Sunday, June 13, 2010

SAN BERNARDINO TO EXTEND MEDICAL MARIJUANA MORATORIUM


From Lanny Swerdlow
Director Marijuana ANti Prohibition Project


On Tuesday, June 15, San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors will vote on and pass an
extension for one year to the existing moratorium on the operation of medical marijuana
collectives in the unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County. It has been a forgone
conclusion for some time, so it comes as no surprise.

Twice in as many months, we went before the Board of Supervisors asking them to get the derailed ordinance back on track and each time it was like speaking to a wall. After the May 25 meeting, I spoke with Supervisor Gonzales who informed me that we would never get anything through the Board unless the Sheriff's Department approves it.

Although I kind of always knew it, I hated to admit that rather than our elected officials
telling law enforcement what to do, law enforcement tells our elected officials what to do.

With Supervisor's Gonzales' words of wisdom in mind, I was able to secure a meeting with SB
County Sheriff Deputy Chief Robert Fonzi and Deputy Chief PaulCook, who heads the Special
Operations Bureau, i.e. narcotics. I raised several issues at the meeting about the drafting of an ordinance and the creation of a Medical Marijuana Task Force like the one in Palm Springs that oversaw the development of the first and so far only medical marijuana collective zoning ordinance in the Inland Empire.

Deputy Chief Cook said he would look into my concerns and get back to me the following week.
Sure enough he called me last Friday and informed me of the following.

1. SB County is waiting for the 4th District Court of Appeals decision in the case of Qualified Patients Association vs. City of Anaheim. The decision, which is expected by mid-July, will hopefully decide on whether cities and counties can use their zoning ordinances to ban activities permitted under state law. Until that decision is rendered, SB County is not going to do much of anything, except of course continue to arrest and prosecute legal patients like Don Lawrence and do the same for mmj patient collectives.

2. He stated that there is a draft ordinance of some kind circulating, but he has not seen it. He expects to see it soon. He did not offer to share it with me.

3. There is a meeting of the mmj collective ordinance working group in about a month. He agreed to bring up the idea of forming a task force, similar to the one in Palm Springs, with reps from planning, law enforcement, patients and other stakeholders to oversee the development of an ordinance

4. Before the working group meetings, he will see if they will allow patient
representatives to attend this upcoming meeting where the formation of a task force will be
discussed.

So what do we do on June 15 when the Board considers the extension of the moratorium?

Cheri Sicard and Scott Bledsoe, the two SB organizers of the past rallies at the Board Meetings, agreed that holding another big rally on June 15 would not accomplish much of anything. Your time is valuable and we do not want to waste it. Consequently there will be no big rally on the 15th, but there will be a small one.

I want to put into the public record our request for the formation of a mmj task force to
oversee the development of the collective ordinance. If you would like to join me at the meeting and even make a 3 minute presentation on your own, that would be great, but if your time is limited, then this is one of those occasions we can survive without your presence.

The agenda item concerning extending the medical marijuana ordinance is the last item on the
agenda just before the public comment section. Although the meeting starts at 10 a.m., there are a veritable host of items to be considered before the mmj agenda item, so I would suggest
arriving around 11 a.m.
The SB Board of Supervisors meeting is held in the Council Chambers in the County Administration Building at 385 N. Arrowhead Ave. in downtown San Bernardino 92415.

Monday, May 31, 2010

BIG SURPRISE - SAN BERNARDINO TO EXTEND MORATORIUM

Yeah, big surprise, like we didn't know. It's finally official though - San Bernardino will vote to extend their moratorium on Tuesday, June 15 at 1:30 p.m. Exactly what our response should be will be discussed at the Wednesday, June 2 MAPP meeting. I will have some information on outreach with San Bernardino officials, but it is all fairly tentative.

The monthly meeting of MAPP in Riverside is this Wednesday. We got some heavy stuff to discuss including San Bernardino's pending vote to extend their
moratorium on June 15, but we are also going to have a little party as well to
celebrate the rally in Riverside - A Dessert Party.

That's right - we will provide the ice cream and for those so inclined, you can provide some
cookies or cake or pie or whatever - nothing medicated please. The variety of items brought at our last dessert was scrumptious to say the least. As a special treat we will be showing the episode from Showtime's cuttin' edge show Nurse Jackie where Nurse Jackie furnishes medical marijuana to a patient.

In the meeting we will be discussing the rally, San Bernardino's moratorium, the Initiative,
provide a rundown on the candidates that support us in the June 8 elections (there might be a
candidate or two at the meeting - not confirmed yet - after the Zellerbach fiasco, I will always use some kind of wiggle word when talking about candidate's showing up) and the latest update on the Tax and Regulate Initiative.

The MAPP meeting and Desert Party is Wednesday, June 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the THCF Medical Clinic, 647 Main Street in Riverside 92501. Let's celebrate.

RALLY TO SAVE RIVERSIDE COLLECTIVE

From: Lanny Swerdlow
Director, Marijuana Anti Prohibition Project



The Inland Empire Patients Health and Welness Center is the most unique collective in California. With its farmer's market model of distribution, it is one of the most AG compliant collectives in the state. Creating an environment that fosters community building, the Collective occupies a singular presence in the Inland Empire.

The first collective to open in the City of Riverside, it has now been operating for six months with absolutely no problems. A clean track record, however, is of no concern to Riverside city officials. Claiming that providing medicinal marijuana to its member patients violated its zoning ordinance banning marijuana distribution, the City filed a lawsuit on May 20 seeking a temporary restraining order to close the collective labeling it a nuisance.

This is nonsense since state law specifically allows patients to form collectives. It is illegal for the city to ban any activity permitted under state law by zoning those rights out of existence. It can license, regulate and tax, but it cannot ban.

Members of the collective are outraged by this action that imperils their access to medicinal
marijuana safely, reliably and locally. Patients are outraged too by the blatant attack on a
legally operating collective that provides medicinal marijuana to over 5,000 members.

