April 28, 2017 - Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid + IRS FU

From the desk of Lanny Swerdlow, RN LNC

yoda.jpgThe End of Rohrabacher/Farr Amendment
Will Give AG Designate Jeff Sessions
the Opening to Unleash Federal Cops
and Lawyers in California

sessions_hearing.pngUS Attorney General designate Jeff Sessions underwent his confirmation hearing on January 10 and his testimony on marijuana was anything but reassuring. Although some commentators have written that his statements were wishy-washy and non-committal, I believe his responses portend a major crackdown in states that have legalized marijuana whether for medical or recreational adult-use.

 

leahy.jpgAfter hours of questioning on a variety of issues, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) was able to ask Senator Sessions about how he would view marijuana policy as AG:

 

DEA_threat.jpgSenator Leahy: “Would you use our federal resources to investigate and prosecute sick people using marijuana in accordance with state law even though it might violate federal law?”

 

Senator Sessions: “I won’t commit to never enforcing federal law, Senator Leahy, but absolutely it is a problem of resources for the federal government. The Department of Justice under Lynch and Holder set forth some policies that they thought were appropriate to define what cases should be prosecuted in states that have legalized, at least in some fashion marijuana, some parts of marijuana.”

 

Senator Leahy: “Do you agree with those guidelines?”

 

Senator Sessions: “I think some of them are truly valuable in evaluating cases, but the fundamentally the criticism I think that is legitimate is that they may not have been followed. Using good judgement on how to handle these cases will be a responsibility of mine I know it won’t be an easy decision but I will try to do my duty in a fair and just way

 

death_penalty.jpgSenator Leahy: “The reason I mention this, is because you have some very strong views, you even mandated the death penalty for second offense on drug trafficking, including marijuana, even though mandatory death penalties are of course unconstitutional.

 

Senator Sessions: “Well I’m not sure under what circumstances I said that, but I don’t think…”

 

Senator Leahy: “Would you say it’s not your view today?”

 

Senator Sessions: “(laughs) It is not my view today.”

 

mike_lee.jpgAfter that exchange, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) followed up with questions regarding how marijuana policy factors into federalism and asked if the way the Obama Administration has handled marijuana laws created any issues with separation of powers and states’ rights. Sessions replied that:

 

“One obvious concern is the United States Congress has made the possession in every state and distribution an illegal act. If that’s something that is not desired any longer Congress should pass a law to change the rule, it is not the Attorney General’s job to decide what laws to enforce.”

 

Although Sessions didn’t say he would be coming after states that legalized marijuana in opposition to federal law, he certainly didn’t say he wouldn’t and his statement that "it is a problem of resources" and that “it is not the Attorney General’s job to decide what laws to enforce” leaves the door wide open for beginning a new federal crackdown on states whose citizens have decided that it’s time for a change in marijuana policy.

 

trump_police.jpgUnlike reproductive rights, immigration policy and climate change, marijuana policy has never been at the forefront of the concerns of Trump’s base. I would imagine that the Trump Administration is well aware that the majority of Americans, and that includes Trump’s base, feel marijuana should be legalized or at the very least left up to the states on whether to legalize. However one of Trump’s biggest supporters to whom he feels a special allegiance is cops and they would like nothing better than to see his Administration declare war on marijuana legalization and go all-out to bury it.

 

states_rights.jpgAlthough Sessions is a big proponent of states’ rights, it usually doesn’t apply to issues that he opposes like same-sex marriage. Even if marijuana was one of Session’s major out-of-the-gate concerns, there is little he can do because of the Rohrabacher/Farr amendment which prevents the DOJ from enforcing federal law in states with state-wide regulation systems for the distribution of marijuana.

 

rorhbacher_farr.pngThe Rohrabacher/Farr amendment expires on April 28, 2017. The Amendment passed because it was supported by over 90% of the Democrats in Congress and by around 25% of the Republicans. If Trump and Sessions put the pressure on those Republicans to oppose it, then the Amendment could very well go down in defeat. If Congress does not renew it, then Sessions will be free to do whatever he wants. Based on what Sessions said and didn’t say at his confirmation hearings, it would be foolish in the extreme to wager on Sessions’ continuing the Obama Administration's policy of non-interference.

 

Of concern is what actions we can expect from the feds and what our range of responses can be. Although the ambiance is dark, there is more than one light beaming in from the end of the tunnel and those will be forthrightly discussed, presented and analyzed in the next newsletter.

 

read_all_about_it_logo.jpgIn the meantime, I don’t mean to imply that nothing is being done on our side – important and vital work is being done but too few people are involved in it. Unless you subscribe to a marijuana newsletter like mine, you are unlikely to hear about it as the mainstream media specializes in ignoring any constructive programs we undertake.

 

cat_packer.jpgIn the Inland Empire, you will have the opportunity to learn what is being done to implement and defend Prop. 64 at the Wednesday, February 1 meeting of the Marijuana Anti-Prohibition Project. Cat Packer, California Policy Coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance, is working to ensure the successful and equitable implementation of Prop. 64.

 

Cat will discuss implementation strategy on both the local and state level, focus on the current trend by cities and counties to pass defacto bans to undercut the sections of Prop. 64 that prevent local governments from banning indoor cultivation and how to defend against Sessions and the feds attempts to undo medical marijuana and recreational marijuana legislation enacted at the state level.

 

free_weed.jpgIn addition to Ms. Packer’s presentation there will be more growing tips from Cannabis Cultivation Guru Ronie Downey. There will also be fabulous door prizes including two ¼ ounce packets of super-quality cannabis donated by the All The Way Up Collective located next door to where we meet at Greenview Medical.

 

There will be more information on this critically important meeting in the next newsletter, but circle the date on your calendar now so you won’t miss it. There are dark clouds in the sky for sure, but at the meeting we can celebrate the joys of cannabis as we work together towards our goal of safe, reliable, local and affordable access.

 

feb_1.pngThe Wednesday, Feb. 1 meeting of MAPP begins at 7:30 p.m. and takes place at our new meeting location at Greenview Medical, 22275 Alessandro Blvd, Moreno Valley, CA 92553

 

chinese_buffet.jpgFor those of you who would like to join us for dinner, we will be meeting at the Happy Buffet at 6 p.m. For an extraordinarily reasonable $7.99, you can enjoy sushi, a salad bar, a superb assortment of everyone’s favorite Chinese entrees and a Mongolian BBQ grill. It is a fun, pleasant and satisfying way to gather with old friends and new for an enjoyable meal before the meeting. The Happy Buffet is 1 ½ miles east of Greenview Medical at 23750 Alessandro Blvd., Moreno Valley 92553.

paul_chabot.jpg
BEST NEWS SO FAR IN 2017

At least for California

PAUL CHABOT IS MOVING TO TEXAS

Unfortunately it won't happen until Thanksgiving

 Paul Chabot, drug war proponent and twice-failed IE Congressional candidate, has announced that at Thanksgiving he and his family will “move to ‘America,’ to find a region of our nation that embraces the values and morals we cherish.”

 

mckinney_texas.jpgLamenting that liberals “have degraded the State of Reagan to but a shell of its former self” and that California has been “overrun by illegals, drug addicts and violent criminals under the umbrella of a radical liberal ideology that has destroyed the state,” Chabot announced that he will be moving to McKinney, a small city of north of Dallas, where he “fell in love with the city, its people and the values that guide Texas.”

 

texas_mj_law.pngOne of the values that guide Texas that he was referring to no doubt were penalties of 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000 for possessing two ounces of marijuana and up to two years in prison for possession of any amount of a cannabis concentrate.

 

Chabot came to the attention of the IE marijuana community after he had me falsely arrested for battery as a ploy to keep me from attending a meeting in which he was making a presentation. After a three day trial, costing taxpayers in excess of $35,000, I was found not guilty. I then filed false arrest charges against Chabot for which he was convicted.
 

His bid for Congressional office was as unsuccessful as his multi-tiered anti-drug organizations which fed at the tit of federal government drug prohibition money. The prohibitionist policies espoused by Chabot and his fellow reefer madness co-conspirators have destroyed the lives of thousands of Californians. To read the story in the PE, CLICK HERE.

gavel_hammer_mj.jpgFollow-Up
U.S. Court Upholds IRS Denial of
Marijuana Businesses Deducting Expenses
on Federal Taxes


A U.S. District Court in Denver Colorado has ruled in favor of the IRS upholding Sec. 280E which denies marijuana businesses the ability to deduct ordinary and usual business expenses on their federal income taxes.  This decision will most likely be appealed to a federal court of appeals eventually working its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

I would advise against holding's one brief in anticipation of a favorable ruling although that always remains a possibility. If Section 280E is ever to be repealed, it will mostly be through legislative and not judicial action. In my last email newsletter, I wrote about the California Democratic Party passing a resolution in opposition to this IRS practice. This is a start, but only a start.

To read the court's nitty-gritty synopsis of the ruling CLICK HERE.

 

loma_linda_UniversityMedicalCenter.jpgLoma Linda University
seminar discusses marijuana
policy in light of Prop. 64

The Institute for Health Policy and Leadership at Loma Linda University Health Center will be presenting a one hour seminar entitled “Legislative Update on Marijuana in California (and the U.S.)” at their “Spotlight on Health Policy” program on Wednesday, Jan. 25 from 12 noon to 1 p.m.

 

ettie-rosenberg.pngDr. Ettie Rosenberg, a licensed member of the California Bar and the California State Board of Pharmacy, will provide a presentation on policy and practice implications of California’s recently passed Prop. 64. The meeting is free and open to the public and will be held in the A-level amphitheater at the Loma Linda University Health Center, 11234 Anderson St, Loma Linda, CA 92354.



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Democrats Demand IRS Stop Bankrupting Marijuana Dispensaries

 

Uncle_Sam_with_mj_leaf.jpgUncle_Sam_with___.jpegIRS Should Stop Bankrupting Marijuana Dispensaries

 

Democratic Resolution Calls on Trump to
Expand Obama's Doctrine of Non-Interference

Bill's Author Says IRS Misinterpreting Reagan Era Drug Law

Dem_donkey_weed_calif.jpgThe California Democratic Party has passed a resolution condemning the use of an IRS code section that disallows marijuana dispensaries from deducting most of their business expenses from their federal income taxes. As a consequence marijuana dispensing businesses are required to pay taxes on almost every dollar taken in. This results in usurious and unsustainable taxation rates that would drive any business into bankruptcy.

