The Brownie Mary Democrats virtual meeting tonight, Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. will be captivating, compelling and charming. With our featured speaker the newly elected State Assembly member Christy Holstege and the auspicious addition of Dale Gieringer, Executive Director of CaNORM, the BMD meeting will be intriguing, inspiring and intellectually stimulating.
Christy will be speaking on her plans for advancing progressive legislation as she steps from her involvement in local politics as the Mayor and a City Council member of Palm Springs into the tumultuous world of state politics. She has always been a staunch advocate for cannabis legalization and is interested in hearing your concerns on the current status of cannabis in regards to regulation, licensing and future legislation. For more info on Christy CLICK HERE.
As Executive Director of CaNORML, Dale Gieringer has been involved in cannabis law reform for almost four decades and is the author of numerous papers on cannabis legal issues as well as its medical uses. Involved in almost all cannabis legislation dating back to California's historic Prop. 215, Dale has lobbied our elected officials on local, state and federal levels. With an encyclopedic knowledge of cannabis politics, Dale will be providing an insider's analysis of California's mid-term elections as well as report on the two legalization initiatives passed in Maryland and Missouri. For info on Dale CLICK HERE.
Don't miss this outstanding virtual Brownie Mary Democrats meeting tonight, Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. to learn the fascinating and revealing intersection between California politics and cannabis law reform.
Zoom link info:
Call in on your phone at 669-444-9171 - Meet ID 835 9234 5000
Got any questions, send an email to [email protected] or give us a call at 760-799-2055.
Lanny Swerdlow, RN LN
You are invited to attend a virtual meeting of the Brownie Mary Democrats on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. to meet Christy Holstege who just won election to the AD47 assembly district which covers the Coachella Valley to the Pass and up into portions of the Morongo Basin.
Christy is an amazing young woman who is beginning her move up the political ladder. She was first elected to serve on Palm Springs City Council in 2017 as part of the first all-LGBTQ city council in the country. Christy was re-elected in a landslide in 2020, serving as the city’s first ever female mayor, the city’s first millennial mayor, and the first openly bisexual mayor in America.
MAPP members appeared at a Palm Springs City Council meeting way back in 2008 asking that they allow the operation of medical marijuana dispensaries as permitted by SB 420. They listened to us and then acted to become the first city in the Inland Empire to allow for medical cannabis distribution. The city continues to allow for easy access with over 2 dozen dispensaries, cultivation facilities and manufacturers.
Christy has always supported cannabis legalization and helped keep PS a hot bed of cannabis accessibility. With a Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School, Christy can make sense of California’s byzantine cannabis laws. Now that she is an State Assemblymember she is in a position to help us secure an implementation of Prop. 64 that will make access to cannabis reliable, local, safe and most importantly AFFORDABLE. She would like to hear from us what improvements need to be made in cannabis regulations and what the state legislature can do to improve it. For more information on Christy CLICK HERE.
In addition to Christy’s presentation, there will be an analysis of the results of the election in California and the nation with a look at the two new states that passed initiatives legalizing the recreational use of cannabis. Although the outlook for repealing federal cannabis prohibition is gloomy, all is not lost and there is a pathway for ending federal prohibition that will be discussed along with some prognostications as what may happen with cannabis in 2023.
Here's the Zoom link info:
Call in on your phone at 669-444-9171 - Meet ID 835 9234 5000
With trumpets blaring and drums rolling I would like to announce that I won my election to the Board of Directors of the San Gorgonio Memorial Healthcare District. I will be the only RN on the Board and will be bringing compassion and common sense values and ideas to the forefront of the discussions relating to health care services. If and when cannabis is removed from the Schedule of Controlled Substances, I will also be advocating for its use in our community hospital if a doctor believes it will be of benefit to a hospitalized patient.
The Sunday, November 6 MAPP at 6 p.m. featuring a cannabis centered look at the midterm elections has just gotten way better with the addition of special guest speaker Christy Holstege. Christy is a member of the Palm Springs City Council and the current Mayor and is a candidate for the 47th Assembly District.