On Tuesday, June 1 at 6:30 p.m. the Collective is holding a rally and speak-out at the
Riverside City Council meeting and is asking other patients and advocates to join them on the
Main Street Plaza immediately in front of Riverside City Hall. There will be speakers, banners, signs, chants and green armbands for all showcasing our right to have access to this legal medicine. Many attending the rally will make a three minute presentation to the City Council during the Public Comment section and you are encouraged to do so as well.

In case you were not aware, I am on the Board of Directors of the Collective. The idea of a
farmer's market was something I came up with one day and somehow it caught fire with people who are considerably better in making things happen than I am and it actually happened. Now that it is here and is working well, we can't let those who oppose medicinal marijuana access for patients take it away.

I do not believe the entire Riverside City Council is against the Collective or even the
majority. As I understand it, the decision to sue was not made by the City Council, but by staff members without consulting all of the city council.

With a decision from the 4th District Court of Appeals that will decide whether cities can ban permitted state activities like medical marijuana collectives about 45 days away, it would only make sense for the city to delay filing the lawsuit until that decision is released. That's another thing we need to tell them and we need you there to tell them with us.

This is going to be one of the most exciting and most empowering rallies we ever had. Members of the collective are fired up - they do not want to lose this very special place. It's going to be one colossal rally and you do not want to miss what is surely going to set a high water mark for medical marijuana rallies in the Inland Empire.

When we went to the Riverside City Hall on October 6, 2009, over 100 patients and advocates
assembled to tell the Council of the plans to open the Collective and the rights of patients
under state law to do so. It was one of the largest groups of concerned citizens to ever turn
out to speak on a single issue at a Riverside City Council meeting. On Tuesday June 1 we are
going to stage an even bigger rally - perhaps the largest medical marijuana rally ever held in the Inland Empire. Join us and make this happen - let's KEEP THE FARMER'S MARKET OPEN.

We will be passing out souvenir green armbands to all who come to the rally, so join patients, advocates, your friends and concerned citizens this Tuesday, June 1 at 6:30 p.m. on the Main Street Pedestrian Mall Plaza in front of Riverside City Hall, 3900 Main Street in downtown Riverside 92522. It will be an evening to remember.

In the meantime, you can also help by making a call to Mayor Loveridge right now at 951-826-5551 and tell him that the lawsuit to close the collective is wrong, Wrong, WRONG and that patients have the right to their medicine safely, reliably and locally.

You can reach His Honor 24/7 and leave a message on his voice-mail. So you can call him right now at 951-826-5551. Please let me know if you did.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Inland Empire's 1st Legal Collective to Open Same Day as San Bernardino Rally


PRESS RELEASE
CONTACT: Lanny Swerdlow at 760-799-2055.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 23, 2010

MARIJUANA ANTI-PROHIBITION PROJECT
AMERICAN HARM REDUCTION ASSOCIATION
Compassion and Common Sense
Patients Rally at San Bernardino Board Meeting to Celebrate Opening of First Legal Collective in Inland Empire and Demand that San Bernardino Do the Same

Inland Empire’s First Licensed Medical Marijuana Collective Opens in Palm Springs Tuesday, May 25 and Patients Rally at San Bernardino County Board Meeting the same day asking Board to enact a similar ordinance and reproach Supervisors Biane and Gonzales for not following through on their personal commitments to do the same

On Tuesday, May 25, Cannahelp will open in Palm Springs as the first legally licensed medical marijuana collective in the Inland Empire. Patients in San Bernardino County will go before the Board of Supervisors that same day to decry the failure of San Bernardino County to enact a similar ordinance.
The medical marijuana collective moratorium enacted by San Bernardino County will expire on June 19 and medical marijuana patients and advocates will return to the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, May 25 to find out what the Board’s intentions are and why San Bernardino County can’t do what Palm Springs did.

Patients will remind the board of the commitments made to enact a medical marijuana collective ordinance and the inability of the County staff to write one. They will again request information on the six secret meetings held by County staff over the last year. They will especially remind Supervisors Paul Biane and Josie Gonzales of the commitments that they personally made and failed to live up to.

Patients are going to ask again that the county set about drafting and implementing an ordinance to allow for medical marijuana collectives and this time they want a committee to oversee the drafting of an ordinance just like what was done in Palm Springs.

The Patient Rally for Access at the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors meeting begins at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 25. Patients will rally in front of the County Administration Building at 385 N. Arrowhead, San Bernardino where the Board meets with speakers, signs to wave and cheering the cars, trucks and assorted other vehicles that honk in support.. When the public comment section comes up, patients and advocates will go into the Board chamber and make 3 minute presentations asking the Board to do what Palm Springs has done.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

RALLY IN SAN BERNARDINO THIS TUESDAY!


Rally for Access at the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors this Tuesday, May 25

From: Lanny Swerdlow
Director, Marijuana Anti Prohibition Project

On June 19, the moratorium on medical marijuana collectives in San Bernardino County comes to an end. The promised medical marijuana collective ordinance is not going to happen which means San Bernardino County will most likely pass another one year moratorium. The question is what do we do now?

Although jumping up and down and stamping our feet would be cathartic, it would not get much accomplished and we have to deal with the situation now at hand and figure what can be done to actually get a medical marijuana collective ordinance into place once a ban is in place.

The problem last time is that there was no ongoing monitoring of the process that was supposed to be in place to draft an ordinance so when patients finally realized that nothing was being done, there wasn't time left to actually get one written and in place. How do we solve that problem this time?

On May 25 when we go before the Board of Supervisors, in addition to reminding them of their
commitment to implementing state law and passing a mmj collective ordinance, we need to ask that they follow the example of Palm Springs, San Diego and many other cities and counties and establish a committee to oversee the process.