 

al_capone.jpgAl Capone was brought down for not reporting income from the sale of alcohol during prohibition and not for the actual sale of alcohol. In a similar manner in 1984, at the height of the Reagan Administration’s escalation of the War on Drugs, the United State Congress directed the IRS to disallow businesses that illegally distribute schedule 1 drugs from deducting business expenses from their federal taxes.

 

IRS_MJ_cartoon.jpgSince marijuana is a schedule one drug, the IRS has interpreted this directive to mean that they are to deny business expense deductions to any business that distributes marijuana even if they are allowed to distribute under state law. The IRS continues to follow this policy even though the United States Congress has, through the Rohrabacher/Farr amendment, prevented the Dept. of Justice and DEA from expending any funds to investigate and prosecute marijuana businesses and the Obama Administration has directed the DOJ not to prosecute marijuana dispensaries in states that have allowed its use.

 

pete_stark.jpgThe original sponsor of 280E, former Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) has criticized the IRS for its actions stating it "...undercuts legal medical marijuana dispensaries by preventing them from taking the full range of deductions allowed for other small businesses [and] punishes the thousands of patients who rely on them for safe, legal, reliable access to medical marijuana as recommended by a doctor."

 

Co-sponsored with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and others, Stark introduced the Small Business Tax Equity Act of 2011 which would allow for business tax deductions by businesses selling medical marijuana. The bill has not come up for a vote as it has been blocked by Republican legislators in the House Ways and Means Committee.

 

Lynette_Shaw.jpegsteve_dangelo.jpgThe IRS has in many instances used its powers to enforce this onerous provision against high profile marijuana dispensary operators such as Lynette Shaw, who opened California’s first legal medical marijuana dispensary in Fairfax and Steve DeAngelo, who operates the state’s largest collective, Harborside in Oakland, with over 100,000 members.

 

There is a personal angle here as I have also be targeted by the IRS in my role as founder of the Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center, the collective whose case for violating the zoning ordinances of the city of Riverside went to the Supreme Court resulting in the decision that allowed cities and counties to ban medical marijuana collectives under their zoning ordinances.

 

lanny_protest.jpgI believe my targeting by the IRS was the result of a letter sent to the Department of Justice by the city of Riverside during the time the lawsuit against the collective was working its way up to the Supreme Court. In that letter asking the DOJ to take action to close the collectives operating in Riverside, City Attorney Greg Priamos and Chief of Police Sergio Diaz singled me out as the only person named in the letter and specifically calling attention to my activism to legalize marijuana.

 

Although the DOJ took no direct action, it is not uncommon for the DOJ to pass on such information to the IRS. There were at least a hundred people operating collectives in the Inland Empire, many significantly larger than the IEPHWC and I was the first one targeted by the IRS for investigation.

 

The IEPHWC never had any taxable income as expenses exceeded income as was reflected in their tax return filings. The IRS, however, has disallowed almost all expense deductions under Section 280E and now claims I am personally responsible for paying over $321,000 assessed against the collective’s aggregate income.

 

Recognizing this is wrong, hurts people and makes a mockery of California’s medical marijuana laws as well as Prop. 64 that makes recreational marijuana distribution legal, the California Democratic Party passed a resolution at its Eboard meeting in November 2016 that:

 

finger_right_point.png“requests the President of the United States of America to direct the Internal Revenue Service to cease denying the ability to deduct business expenses from their federal tax returns to businesses and individuals furnishing medical marijuana and adult-use marijuana, as permitted by state law, in the same manner that President Obama directed the Department of Justice to suspend criminal prosecutions against businesses and individuals that furnish marijuana as permitted by state law”

&

finger_point_left.jpg“requests that the United States Congress exempt licensed medical marijuana and adult use facilities from any IRS regulations that deny deducting businesses expenses to any marijuana distribution business in states where medical and adult-use marijuana is legal under state law.”

 

Due to its policy of not naming specific pieces of legislation or government code sections in a resolution, the California Democratic Party describe what section 280E does in its resolution without specifically naming the section.

 

browne_mary_democrats.jpgThe sponsor of the resolution, the Brownie Mary Democrats of California, a statewide chartered organization of the California Democratic Party, will be distributing the resolution to all Congressional Democrats in California requesting their assistance to bring about the implementation of this resolution.

 

sun_melt_illegal_mj.jpgAs president and founder of the Brownie Mary Democrats of California, I am concerned that the new Trump administration and the selection of anti-marijuana law reform proponent Jeff Sessions as Attorney General may continue to allow the use of section 280E against marijuana dispensaries. This is wrong and I hope Trump realizes that most Americans support medical marijuana and the legalization of marijuana and will not think favorably of any government actions that run counter to their beliefs.

To read the full text of the resolution CLICK HERE.

 

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DSC04655_(2).JPGFighting AIDS, drug addiction, kidney failure and more, Tom Place knew life was coming to an end. Then he discovered cannabis and it changed and saved his life. Tom’s story is as inspiring as it is informative at he takes his first person experiences at obtaining real results using cannabis for serious problems like chronic pain, cancer, diabetes, AIDS as well as neurological & autoimmune disorders.

 

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Is the Sky Falling Over Trump & MJ?

1. read_all_about_it_logo.jpgIs the Sky Falling Over Trump & MJ and What Can Be Done to Keep It Up If It Really Does Start to Fall
2. January 2017 MAPP meetings - Organize to Fight Onerous Indoor Grow Regulations plus Win Free MJ
3. Help Elect Progressive Pro-Cannabis Candidate


The Reality Is We Can Lose Everything

2017_resolution_sky.jpgDSCN2183_(2).JPGAs usual for New Year’s Eve, my partner and I headed down to a popular gay dance bar in Palm Springs. It is always such a trip to see all these guys dancing together cause it reminds me of how far we have come from when I first went into a gay bar in Los Angeles almost 50 years ago. Back then, dancing between two men, not two women, was not allowed as the bar owners were afraid of losing their liquor license if they allowed it.

 

cops_gay_pride.jpgEven more of a concern was that you were always apprehensive that the guy standing next to you was an undercover cop who would bust you claiming you groped him – a standard operating procedure back in those days when hundreds were busted weekly just for being in a bar that gay people frequented. Times have changed and now the cops who use to bust us are marching in LA’s gay pride parade every year.

 

bible_leviticus.jpgmj_tax_act_stamp.jpgConsidering that oppression of gays is biblical dating back thousands of years and oppression of marijuana consumers only dates back to 1937 in the U.S., it gives me great hope that the criminal treatment of marijuana consumers can also be rolled back. It has been almost fifty years since the lesbian and gay equality movement began back in 1969 following the Stonewall riot. It has not been much more than 20 years since Prop. 215 was enacted and began the marijuana restoration movement. The marijuana law reform achievements to end discrimination against marijuana consumers has been considerable but pale into comparison to what the LGBT community had to overcome.

 

the_scream.jpgAs both a gay man and a marijuana consumer, I am anxiety-ridden with fears that the advances that have been made are in danger of being rolled back under the Trump administration. I recognize that this fear about losing their gains over the last five to seven decades is also shared by many others – women, environmentalists, immigrants, racial minorities, Muslims and so on. Based on Trump’s rhetoric during the campaign and his picks for his cabinet and advisors, I would venture to state that it is not unreasonable to conclude that such concerns have a basis in reality.

 

trump_base.jpgI really don’t think that Trump really cares whether two guys get together to have sex or smoke pot, but many in his base really really do and consequently he has chosen cabinet members and advisors who reflect the values of his base. Trump intends to undo many of the reforms put in place since FDR along with major tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations so if gays, mj consumers, minorities, immigrants and the environment have to be tossed under the bus to keep his base off-base, then so be it.

 

Whether these groups really have anything to worry about or if its just rhetorical pandering to his base, time will tell, but I am concerned about Trump’s picks for the Supreme Court in regards to undoing previous court decisions and as far as marijuana is concerned I am exceedingly alarmed and apprehensive about his pick for Attorney General – Jeff Sessions.

 

sessions.jpgSessions is just about as old-time a drug warrior as one could imagine – his antipathy towards any drug law reform is legendary and his attitudes about marijuana are classic reefer madness. With Trump pulling back many current government legal actions on the environment and against big business and corporations, Sessions will have a horde of DOJ attorneys with nothing to do.

 

Sessions would like nothing better than being the one to turn back the marijuana legalization tide and could unleash this horde of nothing-to-do-anymore attorneys against states that have legalized marijuana. I strongly believe that when the time comes, he will go directly after California because if he can take California out, the rest will be easy pickings.

 

ca_6th_largest_econ.jpgAlthough California should be a formidable opponent as it is the most populous state in the union with the sixth largest economy in the world, I believe it would be fairly easy to beat the state into submission. For one thing even though most of our legislators and elected officials are Democrats, once federal legal actions are filed against them, the state and those engaged in marijuana distribution, I believe the wind created by all of them buckling under in unison will rival the tornado in the Wizard of Oz.

 

few_patient_protest.jpgFurther the less than stellar involvement of medical marijuana patients in protecting their rights under Prop. 215 is not lost on those coming into the federal government who are now in a position to take action against not just medical marijuana patients and providers but the potentially even larger cohort of non-medical users. If people who are using marijuana to treat pain, depression, cancer, movement disorders and so on will not stand up to law enforcement intent on taking their medicine away from them, how likely is it that people who are using marijuana just for fits of giggles are going to put themselves in harm’s way?

 

black_march.jpgWould the civil rights movement undertaken by African-Americans succeeded if they had not placed their very lives on the line by marching in streets, sitting at lunch counters, picketing businesses, standing up to police enforcing Jim Crow, challenging do-nothing government agencies and refusing to move to the back-of-the bus? Granted many black Americans did not participate in these actions, but millions did and they changed the zeitgeist of this country.

