical, 22275 Alessandro Blvd, Moreno Valley, CA 92553

 

Saturday, August 5 at 12 noon - Palm Springs/Coachella Valley meeting – Crystal Fantasy, 268 N. Palm Canyon Dr., downtown Palm Springs 92262.

 

Saturday, August 5 at 3 p.m. - Joshua Tree/Morongo Valley meeting – Beatnik Lounge, 61597 Twenty-Nine Palms Hwy., Joshua Tree 92252.

BTR_MCCS_Logo.jpg  GANJA GOES
TO
   LAW SCHOOL

The newest episode of Marijuana Compassion and Common Sense explores this issue with Robert Mikos, one of the nation’s leading experts on federalism and drug law. His soon-to-be published and first of its kind law school textbook Marijuana Law, Policy, and Authority is written to be accessible to a broad audience -- not just lawyers and law students.

On the show, Mr. Mikos discusses his new book, how marijuana law found its way into a law school curriculum, how it differs from other product laws, discusses the evolution of marijuana law, how big the field is expected to become and how other attorneys and his peers view marijuana law as a legitimate legal field. Marijuana law may be obtuse, complex and at times baffling, but after listening to Mr. Mikos, it begins to come together in a reasoned and rational way

To hear the interview with Mr. Mikos, CLICK HERE or go to
www.blogtalkradio.com/marijuananews anytime that it is convenient to hear.

 

420_club_bldg.pngGive MAPP the financial support and tools to engage effectively with elected officials so that all the provisions of
Prop. 215 and Prop. 64 can happen in your community.
Contribute just $4.20/month (14¢/day) and become an official member of MAPP's 420 Club and hang out with us at our virtual 420 Clubhouse.

CLICK HERE TO JOIN

CLICK HERE TO MAKE A ONE-TIME DONATION



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BIG Threat to MJ - RICO Ambulance Chasing Lawyers & more

 

rico_act_strings.pngRICO Lawsuits and
Ambulance Chasing
Lawyers Threaten
Marijuana Providers

 

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is a federal law designed to combat organized crime by allowing prosecution and civil penalties for racketeering activity associated with an ongoing criminal enterprise.

 

When passed in 1970, it was intended to go after the mafia and major crime syndicates. Although it has been principally used in drug cases, it has morphed into a much broader legal universe having been used against everything from the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal to Donald Trump’s University.

 

mj_lawsuit_gavel.jpgIts threat to MJ legalization laws is that RICO allows a private citizen to sue “marijuana racketeers” for damage to business or property due to their illegal activities even if they were not directly engaged in its production or distribution. Any kind of marijuana commerce is considered racketeering as it is illegal under federal law.

 

hand_grabs_money.jpgIf victorious, those filing RICO suits are award treble damages meaning three times the amount of the actual damages that were caused by the illegal acts. RICO lawsuits are the wet-fantasies of ambulance chasing lawyers.

 

A decision issued on June 7 by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Colorado has opened not just a path but an inter-state highway for these lawyers to file against marijuana producers, distributors and anyone even tangentially associated with them.

 

field_of_mj.jpgThe lawsuit upheld by the 10th Circuit Court involved a couple in Colorado that alleged marijuana being cultivated in a property adjoining their property reduced the value of their property because of the noxious odors and other activities associated with the cultivation operation. The lawsuit was originally dismissed by the trial court as the alleged harm was “speculative” and that no evidence proved that they had been harmed.

 

seal_10th_circit_court.pngReversing the District Court’s decision, a 3-judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court ruled that just simply alleging that their property had been damaged by the operation of the federally illegal marijuana cultivation facility was enough for the Colorado couple to comply with RICO. The case was remanded back to the District Court for further consideration.

 

What was not expected, and kind of showed the inherent bias of the 3-judge panel, was the panels’ explanation why the lawsuit complied with RICO.

 

  1. cop_arrest_mj_grower.jpgDefendants were racketeers as they were growing marijuana which is illegal under federal law.
  2. The defendants met RICO’s definition of an “association-in-fact enterprise.” This is extremely easy to do as an “association-in-fact enterprise” may be a group of individuals, a group of corporations and a group that includes both individuals and legal entities - essentially any group of more than one.
  3. Defendants were running the illegal cultivation
  4. The activity of the defendants created a “pattern of illegal acts” that were the direct cause of the Colorado couple’s claimed damages.