The Palm Springs Medical Marijuana Task Force, of which I was a member, was composed of two representatives from the City Council, the Chief of Police and a Deputy, City Manager, City
Attorney, Planning Staff and representatives from patient organizations and dispensaries. The
meetings were open to the public and it was not unusual to have ten to twenty or more patients at a meeting providing the committee with input and guidance.

It worked and Palm Springs became the first, and so far only, city in the Inland Empire to enact a medical marijuana ordinance allowing for collectives to operate under their zoning laws. In fact, the first licensed collective anywhere in the Inland Empire, Cannahelp, will hold its grand opening the same day as our rally in San Bernardino. (Any one up to carpooling to Palm Springs to celebrate their grand opening after our presentation before the SB Board?)

This is what we need to do on Tuesday, May 25 before the Board - ask them to establish a Medical Marijuana Task Force and charge the Task Force with developing an ordinance and bringing it to the board in as rapid a manner as is consistent with developing a good solid workable ordinance.

Hopefully 3 of the 5 Board members will recognize this as a viable solution and at a subsequent Board meeting, establish the Task Force.

I know this is kind of going hat-in-hand before the Board that has spurned us before, but we
have to be realists and take actions that hold out the promise of obtaining safe, reliable and local access. If we don't do it, who will? Better I should ask, if you don't do it, who will?

Please make the time to join us on Tuesday, May 25 at our rally at the SB Board of Supervisors meeting. Let them know how disappointed you are by the County's inaction and why access is so important to you and other patients. Ask that this time a committee be formed to oversee the process and that patients be on the committee. If you have the time, let them know that you would be willing to serve on this committee.

The Rally for Access at the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors begins at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 25. We will rally in front of the County Administration Building where the Board meets. We will have some speakers, signs to wave, cheer as cars, trucks and assorted other vehicles honk in support and time to meet with friends and make new friends. When the public comment section comes up, we will go into the Board chamber and those who would like to make a 3 minute presentation before the Board are strongly encouraged to do so.

The County Administration Building is located at 385 N. Arrowhead in downtown San Bernardino 92415.

If you are interested in making a day of it and car pooling to the Grand Opening of Cannahelp in Palm Springs after the Board meeting, call me at 760-799-2055 and let me know so car pool arrangements can be made.

RIVERSIDE COLLECTIVE HIT WITH LAWSUIT FROM THE CITY

From: Lanny Swerdlow
Director, Marijuana Anti Prohibition Project


On Thursday afternoon two gentlemen from Riverside County visited my house in White Water and handed me a summons to notify me that I had been named in a lawsuit filed by the city of
Riverside to close down the collective operating in Riverside which the lawsuit listed as the
THCF Health and Wellness Center. I was not surprised that a lawsuit had been filed - what stunned me was that I was the only person named in it.

In the article in the Press Enterprise, it states that Riverside City Attorney Greg "Priamos
said that simply issuing recommendations for medical marijuana isn't a problem, but the city is going after both facilities because officials believe they are one operation, with Swerdlow as the operator."

Obviously someone in Riverside County hasn't done their homework. The clinic and the collective are totally separate with no legal or fiscal connections. The actual work of running the collective is overseen by William Sump. I continued to oversee the operations of the THCF Medical working alongside Dr. Paul Ironside who provides qualified patients with their recommendations.

The lawsuit filed by the city of Riverside does not allege that the collective is doing anything not in compliance with the AG Guidelines. It is only alleging that the collective is violating a city zoning ordinance that bans the operation of "a facility where marijuana is made available for medical purposes in accordance with Health and Safety Code Section 11362.5 (Proposition 215)." This definition is so overbroad that it arguably bans even cultivation in a patient's private home and certainly a home in which a patient may be growing for other patients.

In any case, violating a zoning ordinance is a civil offense, not a criminal offense. You do not arrest, confiscate and imprison a person for violating a civil ordinance. You serve them a summons like the city of Riverside has done and you duke it out in court and may the party with the best arguments win.

We are not afraid of fighting for patient rights in a civil court - in fact we welcome it as we believe we are legally right and the city is legally wrong and we will win. What concerns us is the possibility of a raid such as collectives have recently experienced in San Bernardino County. I have spoken with one of our attorneys who is of the opinion that this is not likely to happen although he admits that Riverside County DA Rod Pacheco and Riverside City Attorney Priamos move in strange ways.

So what are we going to do?

First off, we are consulting with a number of attorneys as to what this lawsuit is all about and how we should best respond. We will be answering the lawsuit within the 30 days given to us to respond. We will be denying all allegations of violating any ordinance and claim that the city's ban on collectives violates the rights of patients to form them as provided for in SB 420.

Most importantly the collective will be staying open providing member patients with medicine and the clinic will be open providing prospective patients with their recommendations and current patients with their renewals.

The Press Enterprise article was a good start in letting the public know what is going on and
how the city is refusing to license and regulate collectives and instead has created a Wild West free-for-all. But most importantly, we need to let the people of Riverside and the Riverside City Council know that wasting tax payer money and city employee time drafting voluminous lawsuits to close collectives is wrong, wrong, wrong. Instead, tax payer money and city employee time should be used productively to draft a medical marijuana collective ordinance that will provide local access to patients and do so in way that causes no problems for the city or its residents.

The way to bring that about is to use our rights under the U.S. Constitution which guarantees
"the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." We have grievances and we are going to let the Riverside City Council know about them on Tuesday, June 1 at 6:30 p.m. where we will assemble one of the largest groups of people ever to attend a Riverside City Council meeting.

Our elected officials are well aware that general public supports medical marijuana and that
they support licensed and regulated access to medicinal marijuana. The refusal of our elected
officials to recognize this and instead kowtow to Riverside City Attorney Priamos's reefer
madness mentality is both counter-productive and a slap in the face to Riverside city residents and the voters of California.