 

questions_will_you_get_involvee.jpgThe question I am asking is how many of you who are reading this are willing to be the foot soldiers to defend the gains we have made against those who now have the power to take them away? Just how much effort are you willing to put in to protect these hard-won rights? Willing to go to meetings? Willing to go to the offices of elected officials? Willing to get active politically? Willing to make financial donations to organizations and elected officials? Willing to picket? Willing to sit-in? Willing to engage in civil disobedience? Willing to go to jail?

 

clout.jpgCalifornia voters have voted to legalize the medical and adult-use of marijuana, but our elected officials have never been very diligent in carrying out their mandate. In fact they are more diligent in carrying out the actions requested by opponents of marijuana reform then they are in carrying out the mandate of the voters. That’s because our opponents are cops with clout. We need to develop our countervailing clout so that elected officials will lose their fear of cops and stiffen their backbone and stand up to whatever pressures are put on them to undo the will of the voters.

 

ORGANIZE.jpgThe first step is to organize. To organize people need to attend meetings where plans are made and actions carried out to protect, preserve and promote our rights to have safe, reliable, local and affordable access to marijuana. Wherever you live you need to get involved with a local marijuana law reform group. If there is none in your area, then you have to be the one that forms a group. There is help out there to do that – contact NORML or ASA or SSDP or just google marijuana organization and go from there. Don’t hesitate to contact me either at 760-799-2055.

 

MAPP_Logo.jpgIf you have the good fortune to reside in the Inland Empire, then you can easily learn about what is happening and get involved to the extent that you are willing. There will be three meetings of MAPP this week in which you can begin the ground work to protect, preserve and promote the rights given to us by the voters of California.

 

At all three meetings, there will be discussion on what is happening in California and in the I.E. especially regarding cities passing onerous and malicious regulations to make a mockery of Prop. 64’s section allowing for indoor and greenhouse cultivation. This will be our first order of business. If we fail to stop these onerous regulations, then it could very well be all downhill from there with some cities effectively banning what Prop. 64 permits and others gleefully allowing commercial cultivation only in order to fill their coffers with tax money made off our backs.

 

free_weed.jpgThe Riverside/San Bernardino meeting on Wednesday, January 4 at 7:30 p.m. will also feature a presentation by Ronie Downey on preparing for the upcoming growing season both indoor and outdoor. We will also be giving away two quarter-ounce packs of marijuana courtesy of the All The Way Up collective located next door to our new meeting place at Greenview Medical located at 22275 Alessandro Blvd, Moreno Valley, CA 92553.

 

The Palm Springs/Coachella Valley MAPP meeting is on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 12 noon. Unless someone comes up with some mj to give away, we won’t be giving any of that away, but we will have some books and paraphernalia to win. The meeting is held at the mystical Crystal Fantasy, 268 N. Palm Canyon, downtown Palm Springs 92262.

 

The Joshua Tree/Yucca Valley meeting is on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 3 p.m. Like the PS meeting, unless someone comes up with some mj to give away, we won’t be giving any of that away, but we will have some books and paraphernalia to win as well. The meeting is held at the legendary Beatnik Lounge, 61597 Twenty-Nine Palms Hwy., Joshua Tree 92252.

Francisco_vote.JPGHelp Elect a Young Progressive
Pro-Cannabis Candidate to the
Democratic Central Committee

Most of you won’t be able to vote for Francisco Ramos this Saturday, Jan. 7 but if you live in the 42nd Assembly District which covers the area in the Inland Empire from 29 Palms to Palm Springs and from there eastward to LaQuinta and westward to Cherry Valley, Yucaipa, San Jacinto and parts of Hemet, you can vote to send a young activist to the California State Democratic Convention where policy, programs and politics are set for the party that controls the government of the 6th largest economy in the world.

You must be a Democrat in order to vote in the election, but you will be able to register to vote and/or change your party affiliation at the Hemet/San Jacinito Democratic Party offices where the voting is being held. For information on Francisco and the address of the Hemet Democratic offices and most importantly the time of the voting, CLICK HERE.

420_club_badge.jpgIT’S A NEW YEAR

HELP MAKE IT A SUCCESS

JOIN OUR 420 CLUB

 

It’s a New Year and I believe you know how much we can use a bit of financial help to get done what needs to be done. For just 14¢/day, you can join our 420 Club and donate $4.20 each month to make the oldest and most active marijuana organization in the IE just that more effective. To join the rarefied ranks of the 420 Club CLICK HERE.

 

If you would rather make a one-time donation, that can be made if you CLICK HERE or do it the old-fashioned but just as effective way by sending a check made out to MAPP to PO Box 739, Palm Springs CA 92263. Thank you for support.


Thanks for your time, consideration and support.

Lanny

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Busting 64

 

police_stop.png64 IS THE LAW

but already police & cities have begun a campaign to destroy it

 

mj_ban.jpgUnder prop 215 the legislature allowed cities and counties to ban ALL medical marijuana cultivation, but prop. 64 specifically allows people over 21 to grow six plants. So although the legislature enacted the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act which allows cities and counties to ban all cultivation both indoor and outdoor for medical patients, under Prop. 64 they cannot ban indoor cultivation of six plants no matter what the reason.

 

grow_6_plants.pngIn other words, medical marijuana patients cannot grow what is medically necessary if the city in which they live has banned all medical marijuana cultivation, but they are allowed to grow a maximum of six plants indoor for medical or any other reason as cities cannot ban indoor cultivation. Rather than take away rights from mmj patients as some claimed, Prop. 64 protects their rights to grow marijuana indoors and in greenhouses although whether they can grow what is medically necessary or only six plants is probably going to have to be decided by either the legislature or the courts. In any case, six is significantly better than none especially in Riverside Co. where you can grow outdoors.

 

regulation_cartoon.jpgSince cities can’t ban indoor cultivation under Prop. 64, many are making an end-run around it by passing onerous and malicious regulations that indoor cultivators must abide by or face hefty fines of up to $1,000 per day. These regulations include excessive licensing fees running hundreds of dollars annually, background checks, fingerprinting, right of police to inspect at any time they want without a warrant and more. These regulations apply only to marijuana growing – growing of any other plant, even dangerous plants such as hemlock and oleander, have no regulatory requirements.

 

cop_and_politician.jpgPolice are the main instigators of these nefarious regulations allegedly conferring behind closed doors with local officials to browbeat them into implementing draconian regulations so as to make access as difficult as possible. Indian Wells is the first city in the Coachella Valley to genuflect to this police pressure and pass stringent indoor cultivation regulations.

 

riv_co_bd_meet.jpgI would imagine that many cities in the IE will implement copycat regulations and would not be surprised to see SB County do so as well. Riverside Co., thanks to the efforts of the “glorious 28” whose protestations of a proposed cultivation ban at a Riverside Co. Board meeting last year led to enactment of reasonable plant numbers and regulations allowing for indoor and outdoor growing. Unlike all these regulations being drafted and passed just about everywhere else, Riverside Co. complies with Prop. 64 requirement that regulations must be “reasonable” and provides a guide that others should follow.

 

close_to_chest.jpgI have contacted the Drug Policy Alliance, the organization that was strategically the backbone of Prop 64, but if they are doing anything, they are holding their cards close to their chest. I would like to contact Sean Parker, the major financial backer of Prop. 64, but I do not run in those circles.

 

court_gavel_ruling.jpgNo doubt these outrageous regulations will wind up with a court deciding whether they are “reasonable” or not. Ever since the Riverside decision cities have interpreted that decision to mean that they can ban all mmj cultivation. It's been over three years since that decision and we are still waiting for a case to even start its way to the Supreme Court. With the Riverside decision upending so many previous decisions, we will see how far the Supremes will twist themselves once again to come up with a decision that placates police and cities to make any kind of regulation they want regardless of reasonableness.

 

crowd.png

We cannot wait to take action until it gets to court – we need to act way sooner rather than even a little bit later. Even more critical is that this coordinated attack between police and their local elected official lackeys is only their opening salvo. If we do not start to develop some political clout to back up our truly significant political victory at the polls, 64 will become another 215.


 

In the next newsletter I hope to have more information on a unified coalition of marijuana advocates and consumers who will have developed or at least are developing, a plan of action to make sure Prop. 64 is implemented as the writers of the Proposition intended.

2017_resolution_sky.jpgA Paradigm Changing/Life Enhancing New Year’s Resolution

 

It’s time to make your new year’s resolutions and if I may be so bold, I would like to suggest considering a resolution that will not only improve your own well-being, but the well-being of your family and community.

 

purr_less_hiss_more.jpgFor many people the resolution I am suggesting may be frightening and bewildering because for many it takes them out of their comfort zone and thrusts them into a whirlpool of interpersonal connections, public communications and intimidating collaborations. Yet I guarantee that if undertaken and followed through, your life will be transformed.

 

map_legal_mj_mmj.png2017 will be a pivotal year for marijuana. With eight states and D.C. having passed legalization measures and 28 states now legalizing medical marijuana, it has become a major component of the political discussions taking place throughout the country – especially with the big unknown position of the soon to be installed Trump administration. This is where you and the resolution I am suggesting comes in.

 

Resolve to not sit passively and watch this exciting year unfold on your TV screen, but to take that bold step into the fray and put your shoulder to the wall and shift the cannabis paradigm.

 

Not only will you be making a powerful, meaningful and vital contribution to ending marijuana prohibition, but you will also be improving your own life. It’s more than just making marijuana easier to obtain. Far more!

 

self-worth.jpgFamily, friends and community are external parameters that develop feelings of self-worth whereas careers, avocations and pursuits are internal parameters that develop self-worth. For many the all-too-common loss of a sense of self-worth is one of the most common causes of depression and is a precursor to excessive alcohol consumption, dependence on prescription pharmaceuticals and a principal cause of the development of a multitude of health problems.

 

Some who have experienced a loss of self-worth and alienation may turn to marijuana for relief – but that’s all it does – provides relief without the collateral health damaging consequences of alcohol, methamphetamines, prescription pharmaceuticals or other drugs, but marijuana doesn’t resolve the underlying problems causing the loss of feelings of self-worth.

 

Your resolution and follow through to become actively involved in ending marijuana prohibition can reignite your feelings of self-worth as research strongly suggests that political participation increases feeling of well-being.

 

participation_matters2.jpgLynn Sanders, PhD from the University of Virginia in a research monograph entitled The Psychological Benefits of Political Participation writes that political “participation is a resource that alleviates psychological distress” and thatprotesting injustice, fighting back, demanding rights, articulating claims and otherwise resisting oppression, is a healthy thing to do.”

 

Granted there are other worthwhile causes other than working to end marijuana prohibition that can be “a healthy thing to do,” but it is important to choose a cause that is meaningful to you personally. Since you are reading my newsletter, it would not be too far off base to conclude that marijuana plays an important part in your life.

 

Even if low self-esteem is not your problem, multiple studies supported by the prestigious Mayo Clinic have shown that having a passionately enthusiastic purpose in life can reduce the likelihood of cognitive decline, delay the onset of dementia and even add years to your life.

 

No matter your level of self-worth, you know that marijuana plays a significant role as part of a healthy lifestyle. For yourself, your family and your community, make that resolution to use your valuable time to end marijuana prohibition and support legalization.

 

enjoy_mj_ingestion.jpgAs if to underscore the importance of ending marijuana prohibition, marijuana ingestion can help significantly in following through on your resolution to shift the marijuana paradigm by enhancing and facilitating political participation through its legendary ability to reduce anxiety, ease socialization and just making whatever you do more fun. Do not feel guilty or hesitate to consume cannabis while you shift the paradigm.

 

participate.jpgPrevent cancer, get a good night’s sleep and have safe, lively, enjoyable and productive times as you exuberantly join forces with friends, old and new, who are working alongside you to end marijuana prohibition. Make that resolution now!

In Addition to Making that Resolution, You Might Consider . . .

Your support is the key to continuing our ability to provide services, information and representation with local, state and national officials. With the passage of Prop. 64 and the other legalization measures throughout the country, now is the time that your support is needed more than ever. There are very powerful forces aligning to knock down the advances that have been made and we need to fight them on every public and private level.

 

420_club_button.jpgWe are not asking for much - just 14¢ per day to MAPP by joining our 420 Club and committing to donating $4.20 a month to help fund MAPP’s programs and outreach to the community. It’s simple and easy to do – just CLICK HERE.

 

If making a monthly commitment at this time is not in the cards, consider making a one-time donation by CLICKING HERE.

 

If you believe that what we do and the information and outreach we provide is effective, your support would be sincerely and gratefully appreciated.

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THCF Farewell Party & Cannabis Celebration

 

farewell2.jpgthcf.jpgCome One - Come All
THCF FAREWELL PARTY
Join Us For One Last
Time at the THCF Clinic

124_0356.JPGThe closing of THCF Medical this month marks the end of an era. When the clinic first opened, it was still in the early years of SB 420 and doctor offices and clinics were just beginning to open up in the IE. It was a very exciting time.

 

001.JPGUp until then all MAPP meetings were taking place at the Cathedral City library, but once MAPP started meeting at the THCF Clinic in Riverside, the number of people attending the meeting increased. In those heady days, SB 420 was still new and no one really knew what it meant or how to comply with it. Lot of guesswork and wishful thinking.

 

staff_pic.jpgAlthough there were two doctor offices in the Coachella Valley there were none in the IE. The closest one was in east LA County. When the clinic opened, the Press Enterprise sent a reporter to cover the opening day.  To see the original article torn from the PE CLICK HERE.

 

124_0354.JPGAfter about four months and the clinic continuing to operate and not get shut down or even harassed, other doctor’s offices began to open up, but it was only THCF that was involved in the movement. All the others it was just about making money writing recs.

 

dinner_crowd.JPGBack when THCF opened, there was only a handful of mmj states and the idea of legalization was for most not even on the horizon. It’s kind of “fittin” that the closing of THCF comes just after California passed Prop. 64 and three other states passed legalization initiatives too bringing it to a total of eight states and DC. Even more “fittin” is that 28 states now having legalized medical marijuana as well.

 

DSCN1621.JPGTo look back one more time and to venerate the eight years of operation of THCF, the MAPP meeting this Wed. Dec. 7 will be a THCF FAREWELL PARTY.  It is a very appropriate and a good way to bid a fond adieu to the old era and welcome in the new era as anxiety arousing as it may be.

 

P1000964.JPGThis is going to be a chance for all of us to get together one last time at the location that meant so much to so many. This is going to be a fun and festive evening featuring a trip down memory lane with artifacts, memorabilia and more.

 

desserts.jpgWe are going to have a dessert bar with ice cream, cookies and pecan pie. Coffee, milk and punch will be available. If you would like to bring a dessert to share, that would be wonderful. However, only non-medicated desserts please – don’t want anyone overdosing please.

 

cannabis_friendly.jpgEven though we are taking a pass on medicated desserts, this is a cannabis friendly event. Feel free to bring your favorite cannabis to enjoy and share.

 

dj.jpgThere will be door prizes, a 50-50 raffle, DJ Elmo Green spinning music and some short speeches and presentations. It will be a fun evening that is not to be missed.

 

P1000905.JPGCome on down and say goodbye to THCF and enjoy the reunion/remembrance It’s all happening this Wednesday, Dec. 7 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the THCF Medical Clinic, 647 Main St. Unit 4D, Riverside 92501. See you there one more time!


MAPP meetings will continue at a new location to be announced at the Farewell Party.

 THCF_Farewell_Party.jpg

 

victorville.jpgvictorvillege_logo.jpgVICTORVILLE MEETNG?

 

Although some might think that with Prop. 64 passing, the game is almost over, but it is not. Now more than even we must organize to make sure Prop. 64 is implemented fairly, reasonably and rationally on not just the state level, but the local level too.

 


We use to meet in the Victorville/Hesperia/Phelan area a couple years ago and it would be a good idea now to resume those meetings. We need to locate a place to meet. If a small meeting rental fee is required, that can be handled

 

If anyone knows of a possible location in that area, please send an email to lanny@marijuananews.org or call 760-799-2055.

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Why is Obama Moving to California?

 

calmap_small.gifGOLF, SUN AND A-LIST CELEBRITIES
ARE NOT THE ONLY REASONS THE
OBAMA’S ARE MOVING TO CALIFORNIA

 

rancho_mrage.jpgAfter eight years residing in the White House, President Obama needs to find a new home. Although there has been no confirmations by the White House, it has been reported in numerous news outlets that he and Michelle will be moving to California and the affluent Coachella Valley community of Rancho Mirage. Located near Palm Springs, the town’s major industry is the 5-star Eisenhower hospital/medical center providing health care services to wealthy retirees.

 

obama_and_michele.jpgthunderbird_heghts.jpgWith the Chicago Sun-Times revealing that Michelle Obama loves California and was interested in finding a home in Palm Springs, USA Today reported that “Home-buying rumors took off in the summer of 2014, when the president and Michelle Obama spent a June weekend in Thunderbird Heights” – the exclusive gated community where former President Gerald Ford lived for two years before moving to another Rancho Mirage estate.

 

mchelle_airplane.jpgThe area’s local daily newspaper, the Desert Sun, has been covering the Obama’s potential move for over a year reporting in September that Michelle Obama's plane was at the Palm Springs International Airport. Confirming the newspaper’s reporting, the New York Post informed its readers that the President has purchased a multi-million dollar home in this affluent resort town, but will continue to reside in Washington DC until Sasha, their youngest daughter, graduates from high school.

 

waumbahugh_novelist_home.jpgThe home the Obama’s are presumably purchasing is rumored to be the 8,200-square-foot former home of novelist Joseph Wambaugh. On the market for about a year, the Desert Sun reported that the gossip amongst local real estate agents was that the President was looking to buy the home with Richard Johnson of the New York Post’s Page 6, reporting that “the Obamas were in escrow to buy a $4.25 million home in the community.”

 

smith_and_costa.jpgThe home is very close to the residence of the Oval Office's interior designer Michael S. Smith, whose partner James Costos is the current ambassador to Spain and Andorra. The Obama’s have visited and occupied as guests Smith’s home on the occasion of some of their multiple visits to Palm Springs. Smith will most likely be involved in decorating their new home wherever it is.

 

Recognized for its world-class golf courses and resorts, Rancho Mirage is an upscale community known for attracting the wealthy, famous and politically connected. From being an avid golfer to his wife wanting to live in California, Rancho Mirage seems to be an ideal location for his post-Presidential life. However there could be another reason for Obama’s move to California that has so far escaped the media and the gossip columnists peering eyes.

 

obama_smoking_mj.jpgWhile in high school and college, our distinguished President was an avid cannabis consumer. In Barack Obama: The Story, biographer David Maraniss reported Obama and his friends formed The Choom Gang - slang for marijuana smoking – and that he was known as “the Interceptor” as when coming upon a group of tokers “he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted "intercepted", and took an extra hit.”

 

obma_smoke_pot.jpgAlthough Obama gave up smoking marijuana some time ago (exactly how long ago is questionable) anyone who relished smoking marijuana as much as he did, has fond memories and recollections of the enjoyable experiences it brought. In his book Dreams of My Father, Obama wrote as a high school kid, he would smoke "in a white classmate's sparkling new van," he would smoke "in the dorm room of some brother" and he would smoke "on the beach with a couple of Hawaiian kids." Sounds like he was a knowledgeable and proficient smoker who got off on smoking a lot of pot - an experience he savored and repeatedly enjoyed.

 

California, which has had legal marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation since 1996 and now with legal marijuana without a doctor’s recommendation sounds like the ideal location for rekindling those memories and commencing some new ones.

 

marijuana-delivery.jpgAlthough Rancho Mirage, has banned storefront dispensaries, the town does allow delivery services so the President would have easy access to marijuana – he just needs to check out the local Craigslist listings. I am sure the new house has a large backyard where the President could erect a secure greenhouse and cultivate six plants. I am also quite confident that he would have no problem obtaining a doctor’s recommendation so he could grow more than six plants if his consumption began to approach what he consumed in his youth.

 

obama_cartoon_smoke.jpgI am sure there are many cultivators of extraordinary cannabis that would be honored to be able to provide the President with as much marijuana as he would desire to consume. With Trump and the Republican congress undoing his legacy achievements of Obamacare, immigration executive orders and climate change treaties as well as revoking his birth certificate, marijuana would be of immense benefit.

 

DECEMBER MAPP MEETINGS AND
FAREWELL TO THE THCF CLINIC PARTY

 

THCF_Farewell_Party.jpgProp. 64 and the results of the 2016 elections and how they will impact on marijuana consumers will be the topic of the MAPP meetings in Palm Springs and Joshua Tree. The Riverside MAPP meeting will forgo much discussion on that subject and will have a memorable THCF FAREWELL PARTY

 

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

 

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

 

Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. THCF Farewell Party, THCF Medical Clinic, 647 Main St., Unit 4D, Riverside 92501.

 

KEEP MAPP IN MIND ON
NATIONAL DAY OF GIVING Tuesday, Nov. 29

 JOIN IN ON #GIVINGTUESDAY WITH MAPP

 

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving celebrated on the Tuesday following the U.S.A.’s Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping orgy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Fueled by the power of social media and collaboration, #GivingTuesday allows for consciousness salving where one can give in a season known more for its gluttony then its generosity.

 

MAPP is the oldest and most active marijuana law reform organization based in the Inland Empire that works throughout the state of California with coalition partners throughout the U.S.A.

 

Your support in the past has been key to our ability to provide services, information and representation with local, state and national officials. With the passage of Prop. 64 and the other legalization measures throughout the country, now is the time that your support is needed more than ever. There are very powerful forces aligning to knock down the advances that have been made and we need to fight them on every public and private level.

 

420_club_button.jpgIn support of #GivingTuesday we are not asking for much - just 14¢ per day to MAPP by joining our 420 Club and committing to donating $4.20 a month to help fund MAPP’s programs and outreach to the community. It’s simple and easy to do – just CLICK HERE.

 

If you are just not willing to make a monthly commitment at this time, consider making a one-time donation by CLICKING HERE.

 

If you believe that what we do and the information and outreach we provide is effective, your support would be sincerely and gratefully appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Lanny

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Trump, Cops & Pot - Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

mj_leaf_on_usa_map.jpgMJ Under Trump
Hope for the Best
Prepare for the Worst

 

Shortly after the election I received a call from a friend who had vehemently opposed Prop. 64. Although we disagreed substantially on the issue, I respected his arguments as he never descended into invective and insults only attacking the message and not the messenger.  He called to offer congratulations on a hard fought campaign and then he said although he remains dismayed at the passage of AUMA, he is glad that it passed as it solidifies the rising status of marijuana as legitimate and will make it far more difficult for the feds to pull the rug out from under the burgeoning marijuana movement.

 

He recognizes that the incoming Trump administration may not be as open to marijuana law reform as the Obama Administration has been and that the Clinton administration most likely would have continued. He is rightfully concerned about what the Trump administration portends not just for adult-use marijuana, but for the viability of medical marijuana as well.

 

trump_mj_legal.pngThe ascension of Donald Trump to the presidency is troubling and problematic. Trump has made several statements during the primary and general elections on marijuana including the oft-quoted statement made in Nevada in 2015 when he said, “In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state by state.” As re-assuring as that might sound, he has not said much since and his flip-flopping on issues is well-known.

 

trump_sessions.jpgWorrisome in the extreme is the tapping of NJ Gov. Chris Christie and former NY Mayor Rudolph Giuliani for strategic advice with the most worrisome being the appointment of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. They are all well-known for their long-standing opposition to marijuana whether it be medical or adult-use, but Sessions is totally off-the-wall on the subject.

 

Although it would be hard to imagine that anyone could be worse than Giuliania and Christi, Sessions makes the grade. According to the New York Times he thought the Ku Klux Klan was "OK until I found out they smoked pot."

Other Sessions quotes are:

“You can’t have the President of the United States of America talking about marijuana … you are sending a message to young people that there is no danger in this process. It is false that marijuana use doesn’t lead people to more drug use. It is already causing a disturbance in the states that have made it legal.”

“The creating of knowledge that this drug is dangerous, it cannot be played with, it is not funny, it’s not something to laugh about, and trying to send that message with clarity, that  good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

Over the last couple years, the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment has prevented the Dept. of Justice from unleashing the DEA to enforce federal marijuana laws in states with regulated marijuana distribution systems. Unfortunately this sensible amendment comes up for renewal on Dec. 9. If it is not renewed, that would be a signal that the incoming Trump Administration has pressured Republican legislators who had voted for it before to now vote against it.

 

dea_raid.jpgWhen the Trump Administration takes office on Jan. 20 and the amendment no longer in force, the Cole memo issued by the Obama Administration, which instructs prosecutors to lay-off states with regulated distribution systems, could be rescinded. Unleashed from the Cole Memo, federal prosecutors could once again begin the high-profile raids and asset forfeitures against marijuana providers as they did back in 2011.

 

police_endorse.jpgFar more disturbing is Trump’s cuddling up with and glowing endorsement of the National Fraternal Order of Police, the nation’s largest police labor organization. Police have been the main opponents of medical marijuana and marijuana law reform as marijuana prohibition and the War on Drugs represents a substantial amount of discretionary money for police. They don’t want to lose their $50 billion a year golden goose. There should be significant concern that they will use their newfound influence to convince Trump and his administration to enforce federal law and crack down on states that have permitted the medical and adult-use of marijuana.

 

dea_schedule_2.pngAnother possible scenario which would allow Trump to say he is kind-of-keeping his campaign promise on marijuana would be to reschedule it to Schedule 2. This could satisfy cops and the drug warriors who could now say that marijuana has medical value but is so dangerous that it must be strictly controlled with the most stringent of regulations and penalties.

 

Big-Pharma-gov.jpgAs a schedule 2 drug, doctors could prescribe it just like they do Vicodin and Percocet. It would be produced by pharmaceutical companies and filled at pharmacies. This should please big pharma as now they will be the only ones that could be licensed to provide marijuana just like now they are the only ones license to produce methamphetamines and methadone. Wow - another multi-billion dollar monopoly for big pharma.

 

With penalties as draconian as those for schedule 1 drugs, this will also mean providing tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to law enforcement to arrest, prosecute and imprison marijuana users for illegally using and marijuana providers for illegally distributing a schedule 2 drug.

 

money_power.jpgThis translates directly into more millions for Trump from big pharma and more power for Trump with the cops at his back.

 

californa_bear_defend_mj.jpgUnless Trump decides to fulfill his campaign promises to let states make the decision on whether to allow medical and/or adult-use marijuana, the lion’s share of the burden of defending marijuana use and distribution will fall on California. As my friend from above noted, having the most populous state with the sixth largest economy in the world legalize all uses of marijuana will make turning the tide back far more awkward and challenging. This difficulty is compounded with seven other states and the District of Columbia legalizing marijuana along with the 27 states and D.C. legalizing the medical use of marijuana.

 

Santa-Trump.jpgDifficult it might be, but restoring marijuana prohibition will be far easier a task then Trump's oft-proclaimed intention to dismantle the Affordable Care Act which now provides health insurance to 20 million Americans, build a 40 foot wall along the Mexican border and deport 11 million undocumented immigrants back to Latin America.

 

Can Congress stop the Trump Administration from rekindling federal intervention into how a state treats marijuana distribution? Maybe a better question will be whether Congress will even want to.

 

dems_and_republicans.jpgIn past votes 90% of Democrats were joined by about 25% of Republicans in one of the few truly bipartisan efforts to form a majority vote to pass the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment. With the small increase in Democratic numbers along with continued support of a minority of Republicans, it is possible that any attempts by the Trump administration to breathe life back into marijuana prohibition could be stymied.

 

That must be tempered by just how much of a priority the Trump administration chooses to make unraveling the progress that has been made over the last eight years. With Sessions as AG and setting the priorities, that could be a high priority for the DOJ.

 

family_dog.gifWe cannot sit passively on our butts smoking pot. We do so at our peril. We need to organize far better than we are now to strengthen the backbone of our elected officials in California to not succumb to the pressure of cops and drug warriors.

 

protest.jpgWe need to be use our rising clout with the public to demonstrate, rally, petition and whatever else it takes to get the Trump administration to, at the very least, continue the Obama Administration’s policies of non-interference.

 

Hope for the best that Trump will keep his campaign promises to leave to the discretion of the states whether to allow marijuana distribution. Prepare for the worst if he doesn't.

It would be foolish in the extreme to wait until Trump makes his hand known before we start to organize. As big and mighty and rich as California is, we cannot do this all ourselves.

yes_we_cannabis.jpgTrump reneging on his campaign promise would certainly qualify as a national crisis and calls for the formation of alliances with other medical and adult-use states. For that to happen, we must start organizing ASAP. In the Inland Empire forming coalitions with marijuana law reform organizations and other progressive groups is essential. Protecting the rights we have obtained and to continue the progress that has been made, cannot be done alone, but requires a coordinated community response.

 

Normally at this point I would write that this will be the subject of the next MAPP meeting, but while we will have a discussion on these most distressing circumstances and our response to them, the focus of the December MAPP meeting in Riverside will be a joyous and fond FAREWELL PARTY to the THCF Medical Clinic.

 goodbye.pngTHCF Medical Clinic to Close
Farewell Party at MAPP meeting
Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Located at 647 Main St., unit 4D, in Riverside 92501, THCF opened in 2008 and was the first M.D. office outside of the Coachella Valley in the Inland Empire to provide medical marijuana recommendations. THCF’s doors will be closing at the end of 2016. Although MAPP has been operating since December 1999, the protection of medical marijuana patients and local efforts to end marijuana prohibition accelerated when MAPP meetings started being held in the Riverside offices of THCF.

 

MAPP_meet_100715.JPGThousands of patients and advocates have attended meetings and events at THCF over the last 8 years. From organizing to thwart San Bernardino County’s lawsuit to overturn Prop. 215 to the recent establishment of perhaps the most liberal patient cultivation ordinance in the state by Riverside County, bold plans, effective actions and audacious recollections were created and made at every meeting.

 

memories.jpgSo many memories, friendships and alliances were made at THCF – the stories reach the heights of legendary. This meeting/party will be a reunion where one more time, you can meet and rekindle memories of people you have known and worked with to advance the cause of medical marijuana patients and ending marijuana prohibition.

 

desserts.jpgThis will be a Dessert Potluck Party with ice cream sundaes plus whatever desserts you would like to bring to share. (Due to the unpredictability of edibles, please do not bring any medicated edibles to share.)

 

cannabis_friendly.jpgHOWEVER – this is a cannabis friendly event and cannabis consumption – smoking, vaporizing and so on can be enjoyed if you care to do so.

 

More information on the THCF Farewell Party at the Dec. 7 MAPP meeting will be forthcoming in the next email newsletter. Mark your calendar for this very special event to celebrate 8 years of providing medical marijuana recommendations to thousands of patients and being the center of the IE’s medical marijuana and marijuana law reform activism.

420_club_button.jpg

If you agree we need to start organizing now,
please support our efforts to do just that

Join our 420 Club and Donate $4.20/month

CLICK HERE TO JOIN

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Is Recreational MJ a Blasphemy?

Cannabis is a Recreational Drug
and that's a good thing

cops___.jpgOpposition to the recreational use of marijuana is not confined to the sky-is-falling hyperbole of drug warriors and law enforcement whose lucrative and lush lifestyles are dependent on the never-end flowing of government drug prohibition money, but to respected members of the medical marijuana community who have spent a better part of their lives fighting to make marijuana accessible medically.

 

dennis_peron.jpgRecently Dennis Peron, the person most singularly responsible for getting us to the brink of legalization, published an opinion piece that was edited by long-time medical marijuana advocate Steven Kubby entitled "Why Cannabis is Not a Recreational Drug." To read the article CLICK HERE.
 

Why anyone, let alone medical marijuana advocates, treats the term “recreational” as some kind of pejorative is beyond comprehension. Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary defines "recreational" as “providing refreshment in body or mind, as after work, by some form of play, amusement, or relaxation.” I cannot think of a word that better describes both the effect and attributes of the use of marijuana than "recreational."


Although I certainly understand their reasoning and in many instances concur with it, to oppose the recreational use of marijuana is short-sighted for health reasons and dooms marijuana consumers to continued exorbitant prices for a relatively easy-to-cultivate plant.

 

we_not_criminals.jpgI have always believed that one of the most important reasons for legalizing marijuana was because it will then be available for adults to use recreationally legally instead of making them into criminals.

 

alcohol_vs_weed_in_bag.jpgAs a nurse I have experienced firsthand the benefits of the recreational use of marijuana. I lost count shortly after I started working in hospitals how many patients I provided care for because of their use of alcohol. The number of patients I have taken care of in a hospital because of marijuana use I don’t need even need the fingers on one hand to count.

 

altering_senses.jpgNurses are realistic about human behavior and humans like to alter their senses. They have been doing it for so long that I believe there is genetic basis for our strong desire to alter our senses.

 

alcohho_vs_mj_cartoon.pngMany people find that marijuana is an effective substitute for alcohol when they feel like altering their senses. Multiple studies show that alcohol consumption goes down when marijuana use goes up. That is a good thing because marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol.

 

anderson.jpeg daniel_rees.jpgIn a study undertaken by Professors Mark Anderson and Daniel I. Rees and published in the Journal of Law and Economics, the authors wrote:

 

Legalization of medical marijuana is associated with increased use of marijuana among adults, but not among minors. In addition, legalization is associated with a nearly 9 percent decrease in traffic fatalities, most likely to due to its impact on alcohol consumption. Our estimates provide strong evidence that marijuana and alcohol are substitutes. To read the full study CLICK HERE.

 

Another study undertaken by Rees and Anderson found a direct correlation between increased marijuana use and a decrease in suicides particularly among 20 - 29 yo males.

 

suicide.jpgUsing state-level data for the period 1990 through 2007, we estimate the effect of legalizing medical marijuana on suicide rates. Our results suggest that the passage of a medical marijuana law is associated with an almost 5 percent reduction in the total suicide rate, an 11 percent reduction in the suicide rate of 20- through 29-year-old males, and a 9 percent reduction in the suicide rate of 30- through 39-year-old males.

 

In commenting on their study in a research brief published in January 2015, the authors wrote:

 

mj_antidepessant.jpgWe conclude that the legalization of medical marijuana leads to fewer suicides among young adult males. This result is consistent with the oft-voiced, but controversial, claim that marijuana can be used to cope with depression and anxiety caused by stressful life events. However, the result may, at least in part, be attributable to the reduction in alcohol consumption among young adults that appears to accompany the legalization of medical marijuana.


To read the Research Brief CLICK HERE.

 

20s_alcohol_vs_pot.jpgYes the studies are done in medical marijuana states, but do you really think that all those 20-29 yo males are using marijuana to treat their arthritis? It is no secret that the vast majority of young adults who have gotten medical marijuana recommendations are using it for recreational rather than the recommended medical purposes.

 

The value of the non-medical recreational use does not end with males in their 20s and 30s. A study authored by Professor Philip Smith and three others found that domestic violence was significantly less likely in households in which marijuana was used recreationally.

 

alcohol-vs-cannabis-couple.jpgWe found that more frequent marijuana use by husbands and wives predicted less frequent IPV [intimate partner violence] perpetration by husbands. Husbands’ marijuana use also predicted less frequent IPV perpetration by wives.

 

Once again these were people using marijuana recreationally instead of alcohol. Should they be denied this most beneficial of uses just because marijuana also has medical uses? To read this study CLICK HERE.

 

dr_feelgood_pill_bottle.jpgThe real problem marijuana has is that it does all these medical things - reduces pain, facilitates sleep, mitigates depression – and unlike most medicines which make you feel nauseous or even awful, marijuana makes you feel good. If marijuana made you feel queasy to awful like most other medications, it would be legal, but because it makes you feel good, it’s illegal.

 

doctor_gateway.jpgFurther just because something is a medicine, doesn’t mean an M.D. has to be the gatekeeper. Aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen are medications that are far more dangerous than marijuana, yet they are legal and can be sold anywhere to anyone including children.

 

supplements.jpgThen there are the medicines we call supplements like niacin, riboflavin and vitamin A-H. Cannabis falls more into this category than it does in the aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen category. Our endocannabinoid system is the largest neurotransmission system in our bodies. To work it needs cannabinoids and our bodies produce endocannbinoids in order to make this system work.

 

ethan_russo.jpgLike people needing to take “supplemental” vitamin D because they cannot produce enough, some people need to take “supplemental” cannabinoids or ectocannabinoids because they cannot produce enough. Cannabis is the only natural plant that produces cannabinoids that our bodies can use.  In his research study on cannabinoid deficiency Dr. Ethan Russo wrote:

 

Migraine, fibromyalgia, IBS and related conditions display common clinical, biochemical and pathophysiological patterns that suggest an underlying clinical endocannabinoid deficiency that may be suitably treated with cannabinoid medicines.

 

To read this groundbreaking and vitally important study CLICK HERE.

 

supplements_natural.jpgOnce again does an MD need to be a gateway for a product that is, in the words of DEA Judge Francis Young, “one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”

 

mj_arrest_rate.gifThe bottom line is that people are going to use marijuana recreationally and making it illegal for the last 80 years has not stopped them from doing it. Should we really continue criminalizing them and continue arresting 700,000 Americans every year with somewhere between $10 - $20 billion of taxpayers’ money spent annually to enforce marijuana prohibition laws?

 

drug_murders.jpgShould we continue to tolerate the thousands of murders along our border with Mexico because of illegal drug smuggling with marijuana comprising about half of all smuggled drugs.

 

blacks_in_prison.jpgShould black and brown people continue to be arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned at a far higher rate than white people even though the use of marijuana in their communities is about the same as the white community?

 

college_student.jpg Eviction-notice.jpgShould students continue to get busted and lose their college scholarships and low-income people get kicked out of their low-income housing and other welfare programs because they use marijuana recreationally?

 

CNA.gifAs a nurse I am proud that the California Nurses Association supports Prop. 64 and the reason they support it has a lot to do with all of the above. To be against allowing the recreational use, to actually work to prevent its recreational use, makes no sense and harms people and our communities.

 

money_wrapped_around_marijuana.jpgAs for the point I made in the beginning of this piece that opposing the recreational use of marijuana “dooms marijuana consumers to continued exorbitant prices for a relatively easy-to-cultivate plant,” I have written a piece on that very subject and if you would like to read it CLICK HERE.

 

The list of people and organizations that have endorsed Prop. 64 is truly impressive – practically breath-taking in scope. From the California Democratic Party to the California Medical Association, the California NAACP to the League of Conservation Voters – these are people and organizations that engender respect and provide invaluable contributions to the well-being of our communities. To see the list CLICK HERE.

  

From substituting marijuana for alcohol to ending the violence and ruined lives caused by prohibition, I respectfully and sincerely request those opposed to the recreational use of marijuana to reconsider their opposition.

 

MAPP_Logo.jpg DSC04591_(2).JPGMAPP MEETING SPECIAL PRESENTATION

Surviving for the Long Term
with Cannabis

A special presentation by Long Term AIDS patient Tom Place

 

tom_place.jpgLong term AIDS survivor Tom Place brings his roadshow cannabis presentation to all three November MAPP meetings in Joshua Tree, Palm Springs and Riverside. Tom has been delivering a series of these very personal presentations on Long Term Survival with Cannabis at many different venues throughout California and now he brings it to the Inland Empire.

