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 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.


Canceled in Palm Springs & Joshua Tree


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.


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rights to access marijuana and we
could use a little help from our friends.
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hang out at our 420 Club

Donate $4.20/month



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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.
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Donate $4.20/month



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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,”

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.

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.



 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.


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 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
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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.



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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.



 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.


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:


                             JULY MAPP MEETINGS


 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.


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 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.



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

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

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.

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


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

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 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.



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:
call 760-799-2055


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MAJOR SUCCESS as Ganja Sanctary Bill Passes - What to do now


Call to Congratulate or
Castigate Your Assembly
Member on Their Vote to
Make California America's
1st Ganja Sanctuary State


In what is a truly historic vote, the California State Assembly passed AB 1578, the courageous legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Jones-Sawyer which prevents local and state police from cooperating, assisting or collaborating with federal police in the arrest, prosecution and imprisonment of people following California’s medical and adult-use marijuana laws.


ca_leg_votes.jpgIt was as narrow a victory as imaginable squeaking by with a 41 to 33 vote (40 Democrats and 1 Republican voting YES, 11 Democrats and 22 Republicans voting NO and 4 Democrats and 2 Republicans NOT VOTING – note they were not absent, they chose not to vote).


To see if your assembly member supported or opposed AB 1578 and to see how easy it is to contact them to either congratulate or castigate, CLICK HERE.


DEA_with_police.jpgAB 1578 now advances to the Senate where it has two co-sponsors - Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Oakland) and Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). In the assembly, the bill was intensely opposed by law enforcement. They are expected to continue to pull-out-all-the-stops in a last ditch effort to maintain their ability to continue criminally pursuing marijuana consumers and producers by joining with federal police to enforce federal law as there is no longer any state law that will allow them to continue busting law-abiding citizens.


mj_bill.jpgMost of the other 46 bills that had been introduced that would have affected marijuana did not make it through either chamber. Four that did are:


AB 64 by Rob Bonta (D) is a reform measure that fills the holes found in current medical and non-medical regulations.


AB 1410 by Jim Wood (D) allows licensed growers to pay their cultivation tax through distributors.


AB 62 by Jim Wood (D) would ban smoking of tobacco products in public housing but along with tobacco also bans vaping and smoking of marijuana - medical and recreational. This is particularly egregious as it leaves medical marijuana patients with no place to legally partake of their medicine. We must engage valiantly in the Senate to defeat or amend this onerous piece of legislation.


SB 65 by Jerry Hill (D) re-affirms infraction penalties for driving while using marijuana which is less serious than a DUI, but is still not a good idea to drive and imbibe at the same time.


phone.jpgWatch my newsletter for how AB 1578 and these other bills advance in the legislative maze and please, please, please when you receive a newsletter asking that you send an email or make a phone call, take those few minutes and follow through.


AB 1578 is a perfect example of why that is so important – it was a squeaker and there is absolutely no doubt that a number of the YES votes would have been NO votes, if you, your friends, family member and others had not taken the small amount of time required to contact their legislators asking them to vote YES on AB 1578.


MAPP_Logo.jpgHighland City Councilman
Jesse Chavez Looks at
Local Marijuana Politics
at Wed. June 7 MAPP
meeting in Moreno Valley

All politics is local is a fact of life that for too long the marijuana movement, whether it be medical or recreational, has failed to take fully into account. Our failure to secure local access for medical marijuana patients throughout most of the state and the ongoing failure to secure local distribution under Prop. 64 is starkly seen by the avalanche of total bans engulfing cities and counties throughout the state.


map_highland.pngThe Inland Empire city of Highland is a classic example of that failure. Even though the majority of voters in Highland voted in favor of Prop. 64, the City Council on May 30 enacted a total and complete ban on any distribution or production of cannabis. Highland city residents will not have safe, reliable and local access to a product that they voted for.


mj_arms_arond_children.jpgHighland’s Planning Dept. issued the usual unsubstantiated memes of crime, children and calamity if marijuana distribution and production facilities were allowed.  The hostility on the issue from Highland’s mayor was overtly obvious in her refusal to allow additional speaking time when I presented a refutation of the Planning Departments report even though one of the council members specifically requested that I be allotted an additional three minutes.


That the issue held little community interest was obvious in that there was only one speaker in favor and two speakers opposed. If this had been an issue of opening up a homeless shelter, the Council chambers would have been full to overflowing.

