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Support Safe Access for the Seriously Ill - Benefit Concert

A Benefit for Berkeley Patients Group's James R. Russell Memorial Hospice Program. A Program that brings free medicine to those who need it most. Featuring Elevation 42, Rachel Levant, and Jon Perri. A $12 donation to a fantastic cause gets you in! The Starry Plough For more information, contact Jon at 401-265-9445 or The BPG is a medical cannabis collective organized to serve patients in the Greater Berkeley area. We provide safe and affordable access to a wide variety of medication, including dried herbs, edibles, extracts, and concentrates. Berkeley Patients Group (BPG) is one of California's largest and most respected medical cannabis collectives. The BPG has provided safe access, fair prices, and a 2,500 square foot community center to thousands of Northern California patients since 2000. Our management team has over 50 years of collective experience in medical cannabis provision, grass roots activism, public education, and cannabis law reform efforts. The BPG is committed both to providing safe access -- and to protecting it. We strive to operate a dispensary that is a model of compassion and legal integrity. The BPG operates in strict compliance with the letter and the spirit of California's medical cannabis laws.
Thu, 03/05/2009 - 8:00pm - 11:59pm
3101 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA
United States

Peaceful Protest for Charles C. Lynch and Medical Marijuana

PLEASE JOIN US! Show your support for Charles C. Lynch, his family & the hundreds of others facing Federal prosecution. On Aug 5, 2008, Charles C. Lynch was found guilty of 5 cannabis-only felonies and faces up to 100 years in federal prison: *DESPITE the fact that he called the DEA before opening his dispensary & they told him, "It's up to the cities and counties to decide how to handle that [medical marijuana dispensary] matter." *DESPITE the fact he followed ALL his "Medical Marijuana Dispensary" Business license requirements, city regulations, county restrictions and CA STATE LAW! Come attend a PEACEFUL protest that will let Federal official & local representatives know that taxpayers & voters will NOT tolerate local cooperation with DEA raids & Federal disregard for the California State Law. MEDICAL CANNABIS Watch Drew Carey's Project/ episode "Raiding California" featuring Charles C. Lynch: ***This is a NON-MEDICATING EVENT that takes place on federal property & is subject to Federal & State Laws. Please leave your medication at home or in the trunk of your vehicle before attending event! *** Even if you are a qualified California medical marijuana patient you could be arrested for possession on federal property. It's against BOTH federal & STATE law. Please be safe. IF YOU WERE IN CHARLIE'S SHOES.... WHAT WOULD YOU WANT YOUR SUPPORTERS TO DO FOR YOU?!
Mon, 02/23/2009 - 12:00pm
Corner of Main St. & Temple St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
United States