Christy has been a strong supporter of cannabis legalization and has acted to make Palm Springs a hotbed of legal cannabis activity with over two dozen dispensaries and associated cultivators and manufacturers. With a Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School, she has navigated the legal quagmire of Prop. 64 so that Palm Springs continues to provide safe, reliable and legal access to cannabis. At the meeting she will make a short presentation and there will be ample time for questions. For more information about Christy, CLICK HERE.
You don’t want to miss this meeting with its nuanced look at the mid-term election in California and across the nation including an analysis of the five states that have adult-use legalization initiatives on their ballots. Plus there will be fabulous door prizes and a festive assortment of cookies and milk. For more information on the meeting CLICK HERE.
Of special interest to those who grow their own, there will be a free seed giveaway. These seeds are from plants that were grown outdoors in the Coachella Valley climate so they are acclimated for growing in the 110+ F Desert temperatures.
You can attend the meeting in person at the Legendary Beatnik Lounge at 61597 Twentynine Palms Hwy, Joshua Tree CA 92277 or you can attend via Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81398162876 or call in by phone to 669-444-9171
At the Sunday, November 6 in-person and virtual zoom MAPP meeting in Joshua Tree, we are going to take a last-minute look at the 2022 midterms.
With inflation, abortion and democracy rightfully receiving the lion’s share of everyone’s attention, cannabis hasn’t gotten the attention it has in the past even though legalization initiatives are on the ballots in five states - Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota. These are fairly conservative states – only Maryland is a Democratic state. If all five vote to legalize, it will bring the total number of states that provide for recreational use to 24.
It will be very interesting to see how “liberal” these states will be when it comes to legalizing cannabis. Having these cannabis measures on the ballot will no doubt bring out a lot more younger voters. Young voters are more likely to vote Democratic so if the races are close, these votes can make a difference.
At the Sunday, May 6 meeting, you will be presented with a knowledgeable and nuanced look at what this election portends for California and the nation. On the state level we will use CaNORML’s cannabis election guide and examine the election’s up and down the state and discuss how they will affect the legal availability of cannabis.
On the national level in addition to discussing the legalization ballot initiatives, we will take a look at some of the more interesting races where the fate of cannabis on the federal level will be decided by just who wins these races.
We will also discuss the 6,500+ pardons issued by President Biden for all people convicted of possession of cannabis in violation of federal law and what it portends for future cannabis law reform on the federal level.
For those who attend in person, there will be a delightful assortment of cookies served with milk plus the chance to win some fabulous door prizes.
The in-person MAPP meeting on Sunday, Nov. 6 begins at 6:30 p.m. - note the change - the meeting is being held on Sunday rather then Saturday. It will be held at the legendary Beatnik Lounge, 61597 Twentynine Palms Hwy, Joshua Tree CA 92277.
If you can’t make the meeting in person, you can join the meeting at the following Zoom weblink: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81398162876
Want to help us out a little. To make a donation CLICK HERE..
Marijuana Anti-Prohibition Project
BIG STEP 1 - IT WILL PROTECT YOUR JOB - EVENTUALLY
Assembly Bill 2188, which bars employers from testing hair, blood, urine or other bodily fluids for cannabis metabolites, was signed by Governor Newsom on September 18. But don't go celebrating just yet as there are some caveats that have not been widely reported. Number one is the law doesn't go into effect until Jan. 1, 2024 meaning you can still be tested and fired for OVER ONE MORE YEAR! Number 2 is that although it will protect employees from discrimination in hiring, firing or setting conditions of employment based on cannabis use off the job and away from the work place, it specifically exempts employees in the building and construction trades or positions requiring a federal background investigation or clearance. That's a lot of jobs that off-duty cannabis use can impact so we still have a ways to go.