What happened in Highland is instructive in what is and will be happening throughout the Inland Empire and the rest of California. To analyze what happened and to determine and develop better ways of approaching city councils and county boards to allow marijuana distribution and production, the Wednesday, June 7 MAPP meeting will feature Highland City Council member Jesse Chavez.

jesse_chavez_flag.jpgElected last November to the Highland City Council, Jesse brings a fresh and preformist outlook to what has been a tired and old school viewpoint that has dominated the politics of all too many local governments in the Inland Empire. His interest in local city politics and election to the Highland City Council is as instructive as it is inspiring and can be read about by CLICKING HERE

As a member of the Highland City Council he has quickly picked up the intricacies and intrigues of local politics. His explanation of how the ban came into being, why it happened and what can be done about it will be very instructive when it comes time for any of us to navigate through the political process in our local communities to allow for commercial marijuana enterprises as well as reasonable indoor personal cultivation regulations as permitted under Prop. 215 and Prop. 64.


IE_patients_at_capitol_(2).JPGMost excitedly will be a presentation made by IE participants at the Citizens Lobby Day in Sacramento on Monday, June 5. Sponsored by Americans for Safe Access and CaNORML, the annual Citizens Lobby Days brings hundreds of local activists to Sacramento where they receive information on current legislative bills and training to lobby their elected state legislators. The IE participants will be reporting on their interactions with their state legislators and what this portends for the IE. This is a prime example of how marijuana interests can make headway and succeed.


Information will also be presented on AB 1578 and other bills in the state legislature as well as a report on what happened relating to marijuana issues at the recently concluded California Democratic Party state convention.


The MAPP meeting on Wednesday, June 7 begins at 7:30 p.m. and is held at Greenview Medical, 22275 Alessandro Blvd, Moreno Valley, CA 92553. Everyone is invited to the meeting and encouraged to bring friends, family members and other acquaintances to the meeting. Milk, punch and a delightful assortment of cookies will be provided.

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Who REALLY Controls 215 and 64? Hint: it isn't Monsanto + MAPP meets

Highland City Council Member to Address MAPP Meeting

Prop. 215, as interpreted by the California Supreme Court, and Prop. 64, as written in the proposition itself, provides for cities and counties to have complete and total control over the commercial cultivation, manufacture and distribution of marijuana. Although the state issues the licenses, it is the cities and counties that decides who will get them. Local governments determine where it can be done, how it can be done, how many can do it and, if they so choose, they can decide to ban it in its entirety.


Egged on by police, drug war supporters, chambers of commerce and reefer madness inspired citizens, most cities and counties have been choosing the banning option. That many local elected officials are also prone to reefer madness makes the bans almost a fait accompli.


o-PULLING-HAIR-facebook.jpgThis reefer madness is aided and abetted by a city’s planning agencies that report biased and often untrue negative information about marijuana and fail to report any of the benefits. That they do this even in communities which voted in favor of Prop. 64 only underscores the deranging consequences of reefer madness infections.


So insidious is the contagion of reefer madness, that local municipal governments, most of whom are desperately trying to pay for safer communities while maintaining community services in age of shrinking and parsimonious state and federal funding, are willing to forgo millions of dollars in new tax revenues and, by providing an alternative to the illegal trafficking of marijuana, significantly reduce crime.


Except for a handful of major urban cosmopolitan cities joined by a handful of bankrupt and desperate small municipalities, advocates for the development of a commercial marijuana market have been even less successful than Democrats who supported Hillary Clinton. At least she won the popular vote, but even though Prop. 64 won in many communities, marijuana advocates have watched as many of their gains they thought they had made evaporated into thin air. Elected officials on both the local and state levels rush to pass laws drastically curtailing access and enact cumbersome and malicious regulations designed to thwart the will of the voters rather than enact the will of the voters.


police_close_dispensary.jpgSo dreaded is the idea of marijuana being commercially allowed, that cities and counties in California have spent tens of millions of dollars trying to stem the infiltration of marijuana dispensaries into their communities. They issue press releases and give glowing accounts to the media about how they are valiantly working to protect their citizens from the scourge of marijuana and how many dispensaries they have closed and how they will put those last few dispensaries out of business if it’s the last thing they ever do.


