Call to Congratulate or
Castigate Your Assembly
Member on Their Vote to
Make California America's
1st Ganja Sanctuary State
In what is a truly historic vote, the California State Assembly passed AB 1578, the courageous legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Jones-Sawyer which prevents local and state police from cooperating, assisting or collaborating with federal police in the arrest, prosecution and imprisonment of people following California’s medical and adult-use marijuana laws.
It was as narrow a victory as imaginable squeaking by with a 41 to 33 vote (40 Democrats and 1 Republican voting YES, 11 Democrats and 22 Republicans voting NO and 4 Democrats and 2 Republicans NOT VOTING – note they were not absent, they chose not to vote).
To see if your assembly member supported or opposed AB 1578 and to see how easy it is to contact them to either congratulate or castigate, CLICK HERE.
AB 1578 now advances to the Senate where it has two co-sponsors - Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Oakland) and Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). In the assembly, the bill was intensely opposed by law enforcement. They are expected to continue to pull-out-all-the-stops in a last ditch effort to maintain their ability to continue criminally pursuing marijuana consumers and producers by joining with federal police to enforce federal law as there is no longer any state law that will allow them to continue busting law-abiding citizens.
Most of the other 46 bills that had been introduced that would have affected marijuana did not make it through either chamber. Four that did are:
AB 64 by Rob Bonta (D) is a reform measure that fills the holes found in current medical and non-medical regulations.
AB 1410 by Jim Wood (D) allows licensed growers to pay their cultivation tax through distributors.
AB 62 by Jim Wood (D) would ban smoking of tobacco products in public housing but along with tobacco also bans vaping and smoking of marijuana - medical and recreational. This is particularly egregious as it leaves medical marijuana patients with no place to legally partake of their medicine. We must engage valiantly in the Senate to defeat or amend this onerous piece of legislation.
SB 65 by Jerry Hill (D) re-affirms infraction penalties for driving while using marijuana which is less serious than a DUI, but is still not a good idea to drive and imbibe at the same time.
Watch my newsletter for how AB 1578 and these other bills advance in the legislative maze and please, please, please when you receive a newsletter asking that you send an email or make a phone call, take those few minutes and follow through.
AB 1578 is a perfect example of why that is so important – it was a squeaker and there is absolutely no doubt that a number of the YES votes would have been NO votes, if you, your friends, family member and others had not taken the small amount of time required to contact their legislators asking them to vote YES on AB 1578.
Highland City Councilman
Jesse Chavez Looks at
Local Marijuana Politics
at Wed. June 7 MAPP
meeting in Moreno Valley
All politics is local is a fact of life that for too long the marijuana movement, whether it be medical or recreational, has failed to take fully into account. Our failure to secure local access for medical marijuana patients throughout most of the state and the ongoing failure to secure local distribution under Prop. 64 is starkly seen by the avalanche of total bans engulfing cities and counties throughout the state.
The Inland Empire city of Highland is a classic example of that failure. Even though the majority of voters in Highland voted in favor of Prop. 64, the City Council on May 30 enacted a total and complete ban on any distribution or production of cannabis. Highland city residents will not have safe, reliable and local access to a product that they voted for.
Highland’s Planning Dept. issued the usual unsubstantiated memes of crime, children and calamity if marijuana distribution and production facilities were allowed. The hostility on the issue from Highland’s mayor was overtly obvious in her refusal to allow additional speaking time when I presented a refutation of the Planning Departments report even though one of the council members specifically requested that I be allotted an additional three minutes.
That the issue held little community interest was obvious in that there was only one speaker in favor and two speakers opposed. If this had been an issue of opening up a homeless shelter, the Council chambers would have been full to overflowing.
What happened in Highland is instructive in what is and will be happening throughout the Inland Empire and the rest of California. To analyze what happened and to determine and develop better ways of approaching city councils and county boards to allow marijuana distribution and production, the Wednesday, June 7 MAPP meeting will feature Highland City Council member Jesse Chavez.
Elected last November to the Highland City Council, Jesse brings a fresh and preformist outlook to what has been a tired and old school viewpoint that has dominated the politics of all too many local governments in the Inland Empire. His interest in local city politics and election to the Highland City Council is as instructive as it is inspiring and can be read about by CLICKING HERE.
As a member of the Highland City Council he has quickly picked up the intricacies and intrigues of local politics. His explanation of how the ban came into being, why it happened and what can be done about it will be very instructive when it comes time for any of us to navigate through the political process in our local communities to allow for commercial marijuana enterprises as well as reasonable indoor personal cultivation regulations as permitted under Prop. 215 and Prop. 64.
Most excitedly will be a presentation made by IE participants at the Citizens Lobby Day in Sacramento on Monday, June 5. Sponsored by Americans for Safe Access and CaNORML, the annual Citizens Lobby Days brings hundreds of local activists to Sacramento where they receive information on current legislative bills and training to lobby their elected state legislators. The IE participants will be reporting on their interactions with their state legislators and what this portends for the IE. This is a prime example of how marijuana interests can make headway and succeed.
Information will also be presented on AB 1578 and other bills in the state legislature as well as a report on what happened relating to marijuana issues at the recently concluded California Democratic Party state convention.
The MAPP meeting on Wednesday, June 7 begins at 7:30 p.m. and is held at Greenview Medical, 22275 Alessandro Blvd, Moreno Valley, CA 92553. Everyone is invited to the meeting and encouraged to bring friends, family members and other acquaintances to the meeting. Milk, punch and a delightful assortment of cookies will be provided.