Watch here for updates on what is happening with the collective and the clinic,
but right now circle Tuesday, June 1 and write in 6:30 p.m. and be at Riverside City Hall at
3900 Main Street, Riverside 9255 to demand your right to safe, reliable and local access as well as the respect that you so rightfully deserve.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

1st Medical Marijuana Provider To Be Tried Under New DOJ Policy

San Diego, CA -- A North San Diego County medical marijuana provider, James Stacy, whose Vista dispensary was raided on September 9, 2009, by a multi-agency narcotics task force, will be the first such case to go to trial after the Justice Department issued its enforcement policy in October 2009, a month after the raid. Stacy's trial date will be scheduled Wednesday during a hearing at which Stacy will argue he's entitled to admit evidence of state law compliance, something routinely denied federal defendants. Stacy's dispensary, Movement in Action, was raided along with more than a dozen other San Diego County dispensaries as part of local-federal enforcement actions called, "Operation Endless Summer," which resulted in more than 30 arrests. Only Stacy, and one other medical marijuana dispensary operator Joseph Nunes, were charged federally as a result of the raids. Nunes has since pleaded guilty and was recently sentenced to a year in prison.

What: Federal hearing on whether dispensary operator James Stacy can use medical marijuana and state law as a defense at trial
When: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 10:30am
Where: Courtroom 15, U.S. District Court, 940 Front Street, San Diego, CA

"With a new enforcement policy on medical marijuana, the federal government should not be trying this case at all," said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with Americans for Safe Access, the country's largest medical marijuana advocacy organization. "At the very least, Mr. Stacy's case should be tried in state court where he's guaranteed a defense against his charges." Because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on medical marijuana, defendants are prevented from entering evidence of medical use or state law compliance in federal court.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder testified before Congress last week and reaffirmed that the Obama Administration was not interested in using the Justice Department's "limited resources" to prosecute people who are in compliance with their state's medical marijuana laws. Stacy argues that he was in full compliance with state law, nevertheless he was federally charged with cultivation of marijuana, conspiracy to cultivate and sell marijuana, and possession of a firearm, which could result in more than 20 years in prison. The federal government has so far failed to show any evidence of state law violations and has blocked repeated attempts by Stacy's lawyer Kasha Kastillo to try the case in state court.

Another San Diego dispensary operator, Jovan Jackson, was arrested as a result of the raids in September and prosecuted by San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis in state court. Jackson was acquitted by a jury after a November 2009 trial on similar charges. More recently, the San Diego Board of Supervisors has taken note of the county's failure to gain convictions and has decided to regulate medical marijuana distribution in the unincorporated areas of the county. The City of San Diego City Council is similarly debating a dispensary ordinance. "The move to regulate local medical marijuana distribution is certainly a positive step for San Diego," continued Elford. "However, it begs the question of why Mr. Stacy is still being prosecuted in federal court."

Because of the government's continued efforts to prosecute medical marijuana patients despite a new Justice department enforcement policy, advocates are urging Members of Congress to pass HR 3939, the Truth in Trials Act, which would allow defendants to use a medical or state law defense in federal court. The Truth in Trials Act currently has more than 30 Congressional cosponsors.

Further Information:

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's recent statements before Congress.

Truth in Trials Act

Monday, May 17, 2010

SAN BERNARDINO RALLY TUESDAY, MAY 25 @ 10 A.M.


Arguably the most corrupt county in the state of California, I guess we should just expect this total disregard for law and human decency from the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. From past statements, we thought we could trust Supervisors Josie Gonzales and Paul Biane, but they have turned out to be such disappointments that is just plain disheartening.

I know this seems futile, but it's just like when we used to keep going back before the Board
telling them to stop wasting taxpayer money on the mean-spirited, vindictive and futile lawsuit to have Prop. 215 ruled unconstitutional. If we don't tell them that what they are doing is wrong, then they will feel that what they are doing is right. They are well aware our request that collectives should be licensed and regulated is what the public wants and not the Wild West atmosphere created by their obfuscation and genuflection to law enforcement's reefer madness mentality.

So mark your calendars for Tuesday, May 25 at 10 a.m. and come on out, join us for the rally,
be with friends and make new friends and then, if you so chose, speak another time with the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors and let them know whatever it is you want to let them know.

It's all happening at the San Bernardino County Administration Building, 385 N. Arrowhead Ave., in delightful downtown San Bernardino 92415. Bring signs if you have them, or we will have some there.

HIGH DESERT MEET FEATURES LEGAL ADVICE AND REFORM UPDDATES AND DINNER

HIGH DESERT MEET FEATURES LEGAL ADVICE AND REFORM UPDDATES AND A SWISS STEAK DINNER WITH ALL THE FIXIN'S WED. MAY 19

Head on up to the town of Landers for the monthly meeting of the High Desert MAPP group - the
most fun meeting of the bunch and this time complete with a Swiss Steak Dinner and all the
Fixin's for only $3 - but it's worth at least $5 if you are employed at more than minimum wage.

In addition to the McCabe's eatin's, there will be some speakin's as well. Attorney Stephen
Peretz will make a presentation on what to do when you are confronted by a cop and you feel very uncomfortable about the situation. He wanted me to emphasize that this will be a short
presentation - he will get right to the meat and potatoes - stuff you really do need to know.

I will be bringing you up to date with what is happening, or more appropriately not happening, in San Bernardino County. I also have some information on the elective races on the June 8 ballot, but not much.

We need to put together a committee to get candidates positions on issues of importance to us
and then let our supporters know who they are. There are a lot of us out here - way more than a lot of other groups out there with way more sway with our elected officials. We need to get out there and support those who support us and that's one of the things we are going to talk about at this meeting.

Which of course dovetails into an update on the Tax and Regular Initiative. We had a meeting
last Wednesday in Riverside with a live video conference with Initiative Sponsor Richard Lee and Campaign Consultant Marucio Garzon. Very illuminating and I will discuss what was discussed and how we are going to end reefer madness this November.