Action Alert: Protest Rule Changes for Medical Cannabis Caregivers

Action Alert: Protest Board of Health Proposed Rules Changes for Medicinal Cannabis Caregivers Compiled by: Colorado Citizens for Compassionate Cannabis March 2: Written Comments Deadline Feb 20: Pre-Public Hearing "Conference" and Silent Protest March 18: Public Hearing The Colorado Board of Health is proposing sweeping new rules to regulate medical cannabis that contradict the intent of Article 18, Section 14 of the Colorado Constitution, Colorado's medical cannabis law that was approved by voters in 2000. These proposed rules only serve to make it more difficult for patients to get their medicine by forcing them back into the black market. The Board of Health should be compassionate and helpful towards these sick and dying people and not put more obstacles in their way. Currently, patients with a debilitating medical condition and approval of their physician may legally possess up to two ounces of cannabis and grow up to six plants. If they are unable to grow the medicine themselves, the Constitution allows them to appoint a primary caregiver to provide the medicine for them. The Constitution does not set limits on how many patients for whom a person can be the caregiver, nor does it set limits on the type of person that can be considered the patient's caregiver. The Board of Health's proposed new rules set limits on caregivers that are clearly unconstitutional. 1) The Board of Health wants to require caregivers to provide other services to the patient besides cannabis-related ones. The other services required would amount to those of a full-time nursing assistant and would have to include transportation, housekeeping, meal preparation, shopping and making medical care arrangements for the patient. Currently, a person can be a medicinal cannabis caregiver without providing other services. The Constitution only states that the caregiver must have "significant responsibility for managing the well-being of a patient", which would include providing them with medicine. It does not impose any other requirements on caregivers 2) The Health Department is proposing a 5-patient-per-caregiver limit on the number of patients for whom a caregiver could provide. Currently, a caregiver can provide for many patients. Most patients do not have the knowledge or are too sick to grow their own cannabis. It takes years of practice to learn how to grow an adequate supply of cannabis for one patient with only the 6 plants allowed by the Constitution. Cannabis cultivation experts have been enlisted to serve as caregivers and have not been limited on how many patients they are able to serve. As reported in Westword, therapeutic cannabis dispensaries have formed all over Colorado to provide for multiple patients. The dispensaries are able to produce medicines in quantities large enough to keep the cost to the patient at a minimum and to create edible forms of cannabis, such as cookies, brownies and other foods. Cooking with cannabis requires a much larger amount of the raw substance than smoking cannabis does. However, eating medicinal cannabis food is a far healthier way to ingest the medicine than inhaling its smoke is, especially for those with chronic conditions. In fact, having caregivers provide for multiple patients has been the only way that poorly-written Article 18, Section 14 of the Colorado Constitution has worked at all. At the time, the out-of-state authors of Colorado's Medicinal Cannabis Law were widely criticized for not addressing the issue of cannabis dispensaries clearly enough and for not providing any legal way for patients to obtain medicinal cannabis outside of the black market. This left a gray area in the law that the Health Department has since tried to exploit in order to deny patients their Consitutionally-protected medicine. In the nine years since the law was approved by voters, the state of Colorado has been more concerned with putting roadblocks in the way of patients instead of trying to help implement the law. The possible upcoming change in federal policy concerning medicinal cannabis makes it the perfect time for Colorado to develop a plan to provide safe access to cannabis for patients. President Obama has made repeated campaign promises that he would stop the federal prosecution of cannabis patients and create a "green economy." . Recently, the White House reiterated their intention to change federal policy to allow states to regulate cannabis without federal intervention. In light of this new federal policy, it is time for Colorado to regulate medicinal cannabis statewide in a way that provides safe and inexpensive access to cannabis. The Colorado Board of Health should be issuing rules that encourage and regulate cannabis dispensaries, just like any other pharmaceutical manufacturer. Or alternatively, they could enlist the aid of the Colorado Department of Agriculture and the Ag School at CSU to create a regulated state-run cannabis dispensary program. We are urging Colorado Governor Bill Ritter to form the Colorado Therapeutic Cannabis Commission, as described in the Compassionate Therapeutic Cannabis Act, an initiatve that was proposed as an alternative to the flawed Article 18, Section 14 of the Colorado Constitution. The Colorado Therapeutic Cannabis Commission would be a statewide panel of experts charged with the duty of ensuring patients can obtain an affordable and adequate supply of therapeutic cannabis. The key to successful implementation of Article 18, Section 14 of the Colorado Constitution is to put the patient first and find a way to provide them with medicine in a safe and cost-effective manner without endangering them by forcing them to deal with the black market. How You Can Help March 2: Written Comments Deadline 1) Submit your comments in writing to by March 2 to: Colorado Board of Health C/O Linda Shearman Program Assistant Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 4300 Cherry Creek Drive South EDO-A5 Denver, CO 80246-1530 FAX: 303-691-7702 Email: Sample wording: I strongly oppose creating any limits on the number of patients a caregiver may provide for. I also strongly oppose limiting the types of people that may be considered caregivers. These new rules will make it more difficult for patients to obtain their medicine. Colorado should be trying to help patients instead of trying to limit their sources of medicine. You can read the full rules for commenting. Feb 20: Pre-Public Hearing "Conference" and Silent Protest 2) Attend Pre-Hearing "Conference" AND Pre-Hearing Silent Protest Friday, Feb. 20 Time: 2:00 p.m Apparently the Board of Health thinks the Public Hearing will be contentious, so they are having a "pre-hearing conference" to establish procedures for how they will control the public at the public meeting on March 18. The Board of Health announcement says "no public testimony concerning the rulemaking proposal will be taken at the pre-hearing conference." So we are encouraging people to wear cannabis clothing or T-shirts with messages, and use other means to send a silent protest to the Board of Health as they try to figure out how they will deal with all the angry patients at the public hearing. Location: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Sabin-Cleere Conference Room Bldg, A., First Floor 4300 Cherry Creek Drive South, Denver, Colorado 80246 March 18: Public Hearing 3) Attend the PUBLIC HEARING Rules and Regulations pertaining to the Medical Use of Marijuana Wed., March 18 Hearing starts at 1:00pm, but *** Please arrive by noon to get a seat and sign up on the comment sheet. Verbal testimony by the public may be limited to 5 minutes or less and will be taken in order of the sign-up sheet. Location: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Sabin-Cleere Conference Room Bldg, A., First Floor 4300 Cherry Creek Drive South, Denver, Colorado 80246 ________________________________________ For more information, see: Notice of Rule-Making Meeting Proposed New Rules Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Westword: Medical marijuana has become a growth industry in Colorado By Joel Warner February 04, 2009
United States

Americans for Safe Access: California Weekly Alert

ASA Logo

ASA California Weekly Alert: 2-13-2009

Weekly Round Up
1. Advocates Meet with LA City Council Member to Contest Proposed Ordinance
2. Coachella Moratorium Set to Expire, Council Draws Plans for Dispensary Ban

Chapter and Affiliate Meetings
3. Tuesday, February 17th – Sacramento: ASA Affiliate Compassionate Coalition
4. Wednesday, February 18th – Fullerton: Orange County ASA Meeting
5. Saturday, February 21st – Los Angeles: L.A. ASA Meeting

6. Tuesday, February 24th - San Francisco: SF ASA Meeting
7. Wednesday, February 25th - Oakland: East Bay ASA Meeting

City and County Hearings
8. Wednesday, February 18th - Palm Springs: City Council to Consider Dispensary Ordinance

Court Support
9. Monday, February 23rd - Los Angeles: Protest to Support Charles Lynch Against Federal Injustice

Special Events
10. Saturday February 14th - San Francisco: Spread the Love Valentine Seed Planting
11. Saturday February 14th - Sebastopol: Valentine’s Day Heart Party!
12. Saturday February 14th - Sacramento: Gardening, Work day & BBQ at the Freedom House in Sacramento
13. Saturday February 14th - Berkeley : Natural Remedies Health Services Presents:
14. Sunday February 15th - San Francisco: Celebrating the History of 215: with Denis Peron featuring an unreleased documentary & local Medical Cannabis films.
15. Monday February 16th - Sacramento: Medical Marijuana Art show & Informational Nights.
16. Tuesday February 17th - Berkeley: Book signing and talk with Doug McVay author of Drug War Facts at BPG
17. Tuesday February 17th - San Francisco: CCA Party!
18. Tuesday, February 17th San Diego: San Diego Protest  Against Local Raids!  “A walk towards freedom”
19. Wednesday February 18th - Oakland: Medical Marijuana University 6pm-9pm
20. Thursday February 19th - Oakland: ASA Organizers Training and Open House
21. Friday February 20th - Oakland: Movie Night at Oaksterdam Student Union
22. Saturday February 21st - Los Angeles: LA-ASA Meeting & Activist Training
23. Sunday February 22nd - Oakland: East Bay Medical Cannabis Activists Mixer
24. Wednesday, March 11th - Riverside County AIDS Conference to Include Medical Cannabis Panel

