Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sacramento Drafts Statewide Medical Cannabis Guidelines

State Assembly Member Tom Ammiano has ‘introduced’ AB 473 and while the bill appears in the legislative counsel’s digest at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_0451-0500/ab_473_bill_20130219_introduced.html, the only statement regarding the intent of the bill is to “provide a comprehensive state regulatory structure for medical cannabis cultivation, processing, testing, and distribution.” 

The full text of the bill is not yet published but the media reported extensively last week that Ammiano’s proposed regulatory body for collectives is the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC). 

Ammiano Suggests Marijuana Industry Be Policed By Alcohol Board [Updated]

Medical Marijuana Patients Wary of Booze Cops Regulating Pot

The idea has sparked a variety of criticism.  Statewide guidelines seem like a sane prospect for collectives operating in areas where local regulations are non-existent, until one considers the jeopardy of placing every cultivator, hash maker, baker, trimmer… under a ‘comprehensive structure’ while federal prohibition is still in full affect.  Ammiano has urged that his legislation is needed in order to appease federal authorities citing Colorado’s statewide regulations.  However, Colorado continues to suffer federal interference and local bans despite a statewide program.  

Law enforcement officials around California are not keen on an alcohol – medical cannabis legal fusion.  Many patient advocates aren’t either, fearing the exposure of patients intimately involved with cannabis production, and additional fees and taxes that will put ma & pop collectives out of operation.  Others debate whether this is a step toward an adult recreation model and if that is a good or bad thing when considering this bill is supposed to be about Prop. 215, and not-for-profit patient collectives.  Some see this proposal as Ammiano’s attempt to generate significant revenue to fund a large enforcement bureaucracy off the backs of patients.  How much is a gram of cannabis going to cost when the cultivator pays a fee to grow, trimmer has to be licensed, mandatory testing fees, the dispensary is paying additional State fees and taxes? 

State Senator Mark Leno has hinted that he is working on a proposal as well.  Last year his bill was based on the State Attorney General Guidelines leaving enforcement to the municipalities.  Leno claims to be a patient advocate and concerned about affordable access to medical cannabis.  We shall see what/if he presents in this 2013 session.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Prisoner Outreach Workshop - Spring 2013

Letter Writing To Political Prisoners Of Conscience and Compassion

These prisoners are serving federal prison sentences for their outspoken and visible involvement with providing or cultivating cannabis for compassionate purposes. 

Many of these prisoners serve their time in prisons far from their homes and families and therefore rarely get visitors.  Mail call is an extremely important time of day.

Please write today!

Make sure you include the prisoner ID# on the envelope or post card and include a return address.

Here are some other useful tips when writing to someone in prison:

This list is not comprehensive. If you know someone serving federal time for his/her involvement with medical cannabis, please contact PatientAdvocates@Riseup.net.

Please write to:

Dustin “DC” Costa 62406-097   (9/18)
USP Florence Admax
U.S. Penitentiary
P.O. Box 8500
Florence, CO 81226

Jonathan M. Chapman 63546-097    (3/14)
FCI Lompoc
Federal Correctional Institution
3600 Guard Road
Lompoc, CA  93436

Roger Christie 99279-022     (unknown)
FDC Honolulu
Federal Detention Center
P.O. Box 30080
Honolulu, HI 96820

Tim Dellas 93161-011     (11/15)
Federal Prison Camp
P.O. Box 6000
Sheridan, OR 97378

Marc Scott Emery 40252-086      (7/14)
FCI Yazoo City Medium
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 5888
Yazoo City, MS 39194

Bryan James Epis 09636-097    (9/16)
FCI Terminal Island
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 3007
San Pedro, CA 90731

Scott Eric Feil 14313-111    (12/15)
CI Taft
Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 7001
Taft, CA  93268

Marion P. Fry 15840-097       (9/15)
FCI Dublin
Federal Correctional Institution
5701 8th St. - Camp Parks
Dublin, CA 94568

Virgil Edward Grant 47375-112       (2/14)
FCI Terminal Island
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 3007
San Pedro, CA 90731

James Dale Holland 62466-097       (7/13)
Community Corrections Office
2425 South 200 Street
Seattle, WA 98198

Charles Edward Lepp 90157-011      (1/18)
FCI La Tuna
Federal Correctional Institution
Federal Satellite Low
P.O. Box 6000
Anthony, TX  88021

Richard Ruiz Montes 63130-097       (9/25)
Federal Correctional Institution
3600 Guard Road
Lompoc, CA 93436

Van Phong Nguyen 13254-041      (5/23)
FCI Safford
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. BOX 9000
Safford, AZ 85548

Luke Scarmazzo 63131-097        (4/27)
USP Lompoc
U.S. Penitentiary
3901 Klein Blvd.
Lompoc, CA 93436

Dale C. Schafer 15839-097       (9/15)
CI Taft
Correctional Institution
P.O. Boc 7001
Taft, CA 93268


How To Contact Your Congressional Representatives - It's Time To End Cannabis Prohibition

January 29, 2013

Representative Adam Schiff
2411 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4176
Facsimile: (202) 225-5828

Dear Congressmember Adam Schiff,

I write you to about ending cannabis prohibition.  For too long prohibition has denied our business sector the opportunities that come with industrial hemp.  For too long the ‘War On Drugs’ has incarcerated non-violent Americans solely for possession of ‘marihuana.’  For too long America has missed out on the revenue from sales of cannabis products, whether industrial, therapeutic or recreational.  For too long the DEA has interfered with States that already have approved and supported medical cannabis laws on their books.  It’s time for Congress to draft sensible national cannabis policies and stop punishing people over a plant.

I personally have a long history as a cannabis activist and have worked with numerous organizations throughout the country on this issue.  Currently, I am the executive director of Patient Advocacy Network – a charitable 501(c)(3) organization providing education and training to medical cannabis patients and providers, and advocating for patients’ rights and protection.  I have seen first hand the violence and destruction of the DEA’s ‘smash and grab’ tactics here in Los Angeles. 

Please find enclosed a copy of a position paper published by Patient Advocacy Network regarding the issue of ‘rescheduling’ cannabis.  This brief paper explores the Controlled Substances Act highlighting that many of the penalties for cannabis offences under Schedules II – V are more severe than under Schedule I.  However, there are many options for regulating cannabis other than the CSA.

I thank you for your time and consideration.  I look forward to working with you and your staff on this issue until cannabis is safe and legal and all the prisoners of compassion and conscience are free. 

Truly yours,

CC:  President Barack Obama, Senator Barbara Boxer and Senator Diane Feinstein
Enclosure: Position Paper (12 pages)

Removing Cannabis From The Controlled Substances Act Why Rescheduling Marihuana Will Not End The State-Federal Conflict Over Medical Cannabis