The fly-in-their-self-congratulatory-ointment is that the money made by a properly run marijuana store can be enormous. Because Prop. 215 and Prop. 64 significantly reduce the criminality of marijuana distribution, local governments have difficulty imposing much in the way of criminal sanctions and rely more on civil actions which are time consuming and costly and usually result in the offending store closing down and re-opening two blocks down the street. When that happens, the city must begin the process anew to close them down again – taking up to 6 months or more while the dispensary continues to take money in hand over fist.


stuff_money_into_pocket.jpgCity leaders should be irate at these landlords that allow these whack-a-mole marijuana dispensary operations to flourish. Unless they are getting substantial re-election campaign contributions from these landlords, they probably are irate. Since these dispensaries pay rent two to four time above what the landlord could get from any other business, they are all too willing to duck the city council members at chamber of commerce meetings as they continue stuffing their pockets with dispensary cash. Dispensaries have to pay in cash as they cannot open bank accounts which many landlords love as it is far easier to hide these rental payments from the taxing authorities.


wrong_message_for_children.jpgAs patriotism is the last refuge for a scoundrel, children are the last refuge for reefer mad local government officials. Promulgating the tripe promoted by police they intone that marijuana must be prohibited as having legal marijuana sends the wrong message to children. One might reasonably conclude that they should be equally concerned about stores selling alcohol and tobacco also sending the wrong message to children as these far more dangerous products have a combined annual death rate of over 450,000 in the United States while marijuana has a zero annual death rate.


money_flying_away.jpgElected officials are deluding themselves if they really think that by refusing to license and regulate stores selling marijuana, they will reduce the use and availability of marijuana in their communities. They will still have just as much marijuana if they didn’t have a ban, but what they won’t have is the millions of dollars in tax revenue from their residents and the residents of surrounding communities who will go to cities that have regulated its sale. These cities will gleefully use the money spent by the residents of other communities purchasing marijuana in their city to provide services, such as community centers, filling pot-holes and after-school activities, for their citizens.


money_for_pot.jpgOf course some, if not most, residents will not want to make the drive all the way to the cities that do regulate its sale and will instead continue to obtain marijuana the old fashion way – from criminals who do not pay any taxes essentially allowing crime to continue when they have the opportunity to reduce crime and increase revenue at the same time.


JOIN_BMD-page-001.jpgWhy elected officials want to make it cumbersome and difficult for residents to obtain marijuana as permitted under state law is beyond all reason. As cities love to study an issue in order not to take any action, one would think that at the very least they would form a committee to research the issue and present alternatives including sample ordinances reflecting what a reasonable commercial ordinance would entail.


old_people_drink.jpgIf city officials really think that prohibiting locally licensed and regulated marijuana distribution is going to mean less marijuana and make their communities safer and that their residents couldn’t use millions of extra dollars for community services and programs, a rational person cannot help but wonder what have they been drinking?


Although drinking and a fondness for alcohol might play a role, it is still puzzling as to why it is so hard to get these officials to sign off on reasonable revenue producing regulations.  Although the message of increased taxes and reduced crime should be effective, it is not most likely because our delivery of the message is clearly not effective.


right_message_-_Copy.jpgWe need to learn how to deliver an effective message. One of the best ways that can be done is to learn from the people who we want to listen to our messages. In the Inland Empire, we will be doing that at the Marijuana Anti-Prohibition Project (MAPP) meetings on Saturday, June 3 in Palm Springs and Joshua Tree and at a very special meeting on Wed. June 7 in Moreno Valley, featuring newly elected city of Highland Council member Jesse Chavez.


jesse_chavez_flag.jpgJesse became involved politically as a result of the death of a friend in a drive-by shooting in Highland. Jesse’s story on becoming a City Council member at the relatively tender age of 25 is very uplifting. To read about him and be inspired CLICK HERE.


As a member of the Highland City Council he has quickly picked up the intricacies and intrigues of local politics especially when it came to dealing with the entrenched powers that be when the city recently passed an ordinance banning marijuana businesses and regulating indoor personal cultivation.


How this ordinance is faring and what it being done to revisit and change it will be very instructive. When it comes time to negotiate in your community for allowing commercial marijuana enterprises as well as reasonable indoor personal cultivation regulations, this is a meeting that will be of the utmost interest and utility.


two_way_street.pngThe meeting is a two-way street as Jesse would welcome ideas and suggestions on this vexing issue. Come and meet this young man – his enthusiasm is truly motivating, encouraging and exciting.