California IconWeekly Round Up

1. Advocates Meet with LA City Council Member to Contest Proposed Ordinance

The Los Angeles City Attorney issued a revised version of the proposed ordinance regulating medical cannabis dispensing collectives this week. However, the newest version of the draft ordinance changed little from the one published just hours before January's Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM) meeting, to which there was community opposition. 

Patients and advocates who served on the city's working group and other community members joined LA Councilmember Dennis Zine in rejecting the City Attorney's draft and calling on the committee to request a new ordinance incorporating the working group's input.  Many provisions in the draft ordinance are problematic, including those which ban edibles and concentrates (both legal under California law), require disclosure of patient data, and seek to exclude storefront collectives from locating within the city with requirements more stringent than those applied to liquor stores or strip clubs, and despite being recognized as legal by California Attorney General Jerry Brown.  In addition, the City Attorney's draft ordinance is based on faulty assumptions about medical cannabis law and patients' associations.

The City Attorney insists that sales of medical cannabis and storefront facilities that provide it on behalf of legal patients' collectives and cooperatives are illegal. As a result of this outdated and incorrect opinion, the City Attorney developed a draft ordinance that seeks to regulate the collective cultivation of medical cannabis, instead of the storefront facilities from which medicine is provided.   In August of 2008, the California Attorney General published guidelines that make it clear that patient collectives and cooperatives are legal. Section IV(C)(1) of the Guidelines specifically recognizes that legal collectives and cooperatives may maintain storefronts to provide medicine to members.
Dozens of cities and counties in California have already adopted guidelines regulating storefront facilities, and none have seen negative legal consequences as a result of exercising their right and responsibility to enact sensible regulations. In fact, research and experience shows that jurisdictions that adopt regulations have fewer complaints and less crime surrounding facilities. 

Advocates met with LA City Councilmember Ed Reyes and city staff to discuss the City Attorney's draft. As Chairman of the PLUM Committee, Reyes will have a tremendous impact on whether the committee forwards the flawed ordinance to the full City Council or sends it back to staff for more work. Councilmember Reyes made no decision based on the meeting, but promised to confer with city staff before the issue comes back to the Committee later this month.  Community members must continue to let Councilmembers Reyes and Huizar on the PLUM Committee know that we do not support the City Attorney¹s draft ordinance! There is as yet no commitment that the committee will reject this unworkable ordinance.

2. Coachella Moratorium Set to Expire, Council Draws Plans for Dispensary Ban

A moratorium in the City of Coachella which prohibits medical cannabis dispensing collectives is set to expire this Saturday.  To respond to the expiring moratorium, Coachella City staff is preparing an ordinance that would altogether prohibit the collectives from operating within the city. On Monday, the City Council met to discuss, and recommended that staff prepare the ordinance.  Once drafted, the ordinance would go before the Coachella Planning Commission and then the City Council for final approval.

All those who live in the area should be aware that the City is seeking to prohibit dispensaries, and contact their elected officials to oppose the ban.

Take Action IconChapter and Affiliate Meetings

3. Tuesday, February 17th – Sacramento: ASA Affiliate Compassionate Coalition

WHEN: Tuesday, February 17th  – 7pm
WHERE:: 320 Harris Avenue, Suite H
                Sacramento, CA

Sacramento ASA chapters and affiliates played an instrumental role in getting the County to implement the state ID card program.  Join the efforts to make an impact. For more info, contact:

4. Wednesday, February 18th – Fullerton: Orange County ASA Meeting

WHEN: Wednesday, February 18th – 7:00pm
WHERE: 922 Williamson Ave,
                Fullerton, CA 92832

Activity in Orange County is always exciting, and there is much need for patient support and protections.  For more info contact Cha Hanna:

5. Saturday, February 21st – Los Angeles: L.A. ASA Meeting

WHEN: Saturday, February 21st – 1pm
WHERE: @ Patient ID Center, 470 S. San Vicente Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048 (at Drexel, between Wilshire & 3rd St.)

LA ASA is one of the most respected chapters in the state, and sees success regularly at any number of actions.  They've organized major protests and succeeded in lobbying for patient support from major elected officials.  For more info, contact:

6. Tuesday February 24th - San Francisco:  SF-ASA Meeting

Join us Tuesday February 24th starting at 7:30 pm for the SF-ASA chapter meeting.   We'll be at Bowzers Pizza:  371 11th Street (between Folsom & Harrison)  in San Francisco. There's a lot happening this year and we want you to be a part of it.  Please come enjoy dinner, updates from ASA, and get involved in your medical cannabis community.  Feel free to bring a friend or family member.  We look forward to seeing you there.

For more information, contact:  David at or

7. Wednesday, February 25th - Oakland: East Bay ASA Meeting

Please come and join the East Bay ASA crew as we discuss constructing a new ordinance for Alameda County dispensaries, and learn about other happenings in the East Bay.