So for a great meeting and an even greater Swiss Steak Dinner, be at the High Desert MAPP
meeting on Wednesday, May 19. The dinner begins at 5:30 p.m. with entertainment by Esclanate Jam and the meeting at 6:30 p.m. It's all happening at the entertainment Mecca for the high desert, The Castle Inn at 1388 N. Golden Slipper Lane in Landers 92285.

Lanny Swerdlow
Director, Marijuana Anti-Prohibition Project

RADIO SHOW MONDAY AT 6 P.M. FEATURES MPP FIELD DIRECTOR AARON SMITH

Tune in this Monday at 6 p.m. to Marijuana Compassion and Common Sense featuring people you want to know speaking about things you need to know.

First we will be interviewing Araon Smith, California Field Director for the Marijuana Policy
Project. Of special interest will be hearing about the medical marijuana initiative in Arizona. Following Aaron will be Cheri Sicard bringing us information on the stalled ordinance and what, if anything, can be done. The radio show is interactive, so call in your questions and comments on our listener call-in line at 888-909-1050.

Tune in this Monday and every Monday at 6 p.m. to Marijuana Compassion and Common Sense on radio station KCAA 1050AM heard everywhere in western Inland Empire. If you can't tune it in on your radio, then fire up your computer, log on to www.kcaaradio.com and click on LISTEN LIVE.

Marijuana Compassion and Common Sense is brought to this week by William H. Gunn Construction Co. and THCF Medical Clinic. If you would like to let our dedicated audience know of your business, get the word out that you are cannabis friendly and help support the cause, then contact me and I will let you know about our very reasonable advertising rates.

Lanny Swerdlow
Director, Marijuana Anti Prohibition Project
760-799-2055

Monday, May 10, 2010

RADIO SHOW TO FEATURE CHINO DISPENSARY INTERVIEW

MONDAY 6 P.M. RADIO SHOW FEATURES INTERVIEWS WITH MARTY VICTOR AND HIS ROP AND ABEL CHAPAS FROM SB PATIENT CENTER

Tune in this Monday to Marijuana Compassion and Common Sense - the radio show to hear two great interviews - people you want to know speaking about things you need to know.

First we will be interviewing Abel Papas from the San Bernardino Patient Center and learn about the raid of their Chino collective and the rally being held this Thursday at the arraignment of the collective's owners at the Chino Courthouse.

Following Abel will be Marty Victor talking about getting his property back, what it took to get it back and just how much he is going to relish the moment when he watches Riverside County Sheriff officers return his property. At 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 13, Riverside County Sheriff's Department will be returning all property seized during the raid at the home of Marty and Lavonne Victor. On September 19, 2008 the Victor's, who were operating a ten member collective in their backyard, were terrorized by SWAT teams and additional hordes of county sheriff officers as they ransacked their house, destroyed the collective's garden and endangered the health of Marty's 81 year old mother by refusing to allow her any food and by just being there.

The radio show is interactive, so call in your questions and comments on our listener call-in line at 888-909-1050.

Marijuana Compassion and Common Sense is brought to this week by William H. Gunn Construction Co. and THCF Medical Clinic. If you would like to let our dedicated audience know of your business, get the word out that you are cannabis friendly and help support the cause, then contact me and I will let you know about our very reasonable advertising rates.

Tune in this Monday and every Monday at 6 p.m. to Marijuana Compassion and Common Sense on radio station KCAA 1050AM heard everywhere in western Inland Empire. If you can't tune it in on your radio, then fire up your computer, log on to www.kcaaradio.com and click on LISTEN LIVE.

IF YOU HAVE CHARTER CABLE, CONGRATULATIONS - YOU CAN NOW SEE MARIJUANA COMPASSION AND COMMON SENSE - THE TV SHOW

That's right - our TV show has gone Hollywood - well maybe not actually Hollywood, but it has
gone Pasadena and Malibu.

This week's show features our participation in the Doo Dah parade in Pasadena.

Here's how to find it on your Charter Cable connection:


  • Inland Empire - Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, Riverside et al - Friday at 12 midnight on cable channel 31.
  • High Desert - Victorville, Hesperia, Apple Valley, Big Bear et al - Friday at 12 midnight on
    cable channel 3.
  • San Gabriel Valley (Pasadena et al) on Friday at 11:30 p.m. on Cable Channel 31.
  • Malibu, Whittier and Long Beach on Friday at 12 midnight on Cable Channel 31.

The show is also carried on the following Public Access stations:
Coachella Valley - Tuesday, Saturday & Sunday at 11 p.m. Time Warner cable channel 17.
High Desert (Morongo Valley to 29 Palms) - Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Time Warner cable channel 10.

Riverside/Norco - Tuesday at 8 p.m., Charter Cable channel 32.

I look forward to working with all of you to bring compassion and common sense to marijuana
laws.

Lanny Swerdlow
Director Marijuana Anti-Prohibition Project
760-799-2055

Friday, May 7, 2010

CHARLES LYNCH CASE NEWS


Federal Judge Recommends Reclassification of Medical Marijuana, Removes Random Drug Testing and Some Restrictions for Defendant

Los Angeles, CA – Federal District Judge George H. Wu issued a revised 41-page written sentencing order this week for former medical cannabis provider, Charles C. Lynch. In addition, the Judge also granted the defense’s request for reduced supervised restrictions as Lynch remains out on $400,000 bail pending appeal. Lynch’s Federal Public Defender filed an appeal Thursday, May 6.

"[T]his case is not like that of a common drug dealer buying and selling drugs without regulation, government oversight, and with no other concern other than making profits. In this case, the defendant opened a marijuana dispensary under the guidelines set forth by the State of California . . . . His purpose for opening the dispensary was to provide marijuana to those who, under California law, [were] qualified to receive it for medical reasons."