 

Such a simple step-by-step procedure provides lawyers a virtual roadmap on how to go after just about anyone conducting a marijuana business.

 

Trying to explain away such a broad ruling, the 3 judge panel wrote:

 

“We are not suggesting that every private citizen purportedly aggrieved by another person, a group, or an enterprise that is manufacturing, distributing, selling, or using marijuana may pursue a claim under RICO. Nor are we implying that every person tangentially injured in his business or property by such activities has a viable RICO claim. Rather, we hold only that the Reillys alleged sufficient facts to plausibly establish the requisite elements of their claims against the Marijuana Growers here.”

 

nose_sniffs_mj.jpgExcuse me for thinking, but if simply alleging that there is a noxious odor from some marijuana plants is all that is necessary “to plausibly establish the requisite elements of their claims against the Marijuana Growers” then I don’t see who wouldn’t have a claim or injury with which to file a RICO claim.

 

santa_plus_chimmey.jpgIt should be noted that the 10th Circuit Court did nix the lawsuit filed by the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma invoking the Controlled Substances Act to overturn Colorado’s voter initiative that legalized and regulated the adult use of marijuana. Don’t get giddy over the ruling though as the court ruled not that the CSA did not apply but rather that the issue could not be decided by the court as only the US Supreme Court has jurisdiction to hear disputes between the states.

 

highway_420.jpgThe court’s protestations notwithstanding and the ink barely dry on the ruling, ambulance chasing lawyers have swiftly moved down the court’s newly opened Interstate Highway of RICO claims all the way to Oregon where a RICO lawsuit has been filed against not just the growers but against 42 other defendants including financial advisers, real estate companies and the Bank of America.

 

In this RICO case, two Oregon landowners claim their property was devalued because a one-lane easement that runs across their property is now trafficked by people who litter nearby properties, play loud music, ride noisy ATVs and harass landowners.

 

3x_multiplier.pngproperty_value_decreased.jpgAlong with the skunk-like odors emanating from the marijuana grows and the constant barking of their guard dogs, the aggrieved landowners claim that the value of their property has been significantly reduced.

 

Although the amount of damages is not specified, under RICO the landowners are entitled to compensation equal to three times the amount of the alleged damages whatever they may turn out to be.

 

To see the lawsuit filed by the Oregon landowners CLICK HERE.

 

lawyer_made_you_unhappy.jpgMake no mistake – there is lots and lots of money to be made filing RICO lawsuits against marijuana cultivators and producers. Along with the now ubiquitous ads for Mesothelioma and adverse drug reactions, it won’t be long before you will see ambulance chasing lawyers running ads on television seeking people harmed by the sales of marijuana by a dispensary next door or by their marijuana cultivating neighbors.

 

It is no surprise to find that anti-marijuana and pro-drug war groups are behind these legal shenanigans to overturn the votes of the people to legalize marijuana and wind down the War on Drugs. In the case of the newfound interest in using RICO to upend marijuana legalization, it is a relatively unknown but well financed group called the Safe Streets Alliance that is the principle instigator.

 

safe_street_alliance_website.pngA Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization, the Safe Streets Alliance is a secretive association whose funders include police, drug-rehab professionals, for-profit prison owners and other groups and individuals with a financial stake in keeping marijuana illegal.

 

Safe Streets Alliance’s proclaimed mission is to reduce youth drug use and violent crime and they exhibit no shame using children as a shield in their attack on marijuana legalization laws.

 

lawyers_wih_suitcases_of_money.jpgIn a statement issued on the filing of their lawsuits, the group stated that "Safe Streets is asking the federal courts to order Colorado officials to comply with federal law and stop issuing state licenses to deal illegal drugs.” Utilizing RICO, they solicit individuals willing to claim that they, their properties or the businesses have been injured by marijuana businesses and telling them they have a right to an injunction, treble damages and not to worry about attorney fees.

 

brian_barnes.jpg“You might imagine, it’s not hard to find property owners in the state of Colorado who own property that is proximate to marijuana facilities and believe they’ve been injured,” said Brian Barnes, an attorney with Cooper & Kirk, the Washington, D.C., law firm representing Safe Streets Alliance. “We’re putting a bounty on the heads of anyone doing business with the marijuana industry.”