When: Wednesday, February 25th @ 7pm  (Please arrive promptly, as the doors lock after 7:10 pm)
Where: ASA Headquarters Office
            1322 Webster Street, Suite 402, Downtown Oakland

For more information, contact George: 510-251-1856 x. 321 or

Government IconCity and County Hearings

8. Wednesday, February 18th - Palm Springs: City Council to Consider Dispensary Ordinance

The Palm Springs City Council will soon vote on a whether to allow a medical cannabis dispensing collective ordinance.

WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 6 p.m.
WHERE: Palm Springs City Hall,
                3200 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way (corner of El Cielo and Tahquitz Canyon - across from Palm Springs International Airport)
                Palm Springs 92262

If passed, this ordinance will make Palm Springs the first city in Riverside County to allow for the operation of dispensaries. Although seven dispensaries are now operating in Palm Spring, the ordinance will allow for the operation of only two collectives in Industrial/Warehouse zones. That means at least five of them will close. Although the city will seek civil injunctions to close any collective that is not licensed by the city, it is not expected that any actions will be taken until after the two collectives chosen are open and operating.

Please come down to show your support for the ordinance.  The ordinance also only allows collectives with four members or less to be exempt from the ordinance, reduced from six. There will be an effort to increase this to the original number, and  so please come by to show your support.  For the Inland Empire, this is an historic event - so come and down and show your support and be able to tell your grandkids you were there!

Thanks to Lanny Swerdlow for this report.

Patients Rights IconCourt Support

 9. Monday, February 23rd - Los Angeles: Protest to Support Charles Lynch Against Federal Injustice

WHEN: Monday, February 23, 2009 at 8:30am
WHERE:  U.S. District Courthouse, Courtroom 10
    312 NORTH Spring street (at Temple St)
    In downtown LA

San Luis Obispo County dispensing collective operator Charles C. Lynch was raided by the DEA and the San Luis Obispo County Sheriffs on March 29, 2007 at Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers (CCCC) in Morro Bay, CA. Lynch's dispensing collective stringently followed state, county and city medical cannabis regulations since it opened in April 2006.

The City of Morro Bay was supportive, issued a business license for a "'Medical Marijuana Dispensary" and a Cannabis Nursery Permit after a lengthy conditional use permit process. CCCC operated for nearly a year without incident until the the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff called the DEA to raid the dispensary on March 29, 2007, leaving behind a note for Lynch which read "All Hippies Die". Lynch was not arrested at the time and reopened with the blessing of his landlord and Morro Bay city officials. However, DEA then threatened to seize the property and prosecute Lynch's landlord  if he refused to evict CCCC from his building.  CCCC closed its doors on May 16, 2007.

On July 17, 2007, the DEA and local sheriffs arrested Lynch in his home and locked him up for 4 days in federal detention before his family poseted $400,000 bail. Lynch was indicted for conspiracy to possess and possession with intent to distribute marijuana and concentrated cannabis, manufacturing (cultivating) more than 100 plants, knowingly maintaining a drug premises, and sales of marijuana to a person under the age of 21. Additionally, criminal forfeiture proceedings have begun on all of Lynch’s assets.

On August 5, 2008, after an emotional trial in which the defense was not allowed to give any evidence whatsoever about medical cannabis, Lynch's business license, or California state law, Lynch was convicted on all counts. Drew Carey’s account of Lynch’s struggle with the federal government on helped the case to recieve national media attention.

For more information and to give money, assistance, and support, visit or write to Judge Wu directly to plead for Charlie's freedom. Letters of support helped Tainted operator Mickey Martin receive a relatively light sentence, so we need to show the same support for Charles Lynch.

Marijuana IconSpecial Events

Medical Marijuana Week 2009 Starts Tomorrow!

10. Saturday February 14th - San Francisco: Spread the Love Valentine Seed Planting

WHERE: Meet in Golden Gate Park at Hippie Hill in San Francisco
WHEN: High Noon, 2:15 Potluck Picnic.

Please join us for this annual seed planting event!  We'll be providing hemp seeds and snacks for everyone to share. Feel free to bring a friend and everyone loves to bring a plant to leave in the park.

11. Saturday February 14th - Sebastopol: Valentine’s Day Heart Party! 

WHEN: Noon – 4 pm.
WHERE:  Peace in Medicine 6771 Sebastopol Avenue, Sebastopol.

Come on in for an afternoon of special treats, and stay for the drinks provided by Guayaki! Get ideas for a healthier heart and learn some fun heart wise ideas. Also take advantage of the FREE Blood Pressure clinic, and appreciate the Valentine art projects and more!

12. Saturday February 14th - Sacramento: Gardening, Work day & BBQ at the Freedom House in Sacramento

WHEN:  Saturday, Feb. 14th @ 12-5pm,
WHERE: 3650 6th Avenue.
                Sacrarmento, CA

Join us at a gathering to rehabilitate the Freedom house, a safe, friendly atmosphere for patients to live in at no cost. Its an incredible event to benefit the patients in most dire need.  We could really use your time, energy, donations of materials, and your love. Come together for a great time, give of yourself to your community and enjoy the BBQ provided by Capital Wellness Collective!

13. Saturday February 14th - Berkeley : Natural Remedies Health Services Presents:

Tosh Meets Marley Celebration Tour with Fully Fullwood Band -  hosted by DJ Irie Dole
Celebrate Valentines Day Reggae style! Come enjoy a live band and DJ’s with great music and good fun!  Valentine or No Valentine!
WHERE: Gaia Arts Center 2120 Allston Way in Berkeley,
WHEN: 8pm & 10pm shows

$25, $22 in advance through pay pall 510-444-5771. Free gift to first 200 guests. A portion of the proceeds are going to ASA.