What was so absurd is that it took California so long to pass this legislation. Six other states have already enacted employment non-discrimination legislation so California was certainly behind the 8-ball on this one. it was not for lack of trying. In 2008, the California legislature passed cannabis legislation protecting employees from termination for off-duty use of medicinal cannabis but it was vetoed by then Governor Schwarzenegger who wrote that "Employment protection was not a goal of the initiative as passed by voters in 1996." This was utter nonsense as the intent of Prop. 215 was to treat marijuana like any other legal pharmaceutical drug.
Although legislation to protect cannabis consumers from discrimination on the job was introduced in almost every succeeding legislative session, opposition from businesses, chambers of commerce, police and building trade unions and employers along with fears of pissing off the feds, stymied the bills from getting anywhere. Pressure to pass this legislation had been building for several years coming from a wide variety of constituencies including the California Democratic Party which passed a resolution in 2019 introduced by the Brownie Mary Democrats.calling on Democratic legislators to pass a bill protecting workers from employment termination for off-duty cannabis use. Needless to say, the bone tossed to the Building and Trade associations helped subdue their very considerable and vocal opposition.
The cannabis employment non-discrimination bill was among a series of cannabis-related bills passed by the 2022 legislature that expanded the legal market, addressed harms from past cannabis bans and furthers the implementation of Prop. 64. To see all the bills passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor, CLICK HERE.
BIG STEP 2 - FREE AT LAST
Whether it is crass scrambling to get young people out to vote or its truly an epiphany of rationality and justice, President Biden's executive orders to remove the albatross of felony possession convictions from around the neck of federal marijuana prisoners is a most welcome and long, long overdue action. Even though there is no one in federal prison for possessing cannabis, the 6,500 people who were convicted of possession of marijuana under federal law between 1992 and 2001 will have their records expunged and will no longer be considered felons ending their inability to get jobs, ineligibility for a host of government programs, disqualification for many state licenses and I guess should give them grounds to claim the right and begin the process allowing them to obtain guns of all types just like any other red-blooded gun-obsessed American.
In his message announcing these changes Biden recognized that "Sending people to prison for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives and incarcerated people for conduct that many states no longer prohibit." He specifically noted that "while white and Black and brown people use marijuana at similar rates, Black and brown people have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionate rates. Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana. It's time that we right these wrongs,"
Biden also requested that the Dept. of Health and Human Services reconsider marijuana's classification as a Schedule I drug by the Controlled Substances Act. Of course I would advise against holding one's breath on that one as it probably will require an act of Congress to do that. What is so sad is that the President shouldn't have to ask for it be done - it should have already happened two years ago when the Democrats took control of Congress. It just shows how dysfunctional they have been these last two years.
Ending cannabis prohibition should have been easy considering they hold a majority in both branches of Congress. Granted the majority they hold is about as slim a majority as possible, but they could have ended federal cannabis prohibition as there are enough Republicans who support it that a truly bipartisan coalition could have been put together to get it done. But they didn't
Even though Biden's move is certainly a big step in the right direction, the federal government can still prosecute residents of any state for possessing, using or selling marijuana, Anyone who ever doubted the importance of ending cannabis prohibition on the state level can see the effect of states legalizing cannabis under state law. Since Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize cannabis in 2012, the number of cannabis arrests by the feds has plummeted from almost 7,000 in 2012 to less then 1,000 in 2021 making federal marijuana arrests less then 6% of people charged for violating federal drug laws. Now that is progress and is especially felt by the 6,500 people convicted for possessing cannabis under federal laws who will be pardoned.
"Way to go Joe."
Small Step 3 - Foot In The Door
I am running for the Board of Directors of the San Gorgonio Memorial Healthcare District. Now this might not seem to have anything to do with cannabis, but since it involves me of course it does, but before I get to that, let me tell you about this elected office.
There are 85 health care districts in California. Located mainly in rural areas, their primary directive in most instances is the support and operation of a community-based hospital, such as the San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital in Banning near where I live. In addition, health care districts are supposed to be grant-making organizations that support and implement a wide range of other community-based health and wellness facilities and activities.