 

Christian_Sederberg.jpgChristian Sederberg, a Denver attorney whose practice centers on marijuana law told the Denver Post “It’s critical that the people of Colorado know that there are out-of-state legal interests and policymakers who are essentially and entirely backing these cases.” To read the Denver Post excellent expose of these people and their methodology CLICK HERE.

 

bank-says-no.jpgIf banks refused to provide banking services to marijuana businesses because they are skittish over banking regulations, imagine how banks and every other business will react when they realize they might be liable under RICO from lawsuits filed by ambulance chasing lawyers seeking treble damages from their deep pockets for their involvement in an “illegal” criminal enterprise.

 

Whether it is the threat from RICO, Trump or local police, those who want to profit from marijuana along with those who want to have safe, reliable, local and affordable access to marijuana are under a well-financed attack determined to undo the hard won advances that have been made. With the potential to even drag into court elected officials who are complicit in allowing marijuana distribution by issuing licenses and collecting taxes, police and their drug war allies are developing an effective strategy for a return to reefer madness.

 

Join_BROWNIE_MARY-jpg.jpgIf we are to moderate, repeal and neuter War on Drug era laws like RICO, Controlled Substances Act and asset-forfeiture so that they can no longer be used to imprison and bankrupt marijuana providers, we better start getting involved politically with our time and our money. We need to elect officials who will repeal and replace these odious laws and appoint judges who will properly interpret them.target_person.jpg

 

If we don’t, RICO will proceed down the newly opened interstate highway jammed with rush hour ambulance chasing lawyers. Anyone involved in the marijuana industry is now a potential target.

 

emergency_room.pngMINI MARIJUANA FESTIVAL
is MAXI FUN

 If you missed the High Times and other major cannabis festivals or if you want to experience them again just on a slightly smaller scale, then you have the opportunity right here in San Bernardino at the Emergency Room beginning Saturday, July 1 and every Saturday thereafter.

 

Held at the Arrowhead Elks Lodge (yes the ELKS Lodge) at 1073 North Mount Vernon Avenue, San Bernardino, CA 92411 the event runs from 1 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. There is no charge for entering the non-medicated area and a $10 entry charge to enter the VIP area. Entry is free for veterans, SSI and disabilitys.

elmo_green_kcaa.jpg

 
Hosted by Elmo Green of KCAA’s Cannabis Corner program, the event offers a relaxing experience with a lounge atmosphere, entertainers, speakers and vendors offering an eclectic array of buds, edibles, concentrates and other quality cannabis products all at farmer market prices. More info can be obtained by sending an email to: ElmoGreenMeds@outlook.com

 

                             JULY MAPP MEETINGS

MAPP_Logo.jpgFOCUS ON COMMERCIAL CANNABIS CONFERENCE
and GETTING LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO ALLOW
MJ DISTRIBUTION AND PRODUCTION

 With the January 1 deadline not much more than six months away, commercial cannabis operations in California are lining up for an expected haul of over $7 billion in 2018. RICO lawsuits, Donald Trump and intransigent city councils and county boards notwithstanding, the state agencies charged with implementing California’s commercial cannabis regulations are moving full-steam ahead.

 

Lori Ajax, the chief of the state’s Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation for California, who is in charge of coordinating California’s efforts to oversee the cannabis industry has stated “We all know what we have to get done and failure is not an option for us.”bueaus.png

 

Ms. Ajax and representatives of the two other marijuana regulating agencies, the California Dept. of Food and Agriculture and the California Dept. of Public Health will be making presentations and answering questions this Friday, June 30 in Los Angeles. They will be covering a broad range of issues concerning the regulations being promulgated and how the industry will operate and make marijuana and associated products available to all those who are legally allowed to obtain them which are adults 21 years of age and older and medical marijuana patients regardless of age.

 

The Commercial Cannabis Conference is being sponsored by Assemblyman Jones-Sawyer and everyone is invited to attend. For location, time and other information CLICK HERE.

 

If you cannot attend, I and others who are attending the conference with me will be at all three MAPP meetings providing the information that was presented along with materials and informational brochures that was distributed at the meeting.