14. Sunday February 15th - San Francisco: Celebrating the History of 215: with Denis Peron featuring an unreleased documentary & local Medical Cannabis films.

Come join us at the Castro Cozy Cottage for an afternoon learning about the medical cannabis movement here in SF. Hear Denis Peron speak, watch an unreleased documentary on Dr. Tod Mirkuriya, and short films on local SF dispensaries. Bring your bathing suit for a jump in the garden hot tub!
WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 15th @ 4:20pm
WHERE: 3745 17th Street in San Francisco

15. Monday February 16th - Sacramento: Medical Marijuana Art show & Informational Nights.

Occuring daily through February 20th, and open from 4-6pm at The Brick House 2837 36th Street in Sacramento.

Come check out the art work on display, done by patients at Capital Wellness Collective. Themes of love, compassion, and medical cannabis are present in the pieces.

16. Tuesday February 17th - Berkeley: Book signing and talk with Doug McVay author of Drug War Facts at BPG

WHEN: Tuesday, February 17th @ 4:20pm.
WHERE: At Berkeley Patients Group 2747 San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley.

Come learn about the history of the drug war, where we currently stand, how we got medical cannabis and what direction our cannabis industry is headed. Activist and writer Doug McVay has spent more than two decades championing the truth about marijuana and other drug policies in the U.S. and beyond. Author of the invaluable manual "Drug War Facts," Doug has an encyclopedic knowledge of the facts and figures involved in the War on Drugs, and a wealth of first-hand experiences working to change our nation's unjust policies. Join us as Doug shares his experiences and offers his predictions for what's in store for the nation under the new administration!

Verifiable patients & Caregivers only, please bring valid ID.

17. Tuesday February 17th - San Francisco: CCA Party!

WHEN: Tuesday, February 17th starting @ 4:20
WHERE: 2007 16th Street in San Francisco.

California Caregivers Alliance is hosting a party at Il Pirata! The party is FREE and everyone’s welcome!  Come get down to good music, enjoy great food, and learn from booths and medical cannabis info and speakers. DJ Allier will be spinning and hosting karaoke! 

After 9pm attendees must be 21 with valid ID.

18. Tuesday, February 17th San Diego: San Diego Protest  Against Local Raids!  “A walk towards freedom”

What: Demanding an end to the government’s irrational lack of lawful policies which leads to an enormous waste of money, time, and energy, and the needless suffering of many.  We will walk from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors meeting to the San Diego City Council and finally to meet with Bonnie M. Dumanis, San Diego County’s District Attorney.
How: A peaceful demonstration through the power structure of San Diego.
Why:  Our society cannot afford the status quo. To end the fear of our government not following the law.
When: Tuesday 2/17 – Starting at 8:30am - @ 1-2pm.

Regulate and tax – We will bring a giant bank check on the march, to symbolize the money saved and the money earned when the Government follows the law and sets a clear and proper policy to help the medical cannabis community. A policy brought together in the light of day; through the health community, government institutions , law enforcement agencies, and patients concerns.

The  “Ground Hog Day 2/2 Raids” are the latest example of government’s irrational lack of lawful policies which leads to an enormous waste of money, time, and energy, and the needless suffering of many.  The sting, by District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis, was called “Operation Endless Summer”.

Here is a link to an article about it. 

We demand CHANGE!  Contact Dion -

19. Wednesday February 18th - Oakland: Medical Marijuana University 6pm-9pm

WHEN: Wednesday, February 18th
WHERE: 1776 Broadway in Oakland

Come sit in on an evening of free education, come learn how to deal with law enforcement encounters with ASA's Know Your Rights Team, Cannabis 101 with Ed Rosenthal, and an hour on the law.   Hosted at Oaksterdam University

20. Thursday February 19th - Oakland: ASA Organizers Training and Open House

WHEN: Thursday, February 19th @ 5-7pm
WHERE: 1322 Webster Street #402, Oakland.

Come participate in an organizers training @ 4pm  and l earn the basics of how to facilitate a meeting, plan an emergency response, and generally how to get active with ASA.
Open House is from 5-7pm - Check out the ASA office, meet the staff, and learn more about how you can support ASA's campaigns, including opportunities to take action at the ASA Office!

21. Friday February 20th - Oakland: Movie Night at Oaksterdam Student Union

WHEN: Friday, February 20th @ 7pm,
WHERE: 1915 Broadway in Oakland, FREE

Sit in on free screenings of the films: In Pot We Trust and Marijuana Nation.

22. Saturday February 21st - Los Angeles: LA-ASA Meeting & Activist Training

WHEN: Saturday, February 21 at 1:00 PM
WHERE: Patient ID Center, 470 S. San Vicente Blvd., LA
Get the skills you need to be effective in the grassroots campaign for safe access in LA

23. Sunday February 22nd - Oakland: East Bay Medical Cannabis Activists Mixer

WHEN: Sunday, February 22nd, 7-10pm
WHERE: At Maxwell's, 341 13th St in Downtown Oakland

Patient Movie Night & Vapor Lounge sponsored by Harborside Health Center
An evening featuring Speakers, ASA Staff, Movie, Music,

Refreshments and Vaporizers! Along with the movie: Waiting to Inhale

$15 at the door. This event is for medical cannabis patients only. It is required to bring a verifiable Recommendation.
Full Bar and house menu also available.

Proceeds of this event are going to be donated to Americans for Safe Access.