I am the only person running for this position who is a Registered Nurse and has had actual hands-on experience working in both hospital and community health care positions. RNs are trained to take a holistic view of our patients’ healthcare needs. They are the backbone of not just the hospital, but all of our communities’ healthcare services. An RN will provide that needed holistic view and if elected to the SGMHD I will provide that viewpoint and work to see it implemented.
This is where my knowledge of cannabis and medicine comes in. As I am sure all you know, cannabis provides significant health benefits. These health benefits do not end at the side of a hospital bed, but actually increase. Pain, insomnia and anxiety are symptoms exhibited by many hospital patients and cannabis is one of the most effective, if not the most effective, treatment for these hospital associated ailments. If a patient's doctor believes cannabis will benefit the patient's health and help get them out of the hospital, then the patient should have access to medicinal cannabis in the hospital.
Since almost all hospitals receive significant amounts of money from the feds, Medicare being just one of them, they are not allowed to have cannabis provided to their patients due to federal law. However, there have been multiple bills introduced in Congress that would remove cannabis from the Schedule of Controlled Substances, thereby ending federal cannabis prohibition which means doctors and hospitals could provide cannabis to their patients without breaking federal law and jeopardizing the vast sums of money they get from the feds.
Once federal cannabis prohibition ends, then cannabis advocates would need to pressure hospitals to allow cannabis to be provided to their patients as it is very unlikely hospitals would do this on their own volition. That is where I would come in. As a member of the Board of Directors of the San Gorgonio Memorial Healthcare District, I could put forward the proposition that cannabis be allowed in the hospital. I don’t think it would really cause that much of an uproar – in fact I think it would be accepted, but somebody has to raise the issue first. I, as an RN taking that special holistic perspective so characteristic of nurses, would be the best and most likely the only person on the Board of Directors to make it happen.
Not wanting to be on a fool’s errand, I recognize that the chances of the feds ending cannabis prohibition are slim to non-existent. All the pundits are predicting that Republicans are likely to regain control of the House and if they do, we can kiss ending federal cannabis prohibition off as, although some Republicans support it, the majority do not.
However, if by some minor miracle, Democrats retain control of the House or by a major miracle, the majority of Republicans have an epiphany and support ending federal cannabis prohibition, then I will be in position to make it happen that cannabis will be available in our local hospital. Don’t worry, I am not going to endanger my health by holding my breath waiting for that to happen, but I will be prepared if it does.
Now for the pitch that you knew was coming. Running for political office costs money and I could use a little help in the regard. $$$ are needed for printing flyers, election cards, yard and roadside signs plus advertising in a local community newspaper. My election budget approaches about a thousand dollars and if you would like to throw a few bucks my way to help with winning the election, I would surely appreciate it.
If you can help financially please make a check out to Lanny Swerdlow, RN and send it to PO Box 918, Cabazon CA 92230.
If I win, you will all be invited to my in-person and virtual victory party where cannabis consumption will be allowed and encouraged.
By popular demand, MAPP will be holding its first public meeting where real live people will be present on Sunday, August 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the fabled Beatnik Lounge at 61597 29 Palms Hwy in Joshua Tree, CA 92252.
We are going to catch up with all the cannabis legal and medical going-ons that transpired during the pandemic lock-down as well as share stories about how our use of cannabis helped us get through the COVID crisis.
We will celebrate this most wonderful event with an ICE CREAM SOCIAL featuring ice cream sundaes - non-medicated of course. If you would like to bring a desert, some cookies or whatever (non-medicated of course again) to add to the celebration, you are encouraged to do so.
It will be great to see as many of you as possible, but if you can’t make it to the actual meeting, you can join us virtually as we will podcast the meeting via Zoom.
We will have a few door prizes to give away too including our Absolutely Fabulous silicone pipes.
I know this is controversial, but I am an RN and I work at COVID vaccination, testing and treatment sites so I always err on the side of caution. Please understand that many of our members are elderly and other high-risk community members, so we do ask that you wear a mask during the meeting. If you don’t have one, we will provide you with one.