The sentencing order states that Lynch was “caught in the middle of shifting positions” on the issue and that, “Much of the problems could be ameliorated…by the reclassification of marijuana from schedule I”

Lynch gained notoriety as a federal medical cannabis defendant after being raided, arrested, prosecuted and convicted under the Bush Administration but then sentenced after President Obama signaled a change in federal enforcement policy.

That notoriety came in part because of all of the support from the medical cannabis community that rallied around Lynch. The Judge acknowledges, in a footnote in his sentencing order, the massive out pouring of letters for Lynch:

“While simple popularity is not a factor to be considered, the Court notes that it has received more letters in support of Lynch in this matter than in any other case in the undersigned judicial officer’s 16 years on the federal and state benches.”

Judge Wu's call for the reclassification of marijuana comes as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is considering a petition, filed in 2002 by the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis.

After a multi-year-long review by the Department of Health and Human Services, the petition was recently sent to DEA, the final stage of the process. Acting DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart— who still must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate— has the authority to grant or deny the rescheduling.

Judge Wu ordered Lynch back into court April 29, 2010 to discuss his written decision. Both the Prosecution and the Defense pointed out errors in Wu’s written opinion, so Wu had to re-write it. Lynch claims there are still errors in the document.

Such as Judge Wu’s claim that Lynch should have known cannabis sold by one of his former employees to an undercover officers—in a parking lot at least 5 miles from the collective— came from Lynch’s collective. However, there was no evidence that the cannabis came from Lynch or his collective.

At that April 2010 court appearance, Judge Wu had forgotten that In June 2009 he verbally sentenced Lynch to one year and a day, and four years of supervised release, despite the 5-year mandatory minimum being sought by the Justice Department. Judge Wu also forgot he told Lynch he could remain out on bail pending appeal.

Four months after that June 11th sentencing hearing, the Justice Department issued a memo directive in October to U.S. Attorneys, discouraging them from arresting and prosecuting medical marijuana patients and providers that follow state law.

Lynch remains released on bail pending his appeal, but cannot use medical marijuana according to the terms of his release. However Judge Wu agreed to remove the requirement that Lynch call in daily to see if he has to report to random drug testing.

Judge Wu also reduced Lynch’s supervision from “intense to routine”. Lynch had been driving over 200 miles to Los Angeles from his home in Arroyo Grande every two weeks for brief meetings with his probation officers. Lynch now can drive to Santa Barbara about once a month instead.

Before his medical cannabis collective was raided by DEA agents in March of 2007, Lynch had operated for 11 months without incident, and with the blessing of the Morro Bay Mayor, City Attorney, City Council, the local Chamber of Commerce, and other community members.

Two months after Lynch closed his dispensary, Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers, he was indicted and charged with conspiracy to possess and possession with intent to distribute marijuana and concentrated cannabis, manufacturing more than 100 plants, knowingly maintaining a drug premises, and sales of marijuana to a person under the age of 21. None of the federal charges Lynch was convicted of constituted violations of local or state law.

Currently, patients and providers are prevented from using a medical necessity or a state law defense in federal court. The Justice Department policy has failed to deter the prosecution of more than two dozen pending federal cases.

In response, Americans for Safe Access advocates for the passage of Congressional legislation -- HR 3939, the Truth in Trials Act -- which would give state law-compliant defendants a fighting chance in federal court.

Further Information:Federal Judge George Wu’s April 27th order:
http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/Lynch_Sentencing_Order.pdf

April 29th revised order:
http://www.friendsofccl.com/documents/2010-04-29_LynchSentencingMemo.pdf

Friends of Charles C. Lynch website:
http://www.friendsofccl.com/

H.R. 393 “Truth in Trials Act”:
http://americansforsafeaccess.org/section.php?id=354

Parts of this release come from a press release written by Kris Hermes for Americans for Safe Access.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Medical Marijuana Article in SB Sun

The San Bernardino Sun published an story on the county's lack of medical marijuana ordinances in last Sunday's paper. Give it a read and please post a comment in the comment section. We need the media to cover this topic and the more interest the public shows, the more coverage they are likely to give it.

Read the story and post comments here.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

SB COUNTY COPS GONE WILD & MAPP MEETING


MAY 5 MAPP MEETING FEATURES PSYCHIATRIST PRESENTATION PLUS DISCUSSION ON PATIENT RESPONSES TO SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY COPS GONE WILD

The situation in San Bernardino County has become a Wild West free-for-all with law enforcement busting collectives and patients and the county's elected officials unwilling or powerless to stop them. We will be discussing what approaches we need to take to address this malicious situation.

Presentations will be made by Cheri Sicard, our San Bernardino advocate, and by Dustin whose
delivery service in Rancho Cucamonga was raided and he was arrested and imprisoned.

I strongly advise extreme caution in any dealings with police in San Bernardino County. There is no doubt now that they still refuse to recognize California's medical marijuana laws and feel they can ignore them with impunity. We are contacting attorneys to find out if they actually can and what actions can be taken to rein them in.

Our featured speaker is Dr.Chirstopher Fichtner who will be discussing his new book
Cannabinomics. Dr. Fitchner recently made a presentation before the Wildomar City Council as part of the Council's investigative process. Dr. Fitchner will have copies of his new book available for purchase and will be personally autographing each book after the meeting.

The Riverside/Inland Empire MAPP meeting on Wednesday, May 5 begins promptly at 7:30 p.m. and is held at the THCF Medical Clinic, 647 Main Street in Riverside 92501.
Lanny Swerdlow
Directior Marijuana Anti Prohibition Project

FREE CULTIVATION SEMINAR

Stoney Girl Gardens is hosting a free cultivation seminar on Friday, May 7. The seminar will
cover a variety of growing, harvesting and processing methods as well as information on the
various medical strains and the ailments that they successfully treat.