24. Wednesday, March 11 - Riverside County AIDS Conference to Include Medical Cannabis Panel

In March, the 5th Annual Riverside County AIDS conference will include a panel on medical cannabis.  It is rare to see a government sponsored AIDS conference host a panel on medical cannabis, as many have been concerned by threats of revoked funding from the federal government  The inclusion of the panel on medical cannabis is an indication that the Riverside Co. Dept. of Public Health recognizes of the importance of cannabis to the health of a significant number of AIDS patients.

The AIDS conference will take place on Wed. March 11 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Morongo Resort Conference Center in Cabazon

The cost is $35 and includes a continental breakfast, buffet lunch, hand out materials and all speakers and panels.

For more information go to or call Irma Arrona at 951-358-5307.

MMJ Week, Tuesday: Do Your Homework – Know the Issues

Do Your Homework – Know the Issues
Medical Marijuana Week - Tuesday, February 17th

Dear ASA Supporter,

There is a lot of important information out there about cannabis as medicine. Did you know there are over 17,000 published scientific articles on cannabis and “cannabinoids” since 1996? Did you know that DEA Judges have now twice ruled in favor of medical cannabis, and DEA Administrators have twice ignored the rulings? Can you recite ASA’s Federal Policy Recommendations? Spend a day reading and learning about why this issue is so profound.

According to the widely respected magazine, The Economist, “If cannabis were unknown, and bioprospectors were suddenly to find it in some remote mountain crevice, its discovery would no doubt be hailed as a medical breakthrough.” (Economist, May 5, 2006).

There’s a reason for all this excitement. Cannabis may soon be considered one of the defining medical discoveries of our generation. For 40 years, efforts to recognize the plant's medical properties have been denied, ignored, and suppressed - all because of a negative stigma. To fully understand this issue, you should know the science, the law, and the politics.

Learn about the science. Read about Dr. Mechoulam’s discovery of the human endocannabinoid system in the 1990’s and why major pharmaceutical companies are developing their own “cannabinoid” research departments. Read about some of the most important studies of today which show promise in the use of cannabis to treat an extraordinarily wide array of conditions.

Learn about the law. Understand what court cases over the years have ruled for or against medical cannabis. Know why states have the right to enact medical cananbis laws, but the federal government also has the right to interfere with them. Read about the DEA’s own Administrative Law Judge Francis Young, who ruled, “It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record.” And read about the most recent DEA ruling, released by another DEA Judge in 2007, which demanded that DEA lift barriers to cannabis research. Understand how DEA Administrators ignored the rulings and acted directly contrary, putting cannabis research back over 20 years.

DEA Judge Francis Young Ruling
DEA Judge Bittner Ruling
Landmark Decisions in Medical Cannabis Law

Learn about the politics. Did you know that even before 1996, 35 states had some form of medical cannabis law on the books, but that they were all unworkable due to legal loopholes? Learn the "in’s and out’s" of medical cannabis laws in 13 states – and which ones are tentatively considered “the 14th and 15th medical cannabis states”. Learn all this and more here:

Medical Cannabis Laws in 14 States
ASA’s Federal Policy Recommendations

And when you're done, you'll be even better prepared to become an ASA Ambassador!


George Pappas
Field Coordinator
Americans for Safe Access

Americans for Safe Access is the nation's largest organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research.

Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc. February 2009 Minutes

Monthly Public Meeting Minutes

Lawrence Township Library

Tuesday, February 10, 2009; 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

7:20 PM:  Meeting called to order.  January 2009 minutes approved.  Discussion: 

Ø  “Come to Trenton to support medical marijuana, Monday, 2/23/09.”  The vote by the entire NJ Senate on The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act” (S119), as amended, is expected to take place on 2/23/09.  CMMNJ will send Press Releases before the vote to rally support, and after the vote to discuss the outcome.  Contact your senator today.  Members of the national organization, Patients Out of Time, plan to assist in passing this important legislation.  If the bill passes in the senate, it will then go to the NJ Assembly.


Ø  Upcoming events:  Chris Goldstein, CMMNJ & Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) will host a free, educational seminar on medical marijuana on Wed., 2/18/09 from 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM at the Rutgers/Camden Law School, Room 207.  Ken & Jim Miller will be on WIFI 1460 AM Radio on 2/12/09 at 4:30 PM.  NORML NJ is meeting on 2/21/09 at 7:00 PM in Toms River, NJ to rally support for medical marijuana.  (For NORML NJ meeting info, contact ).  CMMNJ plans to join SSDP Rutgers on May 2, 2009 in a march for medical marijuana in New Brunswick, NJ.


Ø  Recent publications: The Times of Trenton published CMMNJ’s OP-ED, "Drug laws vs. medical science" 1/15/09.  The Nursing Spectrum published the article, “The Great Debate: Medical Marijuana or Not?  Will New Jersey legislators pass a law in 2009?”  on 1/26/09.  The Asbury Park Press published Jim Miller’s LTE, “Support warranted for medical marijuana” on 2/9/09.


Ø  Recent appearances:  CMMNJ appeared on WIBG 1020 AM Talk Radio on 1/20/09.   A podcast of the live radio show is expected to be available soon.  CMMNJ and Chris Goldstein hosted a free, educational seminar on medical marijuana on 2/3/09 at the Willingboro Public Library.

Ø  Update on Jackson, NJ Crohn’s patient Mike Miceli who was arrested for medical marijuana on 9/4/08.

Ø  CMMNJ has new photos, etc. on Facebook and Facebook Friends of CMMNJ.