Saturday, June 3 at 12 noon - Palm Springs/Coachella Valley meeting – Crystal Fantasy, 268 N. Palm Canyon Dr., downtown Palm Springs 92262.


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


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

420_club_badge.jpgMAPP works on the local level. Please support our efforts to obtain access in your commnity by joining our 420 Club and donating $4.20/month (that's just 14¢/day)!



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Immigration Rights vs. MJ Rights - Clout Counts

immigrant_rights.jpgmarijuana_rights.jpgWill California Protect MJ Rights
Like California Protects Immigrant Rights

 Maybe Yes - Maybe No
It's Up to You

police_ice.jpgSB 54 is the controversial “sanctuary state” bill that bars local and state law enforcement from using their resources to help federal immigration officers enforce federal immigration laws. It is fiercely opposed by state and local law enforcement with Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones stating "If SB 54 passes, it will allow dangerous, violent career criminals to slip through the cracks and be released back into our communities.”

criminalalien_crisis.jpgWarning that passage of this bill could endanger federal funding, Sen. Jeff Stone (R-Temecula) opined that “This bill is unsafe. This bill is unlawful. This bill is designed to make California a sanctuary for certain dangerous criminals.” Going one rather large step further, state Sen. Joel Anderson (R-San Diego), said "We are talking about rapists and child molesters."


Even with these calamitous warnings from police and respected legislators, the support by a broad coalition of immigrant and civil rights organizations resulted in the California Senate, on a 27-12, party-line vote, passing SB 54 where it now awaits passage in the state Assembly.


dea_police.JPGAB 1578 would impose the same restrictions on state and local police preventing their assistance and cooperation with federal police in the enforcement of federal marijuana prohibition law against California residents following California’s medical and adult-use marijuana laws. The bill is up for a vote on the floor of the Assembly as soon as this Friday.


youngblood.jpgLike SB 54, AB 1578 faces the scorn and wrath of law enforcement with Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood, president of the California State Sheriffs’ Assn., complaining that “It really is quite offensive wanting to direct law enforcement how they want us to work.” Once again warning of a loss of federal funding, Youngblood reminded legislators that growing and selling marijuana “is still a federal felony and we are still in the United States of America, and the state of California cannot take over the United States.”


AB 1578 is coming up for a vote as soon as this Friday. Can marijuana advocates form as a broad a coalition as immigrant rights advocates and succeed in having AB 1578 passed? Good question.


trump_signs.jpgSome might argue that this only affects adult-use marijuana because of the Rohrabacher/Blumenauer amendment defunding the Dept. of Justice from enforcing marijuana prohibition against states with medical marijuana law. This is an illusion that is fraught with danger as Pres. Trump specifically included a signing statement in the spending bill directly alongside the amendment stating he does not have to abide by it.


If Trump didn’t intend to go after medical marijuana, why did he make the extra effort to add that signing statement? Some detractors may say that’s Crazy Old Trump doing his Crazy Old Stuff, but I think he’s being crazy like a fox.


finger-pointers.jpgSo medical marijuana users and adult-use marijuana users have a lot riding on AB 1578 and if the people in favor of and affected by SB 54 could overcome the opposition by police we can too. But it won’t happen unless YOU step up like the immigration advocates did for SB 54 and put forth two minutes to contact your state assembly member and ask her or him to vote YES on AB 1578.


2_minutes.jpgNotice I wrote two minutes and not 30 seconds because in this case it is critical that you actually take an entire two minutes and call your assembly member’s office rather than 30 seconds to send an email. It is truly easy to do and it truly can affect their vote – especially if they are sitting on the fence which many of them are.  


If you know the name of your assembly member, CLICK HERE and scroll through the list to your assembly member’s name and call the phone number listed there. If you do not know who your assembly member is, CLICK HERE and enter your address. This will bring you to a link that will take you to your assembly member’s website where you can locate the phone number to call


When you call, tell the person who answers your name, where you live, and say:

phone.jpgI’m calling in support of AB 1578. The bill will protect Californians who are operating lawfully under our state’s marijuana laws from their local police helping federal police arrest, prosecute and imprison them. The people voted for legalization and I want their vote respected. Please tell my lawmaker that I called. Thank you.


Do not hesitate to embellish the message with your own personal thoughts.