 

stop_the_ban_sd.jpgIn addition to the information from the Commercial Cannabis Conference, we will also be discussing a new program to kick start local efforts to convince local city councils and county boards to stop banning commercial marijuana cultivation and distribution and to enact ordinances to allow implementation of the far-reaching range of programs and licenses provided for under both Prop. 64 and Prop. 215.

 

Join friends, patients, consumers and activists at any of the MAPP meetings below.

 

calaendar.jpgSaturday, July 1 at 12 noon - Palm Springs/Coachella Valley meeting – Crystal Fantasy, 268 N. Palm Canyon Dr., downtown Palm Springs 92262.

 

Saturday, July 1 at 3 p.m. - Joshua Tree/Morongo Valley meeting – Beatnik Lounge, 61597 Twenty-Nine Palms Hwy., Joshua Tree 92252.

 

Wednesday, July 5 at 7:30 p.m. – Moreno Valley/Western IE MAPP meeting - Greenview Medical, 22275 Alessandro Blvd, Moreno Valley, CA 92553

 

see_you.jpgCookies, milk, camaraderie and networking available at all three meetings. You should be too.

BTR_MCCS_Logo.jpgGANJA GOES TO
LAW SCHOOL

The newest episode of Marijuana Compassion and Common Sense explores this issue with Robert Mikos, one of the nation’s leading experts on federalism and drug law. His soon-to-be published and first of its kind law school textbook Marijuana Law, Policy, and Authority is written to be accessible to a broad audience -- not just lawyers and law students.
On the show, Mr. Mikos discusses his new book, how marijuana law made it to law school, how it differs from other product laws, discusses the evolution of marijuana law, how big the field is expected to become and how other attorneys and his peers view marijuana law as a legitimate legal field.
Marijuana law may be obtuse, complex and at times seem even absurd, but after listening to Mr. Mikos, it begins to come together in a reasoned and rational way. To hear the interview with Mr. Mikos, CLICK HERE or go to www.blogtalkradio.com/marijuananews anytime that it is convenient to hear.

 

420_club_bldg.pngGive MAPP the financial support and tools to engage effectively with our elected officials so that all the provisions of Prop. 215 and Prop. 64 can happen in your community.
Contribute just $4.20/month (14¢/day) and become an official member of MAPP's 420 Club and hang out with us at our virtual 420 Clubhouse.

CLICK HERE TO JOIN

CLICK HERE TO MAKE A ONE-TIME DONATION



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Hitching 215 & 64 Together - Better than Same-Sex Marriage?

welcome_to_CA_sign.jpgcalifornia-marijuana-flag.jpegCALIFORNIA POISED TO DO
LEGALIZATION
RIGHT

A billion here and a billion there – before long you are talking real money. In California alone it is estimated to reach $7 billion and that’s just the first year. It will go up from there – way up as hopefully more people reduce their use of alcohol and substitute marijuana for a safer, healthier and more enjoyable experience.

 

How the industry is fleshing out and how it will affect consumers and producers is coming into focus with the introduction and consideration by the state legislature of Governor Brown’s trailer bill that reconciles the differences between Prop. 64 and California’s 20+ year old medical marijuana law.

 

Prop. 215, thanks to the ferocious hostility of law enforcement, the timidity of most local government to oppose them and the ineffectiveness of medical marijuana patients to do much about it, failed in almost every respect to provide safe, reliable, local and affordable access to the majority of medical marijuana consumers.

 

Where 215 failed on its own, it looks like a combination of Prop. 215 and Prop. 64 is going to make sensible access to marijuana finally happen and it is looking way better than many thought possible. Take a gander at this:

Marijuana will be treated, for the most part, like alcohol, allowing people 21 and older to legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow six marijuana plants at home. Medical marijuana patients can still grow as much as medically necessary.

Businesses would be able to legally grow, distribute and sell their own product.

MJ_FARMER.jpg
Farmers could form agricultural cooperatives without violating antitrust laws.

Creates microbusinesses and small artisanal/craft businesses similar to small wineries and microbreweries.

mj_delivery.gifSellers with no public storefronts would be able to deliver marijuana directly to customers.

Allows for businesses to permit on-site consumption

mj_festival.jpgBusinesses would be allowed to sell marijuana and provide samples at county fairs, regional agricultural associations and CANNABIS FESTIVALS.

All marijuana sold commercially will have to be tested for content and certified pesticide and residue free by businesses independent of and with no financial ties to growers or retailers.

Dont-Panic-Its-Organic.jpgRequires state regulators to devise rules for marijuana producers to label their product as organic. Since marijuana is a schedule one substance, it cannot be labeled organic under federal rules, so it is important for California to create its own system for designating organically grown marijuana.

Provides for the creation of standards for official marijuana varietals and growing regions, known as appellations, that can be published so craft and artisanal producers can differentiate their products based on their unique strain and growing conditions like winemakers do.

An open container of marijuana in a vehicle would be illegal like it is for alcohol. PEOPLE WITH A MEDICAL MARIJUANA RECOMMENDATION WOULD BE EXEMPT FROM THIS REGULATION.

collecting_taxes.jpgDue to the problem that banks will not provide services to marijuana businesses and that California lawmakers expect to take in hundreds of millions in taxes, the state will open a tax office in the remote region north of San Francisco so marijuana businesses can pay their taxes in cash without having to drive long distances with thousands of dollars.

 

fly-in-ointment.jpegThe major fly-in-the-ointment is that the California Supreme Court has ruled that Prop. 215 gives cities and counties total control over whether to allow medical marijuana cultivation and distribution whether it is for personal or commercial use. Except for preventing local governments from banning indoor cultivation, Prop. 64 follows the same pattern so although the combined 215 and 64 bill is very good, the ability to access what it provides is totally dependent on whether local government will permit it.

 
I don’t mean to imply that local control is the only problem - there are most definitely others. David Goldman, chairperson of the San Francisco chapter of the Brownie Mary Democrats and
Michael Koehn sent a letter to the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation outlining what these problems are and offering suggestions for improvement. Their letter is exceedingly excellent in its review and notations - to read it CLICK HERE.

 

md_presecribes_rx.jpgLike a medical doctor determining if the benefits of a medicine outweigh the negative consequences before prescribing it to her or his patient, the benefits of what appears to be coming out of the state legislature far outweigh the negatives.

Many of the problems cited by David and Michael to the BMCR can be dealt with on the regulatory level and do not have to go through the complex and unwieldy legislative process.

Those negatives that cannot be addressed through the regulatory process, can be addressed legislatively as Prop. 64 provides that the legislature can amend the initiative if the proposed amendments further the intent of the initiative, which is:

to establish a comprehensive system to legalize, control and regulate the cultivation, processing, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of nonmedical marijuana, including marijuana products, for use by adults 21 years and older, and to tax the commercial growth and retail sale of marijuana.

 

Making the legislative route favorable is that Prop. 64 requires that a measure to make the initiative less restrictive requires only a majority vote where as a measure to restrict requires a 2/3 vote making it far easier to undo the negatives than it is to undo the positives.


join_bmdc.jpgThis is why it is necessary to support groups, like ASA, CaNORML, MAPP, BMD and others. They have the expertise to interact effectively with state regulatory agencies, but just like lobbyists for businesses and other interest groups, in order to develop effective political clout on the local, state and national level, they need your time and financial support in order to carry out that mission.

brown_sign_bill.jpgEven though Gov. Brown’s reconciliation bill has the approval of the Democratic legislative leadership, it is still up for up for grabs and changes to be made while being debated and manipulated by the 120 state legislators.

 

As Mark Twain so notably wrote “No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.” We will need to stay vigilant during this process.

 

 

trump_stay_out_CA.jpgIf we can keep Trump and Sessions out of California and out-of-our-state’s business, then we will have significantly shifted the paradigm on marijuana so far over that marijuana prohibition will never rear its ugly, cruel, malicious and racist head again.

 

I cannot help but feel that the extent that Democrats are moving to provide for the legalization and distribution of marijuana in California is not only animated by their respect for the overwhelming support of the voters for Prop. 64, but also as a way to stick a thumb in Trump’s eye and his minion Sessions.

 

Stay tuned to my email newsletters for updates on this most important piece of legislation and be prepared to send emails and even better to pick up your phone to make calls to your state legislators’ offices when it becomes necessary to do so.

Commercial Cannabis Town Hall
and it’s FREE

 

Jones-Sawyer-Cannabis_Town_Hall.jpg
Don't want to pay the hundreds of dollars conference fees being charged by organizations sponsoring a cornucopia of commercial marijuana conferences? If you can make it into Los Angeles on Friday, June 30, you won't have to.

Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-L.A.), sponsor of AB 1578 which prevents local police from cooperating with the feds in enforcement of federal marijuana prohibition law against marijuana providers operating under California law, is hosting a Commercial Cannabis Town Hall featuring the actual people employed by the state to regulate the commercial cannabis industry. Click on flyer to enlarge.

 

Town Hall panelists include Assemblyman Jones-Sawyer, Lori Ajax, Chief, Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation and regulators from the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. These are the agencies that will be writing and enforcing the regulations that all commercial businesses, large and small, will operate under. There will also be representatives from Go-Biz – a kind of marijuana venture capital firm that will share information on money they have available for start-ups.

The Commercial Cannabis Town Hall on Friday, June 30th begins at 10:00am at the Los Angeles Expo Center’s Roy A. Anderson Recreation Center in the Community Room on the 2nd Floor located at 3980 Bill Robertson Lane, (formerly S. Menlo Ave.) Los Angeles, California 90037.

They are requesting RSVPs, so let them know you are coming and if you desire additional information call  them at (213) 744-2111.

 

Whether you are going into the marijuana business or not, if you have the time to attend this conference, you will find it of immense benefit to know what is going on and to have any of your questions answered and/or concerns addressed.

 

BTR_MCCS_Logo.jpginternet_radio_show.jpgGANJA GOES TO
LAW SCHOOL

Even with 29 states legalizing medical marijuana and eight states legalizing all use, marijuana has yet to be given the same deference and respect that laws surrounding any other product receive. As a multi-billion dollar business involving tens of millions of consumers, it is imperative that lawyers have the training and skills to not just defend a person from criminal charges, but to help businesses organize and comply with the complex and myriad laws regulating and controlling this burgeoning new industry.

 

robert_mikos.jpgThe newest episode of Marijuana Compassion and Common Sense explores this issue with Robert Mikos, one of the nation’s leading experts on federalism and drug law. His soon-to-be published and first of its kind law school textbook Marijuana Law, Policy, and Authority is written to be accessible to a broad audience -- not just lawyers and law students.

 

mjlaw_book.jpgOn the show, Mr. Mikos discusses his new book, how marijuana law made it to law school, how it differs from other product laws, discusses the evolution of marijuana law, how big the field is expected to become and how other attorneys and his peers view marijuana law as a legitimate legal field.

 

Mr. Mikos’s most recent scholarship analyzes the struggle among federal, state, and local governments for control of marijuana law and policy. In that vein, he has written, testified, and lectured on the states’ constitutional authority to legalize marijuana, federal preemption of state marijuana regulations, the political and budgetary considerations that limit enforcement of the federal marijuana ban, federal law’s influence on state regulation and taxation of the marijuana industry, and the desirability of marijuana localism.

 

Professor Mikos has taught at the University of California at Davis, where he was twice nominated for the school’s Distinguished Teaching Award, as well as at Notre Dame and the University of Michigan. He teaches courses in Federalism, Constitutional Law, Marijuana Law and Policy, Federal Criminal Law, and Drug Law and Policy.

 

Marijuana law may be obtuse, complex and at times seem even absurd, but after listening to Mr. Mikos, it begins to come together in a reasoned and rational way. To hear the interview with Mr. Mikos, CLICK HERE or go to www.blogtalkradio.com/marijuananews anytime that it is convenient to hear.

 

420_club_bldg.pngGive MAPP the financial support and tools to engage effectively with our elected officials so that all the provisions of Prop. 215 and Prop. 64 can happen in your community.
Contribute just $4.20/month (14¢/day) and become an official member of MAPP's 420 Club and hang out with us at our virtual 420 Clubhouse.

CLICK HERE TO JOIN

CLICK HERE TO MAKE A ONE-TIME DONATION



advertise.gif
If you are reading this, others are too!
Support our efforts and your business by advertising on our radio show and our newsletter.
Rates so low that if we could afford an attorney, they would not allow us to publicize them.
For rates and other info,
send an email to:
lanny@marijuananews.org
or
call 760-799-2055

 



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