Mark your calendar for Sunday, Aug. 7 at 6:30 p.m. so your short-term memory loss won’t cause you to miss it. All the info, including the Zoom link is printed below.
Meeting date & time: Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022 at 6:30 p.m.
Meeting location: Beatnik Lounge, 61597 29 Palms Hwy in Joshua Tree, CA. 92252
Zoom Meeting link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82483929897
Join by phone: 669-900-9128 Meeting ID: 824 8392 9897
It Ain’t Over Yet – still work to be done to get cannabis as widely available and acceptable as Budweiser and Coke – so if you have about 60 seconds, here is something you can do.
Adult-use of cannabis has been legal in California for over five years. It is beyond time for lawmakers to protect the right of employees to use marijuana when they are off the job. AB 2188, which would protect the rights of employees so that employers can’t discriminate against workers or job candidates who legally consume marijuana when they are not at work and where there is no indication of impairment, is headed to a vote in the state Senate. Before it can get to the floor though, it needs to pass the Senate Appropriations Committee.
You can help by calling Appropriations Committee Chair State Senator Anthony J. Portantino’s office at (916) 651-4025. Ask him to move AB 2188 out of the suspense file (they will be so impressed you to knew to ask for this) and forward it to the Senate floor to pass the bill and put an end to unfair workplace discrimination against people who use cannabis legally. Don’t forget to say “Thank You.”
Want to help MAPP? Consider joining our 420 Club and make an effortless donation of $4.20 each month or make a one-time donation. Your support would be gratefully appreciated.
Marijuana Anti-Prohibition Project
Fox News Host Laura Ingraham places the blame for the gun violence crisis in America on “what legalization of marijuana has done and is doing to an entire generation of Americans with violent consequences.”
Claiming studies “have explored the connection between regular pot use and an increased risk for serious mental illness and even violent psychotic episodes in some cases,” Ingraham wants to know “Why aren’t people in general not talking more about the pot psychosis violent behavior connection?”
To back up her contention that cannabis is at the root of the mass shootings, Ingraham brought psychiatrist Dr. Norman Miller on her television show. Connecting the dots between mass murders by people carrying AK15s, Dr. Miller expounded if “we are really interested in solving the gun violence problem, I think we’re gonna have to look under the rock and look at the role of drugs, particularly marijuana, in causing the violence, particularly the mass violence.”
Finally the truth be told - it’s not the easy availability of guns, but the easy availability of cannabis that is the cause of mass shootings.
Going one big step further in exposing the true cause for mass gun violence, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton stated in an interview with conservative radio host Trey Graham that if he had the opportunity to talk with the parents whose children had been murdered in the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde Texas, “I’d have to say, look, there’s always a plan. I believe God always has a plan.”
If Paxton believes God’s plan was for an 18-year-old to kill 19 children and their two teachers in a school classroom, then Texas has shown the way to end this mass gun violence
States should enact laws like the new anti-abortion law in Texas, that would allow a private citizen to sue anyone who facilitated God’s plan to use guns to murder large numbers of people. Like the Texas law, the citizen bringing the lawsuit against anyone facilitating God’s plans for mass gun violence would be entitled to damages in an amount of not less than $10,000 as well as attorney’s fees.
Laura Ingraham and Ken Paxton got it right - guns don't kill people - pot and God kill people.
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Marijuana Anti-Prohibition Project
Marijuana Anti-Prohibition Project
In 2021, states took in $3 billion in excise taxes on cannabis compared with about $2.5 billion on alcohol. California generated $832 million in excise taxes, about twice as much as from alcohol sales. According to data provided by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), states in which cannabis is legal generated on average 20% more revenue from retail cannabis sales than they did from alcohol sales.
“[I]t is remarkable that in the span of just a few years, the narrow ‘sin taxes’ that states created to apply to cannabis purchases have managed to surpass the comparable taxes that have long applied to alcohol,” authors of the analysis wrote.