Most state legislators allow you to leave a voice-mail if you call when the office is not open so call them right now even if its 2 a.m. If the voice-mail option is not available, then please call back anytime Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


We can do it just like the immigration rights advocates did, but only if enough people call in support of AB 1578. Will you be one of those people? I sure hope so.


Citizen’s Lobby Day Will Make Your Life Better and everyone else’s too!

Sacramento Citizen’s Lobby Day on Monday, June 5 sponsored by Americans for Safe Access and CaNORML is a little more than a week away and we have four seats left on the Citizen Lobby and Party van for the trip from the Inland Empire to Sacramento on Sunday, June 4 and Monday, June 5.


bills.jpgThis is an exciting opportunity to learn firsthand about the 47 marijuana bills in the state legislature and then do something about them by going to the offices of YOUR state assembly member and state senator where you can personally convey your thoughts on these bills and send a very strong message on how they should vote.


A previous newsletter contained detailed information about Citizen Lobby Day as well as information on how you can join us for an exciting, fun and a life affirming trip to Sacramento. If you didn’t see it or don’t remember, just CLICK HERE to restore and refresh your memory.


reserve_seat.jpgIf you want to go, but still haven’t made your reservation for a seat on the van, a room and bed at the inn, conference seats and reception tickets, then send an email to  Don’t delay - send it now as only 4 seats remain


The cost is only $85 per person. This includes transportation, lodging (two to a room) and all registration and reception fees. We will dine together if you chose, but all food purchases are on your own. The motel rooms have microwaves and refrigerators as well as free-internet.


state_capitol.jpgASA’s Citizen Lobby Day in Sacramento has always been a special event that is informative, productive and fun! Don’t miss out on an event that is as cool and memorable as it is rewarding. Reserve your seat in the van and place in our state’s Capitol now by sending an email to


BTR_MCCS_Logo.jpginternetradio.jpgWill Prop. 64 Put MJ Attorneys
In the Unemployment Line?
In Colorado arrests for marijuana offenses plummeted from over
80,000 a year before legalization to less that 2,000 after legalization.

Famed MJ attorney Bruce Margolin takes a nuanced look at what may be in store.

Listen now - CLICK HERE
 or go to


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Make Your Grandkids Proud at Citizen Lobby Day in Sacrameto



Be Part
of the

Be Part of ASA/CaNORML
Citizens MJ Lobby Day in Sacramento

ASA’s Citizen Lobby Day in Sacramento has always been a special event that is informative, productive and fun. For 2017 they are being joined by CaNORML to coordinate and create the largest, most rewarding and successful Citizen Lobby Day ever!


On Monday, June 5, they are expecting over 300 participants representing patients, advocates, providers, industry workers and others to participate in the state's largest cannabis lobby day.


ASA_Lobby_Day_081213_conference_(2).jpgIt’s an amazing experience in the democratic process as you take part in the legislative briefing and lobbyist training which will give you the information and skills you need to meet with your state assembly member and state senator that very same day. Citizen lobbying works - Research shows that an in-person visit from a constituent like you is six times more likely to influence an undecided lawmaker than a visit from a paid lobbyist.

jones-sawyer.jpegThis year’s legislative briefing is highlighted with a presentation by Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer, author of AB 1578, the California ganja sanctuary bill.


ASA’s Citizen Lobby Day has always been extraordinary – everyone who has participated has always felt it was one of the most satisfying days they have spent in a long long time and look forward to participating again. Take a look at the complete schedule of events and lobbying and you will see why - just CLICK HERE.


Want to join in – you can!


party_van.gifEvery year we rent a van and bring 10 to 15 IE residents to Sacramento for Citizen Lobby Day. Let me assure you that getting there is half the fun!


We will leave on Sunday, June 4 at 9 a.m. and will pick up at several locations along the travel route in the IE from Palm Spring to Riverside and San Bernardino. We arrive in Sacramento at around 6 p.m. and check in at a local motel. We go for dinner and for those who want, after dinner we will join ASA and NORML at a social cannabis-friendly event.


state_capitol.jpgOn Monday, June 5 we go to the Legislative Briefing and Lobbyist Training at the Citizen’s Hotel in downtown Sacramento. In the afternoon you will go to the State Capitol Building and to the offices of your state assembly member and senator. ASA will make appointments for you, so you will be expected. You will most likely meet with the legislator’s Chief Legislative Aide, but it is not unusual to meet with your actual state assembly member and senator.