More information about Stoney Girl Gardens can be found at www.gro4me.com.

The FREE cultivation seminar will be held on Friday, May 7 beginning at 8 p.m. at the THCF
Medical Clinic and Patient Center, 647 Main Street in Riverside 92501.

NOTE: This is an informational seminar. There will be no sales of any seeds, clones or plants.

Critical Court Decision Delayed

Patients, advocates and everyone else has been holding their collective breaths this last week awaiting the issuance by the 4th District Court of Appeals of their ruling on the case of Qualified Patients vs. City of Anaheim on whether cities and counties can ban collectives under their zoning ordinances.

No ruling was issued and you better stop holding your breath because it could take up to another five weeks before the ruling is issued.

The delay results from the fact that although the court ordered all new briefs to be submitted by the end of the January, one of the parties (I don't know who) requested a 30 day delay for their submission. The delay was granted. The court has 90 days to issue its ruling. As a consequence of the delay being granted, the 90 day countdown period did not begin at the end of January when the submissions were originally due, but began sometime in the first week of March.

As a consequence the ruling is not due until the first week of June. Although the court can
certainly issue its ruling in less than 90 days, I would not advise anyone to start holding
their breath again until near the end of May. This is truly unfortunate as San Bernardino County will no doubt interpret this as more time to keep arresting and prosecuting patients and providers.

Lanny Swerdlow, Director Marijuana ANti Prohibition Project

Thursday, April 29, 2010

BAD NEWS - Medical Marijuana Raid in Rancho Cucamonga

On Tuesday, the same day over 60 patients and advocates rallied and spoke before the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors, a small delivery collective was raided in Rancho Cucamonga.

Phelan, Chino and now Rancho Cucamonga. It's San Bernardino Cops Gone Wild! Here's how the operator of the Collective described the raid:

My name is Dustin and I own and operate a legal, licensed delivery service called High Times 420 Delivery (www.hightimes420.com). Last night my house was raided. I only had approximately five ounces of medical marijuana that were separated in different glass jars.

Officer Dean and Officer Lopez and six other police from the Rancho Cucamonga Police Dept.
called the "smash" unit came to my house, raided it and took my cash, money, business cards,
cell phones, computers and a lot of other stuff. They tossed my whole house. I asked for a search warrant and they told me don't worry about it. They had me handcuffed for four hours on the curb while they tossed my house, cars, travel trailer, motorcycle.

They finally showed up with a warrant. The officers stole $4,000 cash from my girlfriend's safe. It was her checks she was saving up and had her check stubs in there. They claim there was no money in the safe and only my Rolex watch. The cops are corrupt.

I provided them all my legal documents, patient ID forms, patient rec forms. I was totally legal - they didn't want to hear it.

Although I only had about five ounces, they used the glass jars as weight and ended up booking me for 3 pounds and charging me with possession with intent to sell. I just got out of jail on a $50,000 bond. This is my first arrest ever. It sucks cause I am also a bail bondsman.


Dustin will be meeting with his attorney on Thursday. He will be at the Wednesday, May 5 MAPP meeting in Riverside and will bring us up to date on this latest travesty perpetuated by San Bernardino County law enforcement. Stay tuned.

The Riverside MAPP meeting is at 7:30 pm at the THCF Medical Clinic and Patient Center @ 647 Main Street, Ste. 1B, Riverside, CA. 951-782-9898.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Post Medical Marijuana Rally Report

Yesterday’s rally was a huge success. We had about 40-45 people on the street on front of the San Bernardino County building with signs. Just like last month’s rally, we had a lot of enthusiastic support and honking of horns from the public.

As part of the rally, a small group of activists marched from the County Building around the corner to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office to present a public records request asking for details of exactly how much money San Bernardino County has spent pursuing cases against medical marijuana patients and collectives.

Thanks to activist Scott Bledsoe’s readiness with his camera, you can watch most of that encounter on You Tube. In the video Lanny Swerdlow, director of the Marijuana Anti-Prohibition Project, and other activists discuss with Bruce Brown from the district attorney’s office about why the San Bernardino County district attorney Michael Ramos continues to prosecute medical marijuana and why the public was not invited to or even aware of six secret meetings that took place with various county agencies including the district attorney’s office regarding medical marijuana. Click here to watch the video.

The entire group then went into the Board of Supervisors meeting. Only a handful were able to speak before the board breaked for lunch. This included two members of our opposition, including California state assembly candidate Paul Chabot who profusely thanked the board for continuing to fight medical marijuana and the opening of medical marijuana dispensaries in San Bernardino county. (For more on Chabot’s political positions, see his website at http://www.paulchabot.com/. Read what he has to say and vote accordingly and please make sure your friends and family do the same.)

I find it more than curious that Mr. Chabot, a candidate for the state legislature, essentially thanked the board for obstructing the law. Of course, the Board of Supervisors themselves say they have nothing against medical marijuana and are doing no such thing. Somebody here is not telling the truth. A few of our speakers followed, so Chabot and the single minion he managed to drag to the meeting were not the last heard before the break.

The board broke for lunch at noon and told us to be back at 1:30. Of course, some people had other obligations and had to leave. I would estimate that about ¾ of our group did actually return after lunch. Unfortunately the board of supervisors kept us waiting until nearly 2:15 before they returned (try being that late next time you have to go to court). Supervisor Josie Gonzalez apologized profusely, claiming the delay was unavoidable and due to serious business the board was working on in closed session. By that point a great number of our group had to leave, but we still had some terrific speakers left who gave impassioned pleas to the board. It ended with Lanny Swerdlow calling out Supervisor Gonzalez, who has previously lead us to believe she was an ally. Gonzalez’s office has never even returned any of Lanny’s numerous calls to set up a meeting. Ms. Gonzalez claimed ignorance of these calls and vowed to speak with Lanny the following day (stay tuned for a follow-up on that).