 

Fighting AIDS, drug addiction, kidney failure and more, Tom Place knew life was coming to an end. Then he discovered cannabis and it changed and saved his life. Tom’s story is as inspiring as it is informative. Detailing his first person experiences, Tom explains how a patient can obtain real results using cannabis for serious problems like chronic pain, cancer, diabetes, AIDS as well as neurological & autoimmune disorders.

 

Taking a straightforward but somewhat unorthodox look at using cannabis, Tom will discuss how to get healthy without getting high, what types of products give the best results, how to get the right dose and most importantly how to save money.

 

tom_tincture.jpgTom has developed a tincture marketed under the Grandpa Tom label that many patients have found to be extremely beneficial.

 

Mark your calendar now to attend one of these special November MAPP meetings.

 

Riverside/Western IE MAPP meeting – Wednesday, November 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the historic THCF Patient Center, 647 Main St. Unit 4D, Riverside 92501.

 

Palm Springs/Coachella Valley MAPP meeting - Saturday, November 5 at 12 noon at the new age palace Crystal Fantasy, 268 N. Palm Canyon, downtown Palm Springs 92262.

 

Saturday, November 5 at 3 p.m. - Morongo Basin/Joshua Tree MAPP meeting at the legendary Beatnik Lounge, 61597 Twenty-Nine Palms Hwy., Joshua Tree 92252
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want to show your support
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http://www.marijuananews.org/

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Off-the-Wall MJ Expo & It's Free - just don't tell anyone

Friend --

see_no_evil_etc.pngIt's a Marijuana Expo

Except they don't want anyone to know

dhs_scenic.jpgThis is certainly not your average ganja expo with the same speakers you have heard a gazillion times before. In fact you wouldn’t know it’s even about marijuana from the flyers and promotional material being handed out by Desert Hot Springs, but this downtrodden, economically distressed city is now billing itself as a mecca for growth and opportunity and is inviting the world to attend its 2016 Desert Hot Springs Business Summit on Wednesday, Oct. 26,

 

And it’s free.png

 

dhs_bus_summit.jpgThe Business Summit is subtitled “Strengthening Our Economy with New Opportunities” where “Business Owners, Future Business Owners, Developers, Builders, Investors and Educators” can come and “learn about the many great business opportunities available to businesses in Desert Hot Springs.”

 

What is never mentioned anywhere in the promotional materials is that these “new opportunities” DHS is touting is the opportunity to cash in on the burgeoning marijuana industry with the 2 million square feet of cultivation facilities that are springing up in what used to be the empty, underutilized, scruffy, dilapidated and very dusty industrial warehouse district of DHS.

 

new_business.jpgThere is absolutely nothing else going on in DHS that is providing “new opportunities.” It’s all marijuana and nothing else but marijuana. Rather than continuing to buy into law enforcement’s worn-out shibboleth that marijuana distribution will cause businesses to flee, DHS city and business leaders see the boom in new development, new employment and the increased revenues to improve city services financed by the taxes on the marijuana industry as an incentive for new businesses to locate in DHS.

 

no_to_pot.jpgAs noted above, no one reading the promotional materials would ever know that these “new opportunities” were made by possible by an expansions of legal marijuana cultivation and distribution facilities on a scale that has not been seen in California since 1937. The word marijuana, or any of its synonyms, is not mentioned once in the four page informational packet. To see for yourself CLICK HERE.

 

Of interest to political junkies and celebrity seekers is that the promotional materials inform that “The following dignitaries or their representatives will be in attendance: U.S. Congressman Raul Ruiz, California State Senator Jeff Stone, California Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit, DHS Mayor Scott Matas.”

 

Although the promotional materials are too timid to intone “the plant that dare not speak its name,” I cannot imagine that these “dignitaries” are not aware that the DHS 2016 Business Summit is a celebration about marijuana as savior and how wonderful it will be for the people of DHS. If they do know, does that mean the old fear of marijuana is fading away with the swelling support of legalization? Maybe yes and maybe no.

 

stone.jpgruiz.gifStone is challenging Ruiz for the 36th Congressional District – it’s a tight race. They are stumping for votes for sure – will it overcome their “reefer fearfulness” and they will show up as billed? As for the other dignitaries, they are not in tight races so maybe they will be there and maybe they won’t. I’m sure DHS Mayor Matas will be there so you are assured of at least one actual dignitary and not just a “representative.”

 

It is truly an irony that could be a George Carlin routine, but the folks at DHS have come up with a new euphemism.  Rather than say marijuana or cannabis or ganja industry, DHS refers to it as a "Cultivation Industry" with one of the two seminars actually entitled ‘Cultivation Industry: Advantages to Desert Hot Springs.”

 

Of course the only advantage is that DHS will license marijuana growers and most other cities won’t. So although the seminar alludes to the “cultivation industry” the only cultivation coming to DHS is marijuana cultivation.

 

“Cultivation industry” is such a cop-out. There was no cultivation industry in DHS before marijuana and there will not be any others. Marijuana has so driven up land prices, that even if some other “cultivation industry” wanted to locate in DHS, they couldn’t as land has become so astronomically expensive that no one else can possibly afford to cultivate there. That is except for maybe heroin poppies and coca plants but DHS isn’t licensing them – yet.

 

marijuana___sign.jpgWhat is so hypocritical is that DHS has no desire to entice other cultivators to cultivate other plants. They are taxing marijuana at $10 per square foot so if the two million square feet of cultivation space is used for growing carrots, DHS will hardly get a dime let alone the $20 million plus they expect to make from the marijuana licenses.

 

bubble.jpgThere was the Tech-Bubble, the Land Bubble and the Stock Bubble and now there appears to be the Marijuana Bubble. DHS is getting in relatively early so they may actually make good before it bursts when other cities and counties start allowing massive cultivation and distribution. Until then DHS is going to ride the wave until it crashes.

 

If you have the time to spare to make the drive out to DHS, I think you will find it interesting and even amusing. It’s not going to be a ganja fest, but it is going to be unlike any marijuana expo you have ever been too.

 

The Business Summit is this Wed. Oct. 26 and begins at 8 a.m. with a meet and greet continental breakfast. This is followed by two seminars from 9 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The seminars are entitled:

Desert Hot Springs: “A New Leader in Small Business Development” and

Cultivation Industry “Advantages to Desert Hot Springs.”

 

From 11:00 am to 1 p.m. the Exhibitor Expo opens with booths and information from cultivators, distributors, other businesses and government agencies. MAPP will have a booth there distributing medical marijuana and other information.

 

The DHS Business Summit takes place at the Boys and Girls Club (so much for sending the wrong message to children), 11750 Cholla Dr., Desert Hot Springs 92240. There is no charge for admission.

 

MAPP_Logo.jpgDSC04591_(2).JPGMAPP MEETING SPECIAL PRESENTATION

Surviving for the Long Term
with Cannabis

A special presentation by Long Term

AIDS patient Tom Place

 

tom_place.jpgLong term AIDS survivor Tom Place brings his roadshow cannabis presentation to all three November MAPP meetings in Joshua Tree, Palm Springs and Riverside. Tom has been delivering a series of these very personal presentations on Long Term Survival with Cannabis at many different venues throughout California and now he brings it to the Inland Empire.

 

Fighting AIDS, drug addiction, kidney failure and more, Tom Place knew life was coming to an end. Then he discovered cannabis and it changed and saved his life. Tom’s story is as inspiring as it is informative. Detailing his first person experiences, Tom explains how a patient can obtain real results using cannabis for serious problems like chronic pain, cancer, diabetes, AIDS as well as neurological & autoimmune disorders.

 

Taking a straightforward but somewhat unorthodox approach to using cannabis, Tom will discuss how to get healthy without getting high, what types of products give the best results, how to get the right dose and most importantly how to save money.

 

tom_tincture.jpgTom has developed a tincture marketed under the Grandpa Tom label that many patients have found to be extremely beneficial.

 

Mark your calendar now to attend one of these special November MAPP meetings.

 

Riverside/Western IE MAPP meeting – Wednesday, November 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the historic THCF Patient Center, 647 Main St. Unit 4D, Riverside 92501.

 

Palm Springs/Coachella Valley MAPP meeting - Saturday, November 5 at 12 noon at the new age palace Crystal Fantasy, 268 N. Palm Canyon, downtown Palm Springs 92262.

 

Saturday, November 5 at 3 p.m. - Morongo Basin/Joshua Tree MAPP meeting at the legendary Beatnik Lounge, 61597 Twenty-Nine Palms Hwy., Joshua Tree 92252
420_club_button.jpg

If you like this newsletter and
want to show your support
and help us continue to do
what we do then please

Join our 420 Club and Donate $4.20/month

CLICK HERE TO JOIN

BTR_MCCS_Logo.jpg

AIMEE WARNER
Empowering Women and
Leveraging MJ into
Mainstream Stores
on Internet Radio Show
CLICK HERE to listen now!

Add your reaction Share

Prop. 64 Will Not End Prohibition! What Will?

 

problem.jpgEnding Prohibition Only Will Happen
with Safe, Reliable, Local and
AFFORDABLE Access

In my Sept. 25, 2016 newsletter, I wrote about MMRSA vs. AUMA discussing just how bad MCRSA (MMRSA has been renamed the Medical Cannabis Regulatory and Safety Act) is highlighting its complex licensing system, allowing cities and counties to ban ALL personal and commercial medicinal marijuana cultivation, ban all commercial distribution and requiring the Calif. Medical Board to crack down on doctors writing “excessive” medical marijuana recs.

 

light_bulb.jpgI then wrote how AUMA addresses some of these problems by prohibiting cities and counties from banning indoor and greenhouse cultivation, eliminating the transport license, (arguably the most onerous of all the licenses), by protecting the rights of parents to use and grow medical marijuana without having their children taken away, eliminating state sales taxes for patients with the ID card and, what I consider to be one of AUMA’s most redeeming features, the elimination, after five years, of commercial cultivation size limits allowing farmers to  engage in large scale cultivation and production of marijuana like any other agricultural crop.

 

coffee.jpgThis would result in a steep drop in prices as the high cost of marijuana is a result of its production costs and not its taxes. I opined that having a pound of marijuana at that same price as a pound of coffee, before taxes, would not be unreasonable.

 

If you would like re-read the column or read it if you are now interested in reading it for the first time CLICK HERE.

 

receive_email.jpgI did receive a number of huzzahs for the column, but I also did receive two comments disparaging what I wrote. Surprisingly they both focused on my comments approving AUMA’s lifting of any cultivation size limits and made no mention of any of the other reasons I provided for why AUMA is a pretty good deal. I would like to share one of them with you as I believe it gets to the core of the differences in outlook of pro-64 and anti-64 people.

 

All these assumptions are being presented as facts. That sounds like propaganda. We have no idea what the cost will be if 64 passes. If the price falls as much as Lanny claims what will that do to the small growers who have risked their lives for decades to provide us some of the finest herb in the world. I believe in fair trade and think a grower’s hard work should provide a livable wage. It sounds like AUMA will be a death kneel for these family farms. If all you care about is cheap weed you can buy Mexican for a few hundred dollars a pound. I think there is more at stake here than just cheap buds. Sounds like a government/corporate takeover, industrial pot, heartless capitalism. AUMA is the death of cannabis culture, of caring, fairness, peace, love and music. Replaced by government controls and the heartless concern of money. And we are being asked to do this to ourselves. AUMA is 62 very hard to understand pages for a reason. They don't want yo u to read it. Please take the time to read and understand what this really is. We can do much better. -  Lonnie Painter, Director Laguna Woods Medical Cannabis Collective and President Village Cannabis Club.

 

chicken_looking_u.jpgAUMA is the death of cannabis culture, of caring, fairness, peace, love and music?” Really? I will ascribe that kind of “statement-of-fact” to enthusiastic-for-the-anti-64-cause PT Barnum hyperbole. If you believe it’s true, nothing I write here will make any sense to you and you might as well stop reading now.

 

money_wrapped_around_marijuana.jpgThat being said Lonnie is absolutely right that Prop. 64 will be the “death kneel for these family farms,” most of which are illegal as well as “the small growers who have risked their lives for decades to provide us some of the finest herb in the world” which was, until recently if I remember correctly, being sold by them for $2,000 to $3,000 a pound.

 

When I got involved in the marijuana movement over thirty years ago, there were two goals that I wanted to help achieve. One was to stop the arrests of people for using and cultivating marijuana and two was to make marijuana as affordable as alcohol and tobacco. I feel closer to both goals then I have ever felt before.

 

80_yrs_prohibition_ends.jpgAfter almost 80 years of reefer madness we are coming out of the age of marijuana prohibition, but sadly there are some folks who, along with cops and drug warriors, don’t want to see that happen.

 

Supporting keeping a marijuana production system in place that for the last 20 years has kept marijuana at $200/ounce or more is beyond all rational belief as it continues to make it impossible for many to afford all the marijuana they need for medicine or recreation. This is not only crazy, it is inhumane, callous and hurts people in the lower economic brackets the most.

 

AUMA will substantially reduce the price for marijuana as it provides for large-scale agriculture which is the basis for our California agricultural system that provides food for the nation and the world.

 

The California Department of Food and Agriculture reports that the state produces almost half of all the fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in the country. Along with the lion’s share of livestock and dairy products, there are 66 food crops in which California leads the nation, growing virtually ALL of the nation’s almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, raisins, kiwifruit, olives, clingstone peaches, pistachios, prunes, pomegranates, sweet rice and walnuts.

 

large_scale_ag.jpgCalifornia is a major food producer for our country and can produce food at such low prices because of the economies of scale obtained on the state’s 25.4 million acres of farmland with an average farm size of 312 acres. And California’s farmers do this with farm workers comprising less than 2% of the state’s total work force.

 

Brokering the idea that California agriculture could produce so prodigiously and economically on farms restricted in size to one acre has got to be near the top of the list of irrational statements and makes one wonder what people who support restricting cultivation size have been drinking,

 

Does any rational person believe that carrots would be 49¢/lb. if farmers were forced to grow carrots like growers are forced to cultivate marijuana? Carrots would be $149/lb.scream.jpg

Marijuana consumers deserve the benefits of California’s amazing large-scale agricultural system which will provide them with quality marijuana at prices that are truly affordable. To deny them these benefits on the altar of marijuana cultural Kumbaya and a Robin Hood mythology of outlaw growers is absurd beyond belief.

 

smash_capitalism.jpgflag_corporate_sysmbols.jpgFear that a few large companies will produce a sizeable portion of marijuana production is to live in a Pollyanna world divorced from reality. From toothpaste to laundry detergent, just about every product that is used by tens of millions of Americans is produced and distributed by a handful of large companies. There may be other competitors but the bulk of sales are made by a few large companies. Some people might not like this capitalist system, but it works fairly well in getting the most product to the most people at the most affordable price.

 

What could pass as a legitimate fear is the fear that one company can take control of the entire cultivation and production process. If that is a fear, then AUMA with its no state imposed limit on licenses including a “microbusiness” license, is just what the doctor ordered.

 

small_groers.jpgsmall_growerr_women.jpgThe microbusiness license is the guarantee in AUMA that the small independent grower will always be there.  If allowed under local ordinance, the “microbusiness” license allows small producers to cultivate up to 10,000 sq. ft. (about ¼ acre) and to process, distribute, transport and sell marijuana as well as have on-site consumption with just that one license.

 

AUMA’s microbusiness license is a kissing cousin to the wine industry where there are three major players - Gallo, The Wine Group and Constellation. Then there are about a dozen large vintners and most significantly over 4,000 small independent wineries. Low prices to high prices, mediocre to fit for a king – wine enthusiasts have it all.

 

With the microbusiness license available, the same will be true for marijuana - low prices to high prices, mediocre to fit for a king – marijuana enthusiasts will have it all. The number of small family owned marijuana cultivators will rapidly dwarf the independent wineries in both terms of numbers and dollars taken in.

 

AUMA will bring to an end the production system that came of age with the advent of marijuana prohibition in 1937. It is as transformative for those seeking safe, reliable, local and affordable marijuana as was the move from horses to automobiles.

 

horseless_carriage.jpgRemember there were laws designed to make horseless carriage operation difficult - having some one walk in front waving a red flag, not exceeding 4 miles an hour, and stopping if anyone with a horse coming the other way held up a hand. As more people used cars, those laws faded and more reasonable ones took their place. AUMA is the beginning of those more reasonable laws but it is only a beginning.

 

AUMA promise of affordability has to be carefully guarded and nurtured as AUMA’s provisions allowing large-scale cultivation do not kick in until 2023. In deference to the growers who “risked their lives for decades” to provide $2,500/ lb. marijuana to the masses, AUMA prohibits the issuance of large-scale licenses for 5 years.

 

If we waited 80 years for marijuana to be sold for the same price it was sold in neighborhood drugstores before 1937, then I guess we can wait another five years.

 

goofy_bug_eye.pngConsumers of marijuana must be alert and oganized at the end of AUMA’s 5 year cultivation size restriction. The legislature will come under enormous pressure from the small growers who accumulated sizeable profits from the anti-competitive protection they received by not allowing large scale cultivation and allowing the marijuana prohibition model of cultivation to continue. I am sure the cops will be there too doing their best to undermine marijuana affordability by claiming that large farms will attract kids and cause drivers to drive erratically as they pass fields of thousands of acres of cannabis.

 

agenices.jpgThe legislature may also be under pressure from government agencies to not allow large scale cultivation. Since most of the tax revenue raised by the sale of marijuana, both on the state and local level, is based on price, a significant drop in prices that comes with large scale farming will cause a significant drop in tax revenues.

 

marijuana_gavel.jpgLegislators could raise the excise tax but that would take a 2/3 majority vote. Allowing the marijuana prohibition production method to continue would only require a simple majority guaranteeing an uninterrupted flow of lots and lots of marijuana tax dollars.

Without large scale cultivation, big business will be much more hesitant to move-in so the question is who will be at the state legislature lobbying for large scale farming to kick-in?

 

grange.pngAlthough some big businesses with their sights on California marijuana industry might step-in, it would make more sense that if AUMA passes we should start an immediate dialog with California farmers. With a value significantly higher than many other crops, farmers will understand the potential for this new crop and lobby for large-scale marijuana cultivation. We need to work with them so that we can all enjoy the real-world benefits of a very large environmentally sound crop that is ideally suited for California’s Central and Imperial Valleys.

 

pathway.jpgProp. 64 is not the end of marijuana prohibition, but it is a humane, workable and viable pathway out of it. It is a pathway that we should look forward to taking.

 


aimee_warner.jpgMAPP_Logo.jpgAIMEE WARNER
Empowering Women and
Leveraging MJ into
Mainstream Stores
on Internet Radio Show

 

The newest episode of Marijuana Compassion & Common Sense at blogtalkradio.com/marijuananews dives into the world of marijuana commerce and marijuana women featuring an interview with Washington entrepreneur Aimee Warner. As the organizer of Women of Weed, a Washington based private social club, Aimee helps to empower women to get involved in the cannabis industry and to be open and proud of their cannabis use.

cannabasic.pngRecently featured in an article by John Schroyer in the Marijuana Business Daily, she is the founder of Cannabis Basics, a company manufacturing body care products infused with hemp seed oil that may be the first marijuana company to get a THC cannabis-based health and beauty product line on the shelves of mainline retail stores. To read the Marijuana Business Daily article CLICK HERE.

Initiative 502, the voter approved law that legalized the use of marijuana for anyone over 21, didn’t fit her business model, so she lobbied Washington state lawmakers for an exception and succeeded in getting an amendment to House Bill 2136 through the legislature last year that would allow her products to be sold in stores not licensed to sell marijuana.

 

Aimee also works with cannabisnursesmagazine.com and the American Cannabis Nurses Association.

 

Lanny_in_studio.JPGHosting and interviewing is Lanny Swerdlow, RN with each episode presenting commentary on current marijuana issues as well as the featured interview. To hear the latest episode featuring the interview with Aimee Warner CLICK HERE or go to: www.blogtalkradio.com/marijuananews.

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