Ø  CMMNJ attended the Americans for Safe Access (ASA) national conference call 1/28/09.  Federal policy towards medical marijuana is changing!  

Ø  Treasury report: Checking account: $1864.45.  PayPal account: $577.59.  Please consider a tax-deductible donation to CMMNJ, a 501(c)(3) organization, to support public education about medical marijuana.  Donations may be made securely through Paypal or checks made out to “CMMNJ” and sent to corporate headquarters at the address below.  Thank you for your interest and support.

  9:00 PM Adjourn meeting.

Next Meeting: March 10, 2009 from 7:00 PM until 9:00 PM at the Lawrence Twp. Library, 2751 Brunswick Pike (at Darrah Lane), Lawrence Twp., NJ (Tel. #609.882.9246).  All are welcome.  Snacks are served.  Meeting at the library does not imply their endorsement of our issue.  For more info, contact:

Ken Wolski, RN, MPA
Executive Director, Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc., 844 Spruce St., Trenton, NJ 08648, (609) 394-2137
United States

MPP launches medical marijuana initiative in Arizona

Dear friends:

Fresh off our winning ballot initiative campaigns in Michigan and Massachusetts, the Marijuana Policy Project has just launched a campaign to pass a statewide medical marijuana ballot initiative campaign in Arizona.

If passed in November 2010, the initiative would protect Arizona patients from arrest and jail for using marijuana with their doctors' recommendation. This would make Arizona the 14th medical marijuana state (or possibly the 15th, 16th, or even 17th, depending on what successes we have between now and then).

We're feeling good about this campaign because in November we passed a similar initiative in Michigan with a whopping 63% of the vote — and we know we can do it again in Arizona.

But the first thing we need to do is get the initiative placed on the ballot. To do that, we must collect 153,365 valid signatures from Arizona voters, which means we need to collect about 250,000 gross signatures. We know from our past successful signature drives, like in Michigan, that it costs about $2 to collect every signature (because of the costs of paying canvassers, checking validity, and so forth), which means it will take $500,000 to fund this stage of the campaign.

Want to be part of this exciting campaign and help protect another state's medical marijuana patients from arrest and jail?  Please donate what you can here.

As you can see at the bottom of this message, a major philanthropist is willing to match your donation dollar-for-dollar, so we only need you and other MPP members to donate a total of $250,000. Arizona patients and I are grateful for anything you can do to help.

Kampia signature (e-mail sized)

Rob Kampia
Executive Director
Marijuana Policy Project
Washington, D.C.

P.S. As I've mentioned in previous alerts, a major philanthropist has committed to match the first $2.35 million that MPP can raise from the rest of the planet in 2009. This means that your donation today will be doubled.

United States

Pain Management: FDA to Tighten Regulation of Extended-Release and Patch Opioid Meds

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is beginning a "massive new program" to reduce overdoses, diversion, and inappropriate use of powerful opioid pain relievers, especially targeting extended-release and patch formulations of fentanyl, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, and oxymorphone. On Monday, the FDA announced it had sent letters to 16 drug companies who produce the 24 listed products informing them they would now have to create a Risk Evaluation and Management Strategy (REMS) "to ensure that the benefits of the drugs continue to outweigh the risks."

That means physicians are likely to face new procedures in prescribing the drugs, and patients are likely to face more hurdles in obtaining them, an FDA official said at a Monday press conference. But pain patients already face serious obstacles in obtaining relief. The FDA action comes in the context of a campaign by the DEA to crack down on doctors it deems to have improperly prescribed large amounts of opioid pain medication -- even though prescribing what at first glance appear to be extremely large amounts is well with standard pain relief practice. Physician's fears of being prosecuted have contributed to what pain patient advocates describe as a crisis in chronic pain relief.

"Pain patients aren't drug abusers looking for a prescription fix," said Gregory Conko, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which teamed up with the Pain Relief Network last May to create the Politics of Pain campaign to fight for patients' access to sufficient pain medications. "It's a genuine tragedy that the DEA often treats them and their doctors as if they were. It's as though the agency just doesn't care whether its single-minded waging of the war on drugs imposes collateral damage."

The Politics of Pain campaign has collected personal stories from physicians and patients who have explained firsthand how difficult it can be to either offer or find sufficient treatment for pain conditions. In one video interview, Gulf War veteran James Fernandez and his wife tell their story of how he, once a robustly healthy US Marine, is now virtually confined to his home because of severe, ongoing pain that has been under-treated for years.

In another interview, Dr. Alexander DeLuca, a board-certified specialist in addiction medicine, describes the obstacles faced by a physician trying to deliver the "standard of care" called for by his own medical training. According to DeLuca, virtually no patients in the country today receive proper treatment for chronic pain.

Still, there are a lot of pain pills out there. Last year, US pharmacies dispensed 21 million prescriptions for the 24 medications listed to 3.7 million patients. "This is a very extensively used group of medications," said Dr. John Jenkins, director of the FDA's Office of New Drugs at its Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "This will be a massive new program."

Jenkins said that abuse, misuse, and accidental overdoses involving those products had been on the rise over the last decade, and the agency is concerned about doctors inappropriately prescribing them for patients who are not suffering moderate or severe chronic pain.

"We continue to see case reports where someone with a sprained ankle receives a fetanyl patch or extended-release opioid," Jenkins said.

Dr. Bob Rappaport, director of FDA's division of anesthesia, analgesia, and rheumatology products, told the press conference the agency was also deeply concerned with the rising non-medical use of the opioids. He cited a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report released Monday that showed some 5.2 million people said they had used prescription opioids for non-medical purposes in the past month, and that the figure among 18-to-24-year-olds had increased from 4.1% in 2002 to 4.6% in 2007.