After the lobbying, we reconvene in the Scandal Lounge at 5:30 p.m. in the Citizen Hotel for a VIP Reception with lawmakers and other state officials. We leave about 7:00 p.m. for home arriving back in the IE around 2 or 3 a.m.


IE_patients_at_capitol_(2).JPGYes it is a very full day – one that you will tell everyone you know about. You are not on the sideline looking in – you actually participate in our democracy! And it’s all for cannabis – your right to safe, reliable, local and affordable access.


Yes you will actually be able tell your grandkids what you did to end marijuana prohibition.


The cost is only $85 per person. This includes transportation, lodging (two to a room) and all registration and reception fees. We will dine together if you chose, but all food purchases are on your own. The motel rooms have microwaves and refrigerators as well as free-internet.


There is only room for 12 people in the party van and their are only four seats left – so don’t delay and miss out on this enlightening and fun trip. Email me at and reserve your seat in the van, your room in the motel and most of all you participation in grassroots cannabis activism.


If you want to go, but needs some help to cover the cost, let me know and I will see if I can rustle up a scholarship or two.


If you can take off on Sunday June 4 and Monday June 5 and don’t need much sleep to function on Tuesday or can just sleep on Tuesday, then don’t miss this extraordinary day. I guarantee you will not regret attending and will look back on it for many years as something that you participated in and accomplished and are very proud of.


For more information on the ASA/CaNORML Citizen Lobby Days CLICK HERE.

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Brownie Mary Democratic Club CaDEM Banquet Honors Eddy Lepp

BidenConventionDates.jpgComing to the CaDEM Convention?

Join us at the
Brownie Mary Democrats
Annual Meeting & Award Banquet


BMD_051117.jpgYou are invited to join the Brownie Mary Democrats of California at their annual banquet meeting during the 2017 California Democratic Party state convention in Sacramento on Saturday, May 20 at 6:30 p.m.  The Guest of Honor and featured speaker is Eddy Lepp.


Eddy has just been released from prison after serving 8 years for growing medicinal marijuana on his farm. An outspoken and colorful advocate, this will be his first public appearance since being released. If you don’t know much about Eddy, who is indeed a true cannabis icon, CLICK HERE.


sac_conv_cen.jpgThe CaDEM state convention is taking place at the Sacramento Convention Center from Friday, May 19 – Sunday, May 21 and you are welcome to attend both the BMD-CA banquet on May 20 and the state convention. Although the general sessions are open only to delegates, you are able to attend any of the 19 caucus meetings ranging from progressive to native America to environmental to veteran.


bmd_booth.jpgYou can also visit the exhibit area where there are 50 or more information booths sponsored by Democratic, progressive, civil liberties, labor, health care and other organizations.  BMD-CA will have a booth there and you are cordially invited to join us.


BMD_Hospitalty_Suite_2015.JPGThere are also the hospitality suites in the evening beginning at 10 p.m. many serving drinks and desserts. Sponsored by elected officials, candidates for office, businesses and organizations, they are the social highlight of the convention and are not to be missed.


cdpdems0303d.jpgThe CaDEM state convention is one of the best places to actually meet elected Democratic officials, both statewide and local as well as connect with Democratic grassroots activists from your community. If you have never been to a state convention, it is the real grassroots of political activism and well worth going to see. For more information on the California Democratic Convention CLICK HERE.


If you find this at all intriguing, then come on down to Sacramento and the Sacramento Convention Center, 1400 J St, Sacramento, CA 95814 on Saturday, May 20 and make a day of it, visiting the exhibit area and the Brownie Mary booth, attending some caucus meetings, visiting the hospitality suites and hobnobbing with 3,000+ delegates and the 1,000+ elected officials, party officers and other convention attendees. You do not have to be a Democrat to attend the convention.


BANQUET-2-meatball_thumb25.jpgYou are welcome to join BMD-CA for our evening banquet and meet and hear Eddy Lepp. The banquet is being held at the Old Spaghetti Factory, 1910 J St, Sacramento, CA 95811, which is about 3 blocks from the Sacramento Convention Center. The banquet starts at 6:30 p.m. and in addition to Eddy’s appearance, there will be some interesting but short presentations and a silent auction.


There are only 50 seats available at the banquet, so it is expected to sell-out. Tickets are $25 and can be obtained by CLICKING HERE.


If you have any questions or need more info email me at or call me at 760-799-2055.



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