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L.A. City Council Repeals Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ban

Posted on  October 04, 2012 by  News Admin

 After a years-long demonstration of apparently bottomless ineptitude when it comes to effectively addressing safe access to medical marijuana for patients, the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday repealed its own July dispensary ban with an 11 to 2 vote. The action once again leaves L.A. with no laws regulating the city's numerous dispensaries, but some council members were openly wishing for an expanded federal crackdown on the shops. Tuesday's vote followed years of attempts by the hapless council to regulate the medical marijuana dispensary scene in Los Angeles, with more than 400 dispensaries located in the L.A. metro area. The city claimed its own count revealed more than 1,000 such shops. Council members said it was time to go back to the drawing board, saying they'd ask state legislators to "clarify" state law on how cities can regulate dispensaries. "Facing the choice of letting you vote on overturning the ban or doing so itself following a referendum effort that turned in almost double the number of signatures needed to bring the issue to ballot, the body stuck its tail between its legs and said smoke 'em if you got 'em," reports the LA Weekly's Dennis Romero. "We're pleased that the city is not going to put us through months of arduous enforcement," said Kris Hermes of medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access."We welcome the opportunity to work with the city on sensible regulations that will work for patients and the communities." The vote is set to be finalized next...

Documentary Offers Disturbing Look at Impact of War on Drugs

Posted on  September 25, 2012 by  News Admin

  Danny Glover and Director Eugene Jarecki Will Hold Advance Screening of The House I Live In, Winner of Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize, in San Francisco on Monday, Sept. 24 Filmmakers Teaming Up with Advocacy Groups, Law Enforcement, Elected Officials across Country to Educate and Mobilize to End Disastrous War on Drugs A special screening of the thought-provoking documentary, The House I Live In, will be held Monday, September 24, at 6 p.m., in San Francisco. The Drug Policy Alliance, ACLU of Northern California, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, and Californians United for a Responsible Budget will host the screening. Immediately following the screening, there will be a Q&A session with the director, Eugene Jarecki, who is partnering with a vast array of advocacy groups, legislators and law enforcement to spread the film's message about the disastrous consequences of the failed War On Drugs. Other panelists include actor Danny Glover (who is an executive producer of the film), Senator Mark Leno, and Dorsey Nunn, executive director of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children. The discussion will be moderated by Lynne Lyman, California state director for the Drug Policy Alliance. The event is sponsored by the Rosenberg Foundation. Since the 1970s, the war on drugs has accounted for 45 million arrests and has cost more than $1 trillion. As a result, the United States has become the world's largest jailer, and the high volume of drug arrests have destroyed low-income communities, creating a vicious cycle that must be...

CA Supreme Court Dismisses Case Against City Regulation of Medical Marijuana

Posted on  September 13, 2012 by  News Admin

 The California Supreme Court has dismissed the case of Pack v. Long Beach, in which an appellate court had ruled that the restrictive permitting scheme for medical marijuana dispensaries in the city of Long Beach was illegal. This case was often cited by medical marijuana opponents to support the claim that any permitting or regulation of medical marijuana -- including those found in the local medical marijuana initiative proposals that have qualified for the November ballot around San Diego -- may not withstand legal challenges. These initiatives include Proposition H in Del Mar, Proposition W in Solana Beach, and Proposition T in Lemon Grove. Fortunately, with this dismissal, the Pack decision was de-published. This means that attorneys can no longer cite Pack as valid law. Similarly, a municipality cannot rely upon the Pack decision to ban lawful medical marijuana dispensaries, nor to conclude that local regulation of lawful medicinal cannabis dispensaries violates federal law. The California Supreme Court also recently, and unanimously, let the 2012 decision, Pack v. Colvin, stand, which held that a qualified patient who was managing two storefront dispensaries was entitled to a defense in court to criminal charges of transportation of marijuana and possession of concentrated cannabis. The court discussed at length that Colvin had operated a legitimate and lawful storefront dispensary, complying with California's laws and the Attorney General's 2008 guidelines. On May 23, the California Supreme Court unanimously decided to let Colvin stand as good law, essentially endorsing that a qualified patient can operate a lawful storefront dispensary....

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