"This is an ongoing problem, and it's getting worse," Rappaport said.

Forcing the drug manufacturers to submit REMS plans is "our attempt to ensure the benefits outweigh the risks," Jenkins said. The agency will seek to find an "appropriate balance between legitimate patient need for such drugs and the threats caused by the abuse and misuse," he added.

But tighter regulation isn't going to happen right away; a series of meetings with various stakeholders over the coming months are being set up to arrive at final regulations, said Jenkins. They will include patient advocates, health care professionals, the pharmaceutical companies, and law enforcement. The first meeting with manufacturers is set for March 3. Hopefully the concerns of patient advocates get heeded and successfully addressed, but it's not clear whether that is even possible with a venture of this nature given the current enforcement climate.

Medical Marijuana: Minnesota Bill Passes Senate Committee

A bill that would allow qualified patients to use medical marijuana passed the Minnesota Senate Health, Housing and Family Security Committee on a bipartisan 8-3 vote Wednesday. The bill, SF 97, would allow patients or designated caregivers to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and up to 12 plants.
Minnesota State Capitol
Eligible patients would be those whose illnesses cause cachexia or wasting syndrome, intractable pain, severe nausea, seizures, severe and persistent muscle spasms, or agitation of Alzheimer's disease. Also eligible are HIV-positive patients and patients suffering "any other medical condition or treatment approved by" the state of Minnesota.

"I believe this will be the year medical marijuana becomes law in Minnesota," said Sen. Steve Murphy (DFL-Red Wing), a sponsor of the bill. "We've seen now from the experiences of 13 states -- one-quarter of the country -- that these laws work well, and that the dire warnings of opponents simply don't come true. The voters understand that there is no reason to subject suffering patients to arrest and jail for using a doctor-recommended medicine."

The vote came after testimony from patients and family members, including Joni Whiting of Jordan, Minnesota. A Vietnam War veteran, Whiting told the committee she had strongly disapproved of marijuana until her daughter came down with melanoma and began to suffer nausea and pain from chemotherapy.

"I was opposed to marijuana," Whiting said, "but the nausea my daughter suffered from the chemotherapy was so bad she lost a lot of weight, and the pills the doctor prescribed didn't help -- including Marinol, the THC pill. Marijuana allowed her to eat and also helped ease her pain, and she looked better than I'd seen her in months. I would have rather spent the rest of my life in prison than have denied her the medicine that kept her pain at bay and allowed her to live 89 more days."

"I'm pleased to coauthor this important legislation that will empower doctors and patients while protecting sick and dying Minnesotans from the threat of criminal prosecution," said Sen. Debbie Johnson (R-Ham Lake). "Most FDA-approved drugs assist in managing short-term pain. Chronically ill and terminal patients need alternatives. Medical marijuana is one of those alternatives."

Not everyone testified in favor of the bill, and some opponents went to extremes in their testimony. "This bill would allow 18-year-old boys to grow marijuana in their homes without any outside supervision," said Tom Pritchard of the Minnesota Family Council. "My reading of the bill says it would prevent landlords from regulating the growing and use of marijuana on their premises. This bill would allow marijuana dispensaries to set up shop across the state, in homes and storefronts on main streets and neighborhoods and apartment buildings. Why? The only reason I can see is that it is to legitimize, frankly, the broader acceptance of marijuana in the community's eyes."

Not exactly. Under the bill, if an 18-year-old bill is suffering from one of the designated conditions, he, like any other adult, may grow his own medicine. But while juveniles may also use medical marijuana, only their parents can grow it. The bill does not require landlords to allow medical marijuana grows; it prohibits discrimination against people who use medical marijuana. The bill does provide for tightly-controlled, nonprofit "registered organizations" to grow marijuana for multiple patients.

Pritchard wasn't the only critic, nor even the most unreasonable. James Stinziani, who described himself as a member of the "Lyndon LaRouche operation," told the committee medical marijuana was simply a stalking horse for drug legalization pushed by front groups paid for by billionaire George Soros. "What is happening here -- if anybody is familiar with George Soros -- he is pretty much supporting and funding the major drug operations in the United States."

But the legislators weren't buying the fulminations and conspiracy theories. Now, it's on to the next hurdle, and the hurdle after that. Even if a bill passes the legislature, it faces the opposition of Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), whose veto threats last year stalled a bill then.

Alert: Keep the Promise, President Obama -- Stop the Medical Marijuana Raids!

One of President Obama's campaign promises last year was that he would stop the DEA's cruel and senseless raids on medical marijuana clinics. But less than two weeks since he took office, such raids have already been conducted on two occasions, hitting several clinics in the Los Angeles area last Tuesday.

We are hoping this is just Bush administration holdovers at work, and an administration spokesperson yesterday had encouraging words to this effect in the media -- change is coming on this issue, the Obama administration says. Follow the link below to our feature report to read more.

In the meanwhile, patients and the people who serve them are being subjected to continued injustice. Please click here to e-mail President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to ask them to take action now to stop the raids sooner rather than later. Don't just click, though, use the phone too -- the White House Comment Line is at (202) 456-1111 (be persistent, it's pretty busy right now), and the Attorney General's office is at (202) 353-1555.

If you are on Facebook or might want to be, please click here to sign our petition to President Obama on this issue. Please forward both of these links to your friends too.

Click here to read our feature story on this week's raids and the administration's encouraging response.

Thank you for taking action to bring positive change to US drug policy now!

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