This is absurd especially when considering that alcohol causes around 80,000 deaths a year and no one dies from cannabis. The absurdity continues to grow as alcohol causes broken homes, significant health problems such as pancreatitis, hepatitis, cardiovascular disease and rotten brains and cannabis not only doesn't cause these ailments it can actually prevent them. The absurdity maxes out considering the amount of alcohol consumed far exceeds the amount of cannabis consumed.
The report noted that several other states are considering joining the 11 states that have legalized recreational cannabis. Carl Davis, one of the authors of the ITEP study, said the best way to maximize revenue is to remove barriers to entry for the businesses that cultivate and sell marijuana. “If their priority becomes to maximize revenue, the way you do that is to allow for a large number of retail outlets and allow for delivery and discourage local bans on cannabis shops.”
The rush to impose usurious tax rates on cannabis has led to this bizarre reality where cannabis tax revenue collections, which was legalized only 10 years ago, now outpaces alcohol tax revenues which were legalized 89 years ago. Onerous taxation of cannabis is not good for our communities. We must keep fighting to reduce the usurious taxation of cannabis because if we can get cannabis cheap and widely available, many people will switch from alcohol to cannabis for their consciousness altering substance-of-choice. I don’t have to tell you how much better we would all be if people consumed more pot and less booze.
The only silver lining in this excessive tax revenue amount is that state legislators are far less likely to genuflect before the Evangelical social agenda and, unlike abortion and LGBT civil rights, are not going to re-instate cannabis prohibition and kill this new and significant golden goose revenue stream. Perhaps if abortions and LGBT civil rights were taxed at as high a rate as cannabis, maybe those state legislators who are falling all over themselves to overturn them, would be voting to protect them.
Can the Riverside Co. Sheriff's and DA's Offices have rational cannabis policies? Two Candidates Think They Can!
Even though Riverside County has made significant strides towards mainstreaming cannabis for both personnel and business uses with its very realistic policy on personal cultivation for medical users and implementation of an ordinance for commercial businesses, there are still substantial complaints on the actions of law enforcement particularly the heavy handed approach of the Sheriff’s office.
With a nod to a more enlightened approach, you are invited to join in a special MAPP ZOOM meeting and podcast on Sunday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. where you can meet, hear and question two candidates who are opposing the June re-election of the current DA and Sheriff.
Michael Lujan is a former Captain in the Riverside County Sheriff’s office who retired after serving Riverside County residents for 31 years. He is opposing current Sheriff Chad Bianco who is embroiled in controversy over his refusal to enforce state and county mask mandates and, as reported by the Press Enterprise, “was a dues-paying member of the Oath Keepers” a far-right organization that played a major role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. His implementation of "Marijuana Mondays" which were escalated to include "Weed Wednesdays" resulted in a heavy-handed approach to legacy commercial cannabis cultivators in the Anza Valley area of Riverside County who had been cultivating cannabis for a decade or more but were denied the ability to legally cultivate when Riverside County refused to include them in its commercial cannabis cultivation ordinance even though they are in an area zoned for rural agriculture.
The Honorable Burke Strunsky, a judge for the Riverside County Superior Court is opposing current DA Michael Hestrin. Although more low-key and less demonstrative then Bianco, Hestrin has generally worked in tandem with Bianco and has done little, as Riverside County's chief law enforcement officer, to aid in the implementation of Prop. 64 which was approved by Riverside County voters in 2016.
Joining us on this special meeting/podcast is Edison Gomez-Krause, founder of the High County Grower’s Association which advocates for the legacy cannabis cultivators in the Anza Valley region. Edison will present the history of cannabis cultivation in the region and detail the on-going problems, travails and fruitless efforts of cultivators to bring their area into compliance and the refusal of the Sheriff’s and DA’s offices to work with them.
Captain Lujan and Judge Strunsky offer striking and compelling alternatives in many areas and not just in cannabis law enforcement to the current Sheriff and DA in Riverside County. You are cordially invited to attend a most enlightening virtual zoom meeting on Sunday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. with Captain Lujan and Judge Strunsky. This is your chance to meet, hear and ask questions of both candidates. Zoom MAPP meeting info below: