Your Right to Cultivate
Hangs in the Balance
As permitted by the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act and some allege the Calif. Supreme Court decision in Riverside vs. Inland Empire Heath and Wellness Center, many cities banned all medical marijuana cultivation indoor as well as outdoor. The passage of Prop. 64 put an end to that as it gave all residents 21 and over the right to cultivate up to 6 plants.
Prop. 64 does allow cities to ban outdoor cultivation but penalizes cities that do by denying them any state money from the billion plus dollars the state is supposed to take in from taxes and license fees. That has not kept cities and counties from banning outdoor cultivation, but then again the state has not yet started distributing and hence denying money to municipalities that have passed outdoor bans. We have yet to see how many outdoor bans will fall when money is denied to those that have outdoor bans in place.
However, Prop. 64 does allow cities to enact "reasonable" regulations on indoor cultivation. Reasonable is in the eye of the grower and many cities have enacted regulations that they consider reasonable but that many personal cultivators would consider so onerous and burdensome that they amount to a defacto ban.
Citing everything under the sun from crime to children to odors, the Fontana City Council enacted regulations requiring permitting fees of over $400, allowing police, fire and code inspectors to inspect a homeowner’s premises at any time, enacting elaborate and expensive code requirements and more.
To put an end to these defacto bans, the Drug Policy Alliance, the major big league player behind Prop. 64, decided to initiate an action against the city of Fontana and along with the ACLU took the recalcitrant city to court. They needed to find a person who lived in Fontana that would like to grow their own marijuana but found the regulations so overly burdensome that they chose not to exercise their right to grow.
They found Mike Harris.
A retired ironworker and RN, Mike is a long time marijuana activist. He has attended and spoken at many local government hearings, attends MAPP meetings regularly, is an active member of the Human Solution which provides court support to people charged with marijuana law violations and showed up and cheered me on at my trial for my alleged push of reefer mad drug warrior Paul Chabot. (I was found not guilty and eventually sued Chabot for false arrest which I won.)
With Mike as their poster-child plaintiff, the ACLU filed suit against Fontana alleging that the regulations are onerous and unreasonable. Over the last year, motions have been filed, discovery requested and a passel full of other court procedures undertaken in preparation for a hearing.
The groundwork has been laid and now the first hearing in the precedent setting case has been scheduled for Friday, Oct. 5 at 8:30 a.m. in San Bernardino Superior Court courtroom S26 at 247 W. 3rd St., San Bernardino CA 92415. This is an open hearing so anyone can attend. It would be most excellent to pack the courtroom with supporters.
It seems kind of fitting that this precedent setting defacto ban cultivation case takes place in the Inland Empire as the precedent setting case on whether cities can ban medical marijuana dispensaries under their zoning ordinances took place in the IE as well. Hopefully the outcome will be better than what happened in the dispensary case.
Since the DPA and the ACLU have retained a team of lawyers from O’Melveny and Meyers, one of the largest and most respected law firms in California, a favorable outcome is far more likely than the dispensary case.
History will be made in this courtroom as this is a precedent setting case defending Prop. 64's provisions allowing people to grow their own. This lawsuit will eventually affect every city and county in the state that has passed defacto bans on personal indoor marijuana cultivation. Whichever side loses in this first hearing will appeal the decision. It is expected that this case will eventually wind up in the state Supreme Court, but that will take at least a year and possibly two.
In the meantime you are encouraged to attend the hearing on Friday, Oct. 5. It would be beneficial for us to fill every seat in the court room – justice may be blind but the judge isn’t and seeing a court room packed with citizens concerned about their right to cultivate marijuana is bound to have some kind of influence.
Once again the hearing will be held on Friday, Oct. 5 at 8:30 a.m. in San Bernardino Superior Court courtroom S26 at 247 W. 3rd St., San Bernardino CA 92415.
Mike will be the guest speaker at the MAPP meeting on Wed. Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m. in Moreno Valley and is also the featured guest on the radio show Marijuana Compassion and Common Sense. Information on attending the meeting and listening to the radio show can be found below.
October MAPP meetings
Great Speakers mean Great Meetings
Mike Harris Fights Fontana’s Defacto Cultivation Ban
Ruth Hill and the Cannabis Nurse Navigator
The October MAPP meetings are really extra special with speakers you will want to meet and hear. Plus we will be giving away two of those new-fangled unbreakable take them anywhere silicone ganja pipes at each MAPP meeting.
Hear and Meet Mike Harris at Moreno Valley MAPP meeting
Wed. Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m. – Moreno Valley MAPP meeting – You read all about Mike and the upcoming hearing on defacto cultivation bans – now meet and hear him in person. You can even have your picture taken with him. Meeting is at the Greenview Medical Clinic, 22275 Alessandro Blvd., Moreno Valley, CA 92553
RN and Cannabis Columnist Ruth Hill to speak at Palm Springs and Joshua Tree MAPP meetings.
There are pediatric nurses, oncologist nurses, hospice nurses and nurse for almost every specific medical therapy and now welcome to the 21st Century and the Cannabis Nurse Navigator.
With medical literature on marijuana growing by leaps and bounds, public recognition of its health and medical benefits soaring and with 29 states passing laws allowing the legal use of cannabis for medical reasons, the need for a nursing workforce well versed in the many ways marijuana can be used medicinally is more important than ever.
RN Ruth Hill will explain the role of the Cannabis Nurse Navigator in the modern health care system, how this new health specialty came to be, what services a Cannabis Nurse Navigator provides and how this can be of benefit to people everywhere.
Ruth brings over 50 years in nursing from a multitude of settings including hospice, palliative care and executive management in the home health industry. She has worked in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington, Arizona, California, and the 97th General Hospital in Frankfort Germany. Ruth spent the last seventeen years in hospice and palliative care most recently in Coachella Valley, CA.
An entrepreneur having started a six-bed residential facility for the elderly, consultant for home health agencies and educating clients on palliative care all providing an effective segue into cannabis for symptom management.
Ruth is a writer of poetry and essays on numerous medical topics of the day. She writes on a variety of marijuana issues for the Coachella Valley Weekly and is a member of the Hospice and Palliative Nursing Association, the Oncology Nursing Society and the American Cannabis Nurses Association as well as membership in The Palm Springs Writers Guild and the Rancho Mirage WordKeepers.
Meet, hear and converse with Ruth at both the Palm Springs and Joshua Tree MAPP meetings.
Saturday, October 6 at 12 noon – Palm Springs/Coachella Valley MAPP meeting - Crystal Fantasy, 268 N. Palm Canyon, downtown Palm Springs CA 92262
Saturday, October 6 at 3 p.m. – Joshua Tree/Morongo Basin MAPP meeting - The Beatnik Café, 61597 Twenty-Nine Palms Hwy., Joshua Tree CA 92252.
In addition to having a chance to win a cool silicone pipe, there will be a delectable assortment of cookies with milk and punch for all to enjoy. Bring yourself, your friends, family members and that neighbor of yours who needs to learn all about marijuana.
Defacto Personal Marijuana Cultivation Ban Goes to Court
Hear Mike Harris tell the story of his involvement in this precedent setting case. Learn the background, Fontana’s regulatory horrors, the legal issues, the personal story and more as Mike recounts his involvement and extensive knowledge of what is about to unfold.
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