A HUGE thanks to everyone who was able to come out. If you couldn’t make this rally, we are going to do it again on May 25 so mark your calendars. This next rally will be especially important as the county's moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries is set to expire in June.

To everyone else, please follow Annelies Kuiper’s model and write or call your county supervisor today. The county’s moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries is up in June. If we don’t want to them to pass an outright ban, we MUST stay active and let our voices be heard loudly on this issue.

Cheri Sicard
ASA San Bernardino County Action Group

Letter from SB County Citizen to the Board of Supervisors

The following letter was sent by San Bernardino citizen Annelies Kuiper to the Board of Supervisors. Unfortunately Annelies was not well enough to attend yesterday's rally, but she still made sure her voice was heard. This is a wonderful example of how to communicate with elected officials. As you will notice Annelies labeled her correspondence as PUBLIC RECORD which means that it constitutes an official correspondence which cannot (well, technically it can, but should not) be destroyed.

We realize many of you, like Annelies, are not able to make it to the rallies (yes, we have another rally coming up on May 25th), but that doesn't mean you can't be heard on this most important issue. Call or email your supervisor today and let them know your opinion on how they are handling the issue of drafting reasonable medical marijuana regulations! You can find the telephone numbers and email address for all of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors (as well as links to map to help you figure out who your supervisor it, if you don't already know)
at this post.

And now, on to Annelies's letter:

PUBLIC RECORD: MEDICAL MARIJUANA REGULATIONS, PLEASE

Dear San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors:

My name is Annelies Kuiper and I live in Joshua Tree. I was hoping to be at the Medical Marijuana Rally on Tuesday, April 27th; but, unfortunately, I am unable to attend. I have stood before you many times over the years, pleading with you to abide by California Law and allow me my rights as a Medical Marijuana Patient in my Home County. If I was standing before you today, I would have said:

We are a nation of medicators! Most Americans medicate with something: alcohol, food, shopping, heroin, games, pornography, prescription drugs, self-righteousness, cyberspace and yes, some of us medicate with Marijuana.

So what? Why is San Bernardino County continuing to make such a big deal about Medical Marijuana? What evil does Medical Marijuana symbolize to you, that causes this lawless, anti-Medical Marijuana crusade in this County?

Please, stop this insanity! Stop law enforcement officials in San Bernardino County from pursuing this terrifying, unlawful Tyranny on Medical Marijuana Patients and Horticulturists. With complete disregard for California State Law and United States Supreme Court rulings, small-time Medical Marijuana Patients and Horticulturalists are being lumped into the same criminal box, by San Bernardino County Law Enforcement Officials and the Marijuana Eradication Team, as environmentally-destructive, violent, armed drug cartels, growing thousands of Marijuana plants in our National Forests. It’s not right: it’s a violation of our human rights.

Apparently the Board of Supervisors, local law enforcement and city planning officials have been unable to come up with satisfactory Medical Marijuana Regulations in all those months since the moratorium went into effect. Agonizing months, following agonizing years, during which MMJ Patients have continued to live in fear for our lives, our freedom and our property. While San Bernardino County and Law Enforcement Officials continued their relentless campaign of persecution and terror on Medical Marijuana and all of us who choose Medical Cannabis to help us feel well, with no side effects, every day. I worry that your inability to come up with reasonable Medical Marijuana regulations, is just another ploy on the part of San Bernardino County Officials…you know: “If we can’t come to an agreement about Marijuana Regulations in our County…well, I guess we’ll just have to slap an extension on that old moratorium”!!

Please don’t do that. We have some really intelligent, articulate People with us at the Rally today; People who are knowledgeable about California Law, City Planning and zoning, Science, Horticulture, Taxes, Health and Wellbeing, Accounting, etc…and we are all ready to share our constructive, do-able insights, to help you establish reasonable regulations concerning Medical Marijuana Patients, Horticulturalists, Dispensaries and Distributors. Please, let’s sit down together, like reasonable Adults and have a dialogue. A constructive, respectful, open dialogue. Please: we must end this nonsense. Stop the raids, end the moratorium on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and let’s Talk!

Please listen to us; listen to what all of us have to say. We are all Voters and we all have Friends, Families and Loved Ones who vote and this matter is very important to us.

Thank You.
Annelies Kuiper



Sunday, April 25, 2010

MEDICAL MARIJUANA CALL TO ACTION PLUS+++++

Hi Everyone,

This is a call to action plus!

1. San Bernardino Rally for Safe & Local Access - Tuesday, April 27
2. May MAPP meetings

There are two ways elected officials get things done in America - rich people and even richer corporations give them lots of money to do it or enough ordinary folks make enough of a stink that local elected officials take action. Well we sure don't have the money but we have the people - that is if YOU will make the time to come out and make yourself heard.

I don't need to go into detail about the reasons and rational for the rally and speak out this Tuesday at the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors meeting - if you read my emails you have read all the reasons before. The only way patients will finally get safe, reliable and local access is when our elected officials create the rules and regulations that will protect those who provide us with our medicine.

When we get a significant number of people out to a meeting, elected officials take notice. The bottom line for any elected official is getting re-elected and fat cats and corporations shower money on elected officials so they can buy votes. We may not be able to do that - yet - but we do vote and we also get our family members, friends, co-workers and others out to vote as well and I can assure you, they take notice of that.

That's why patients need you to come on down to downtown San Bernardino this Tuesday at 10 AM and join us for what is going to be a truly exciting rally. We are going to meet at 10 a.m. at the San Bernardino County Administration Building where the Board of Supervisors holds their weekly sessions. At 10:15 a.m. we will walk two blocks over to the SB District Attorney's office where we will deliver an official Public Records Request letter requesting information relating to the amount of taxpayer money the DA's office has spent prosecuting medical marijuana patients and providers.

We will then walk back to the County Administration Building where will rally with speakers, chants and sign waving until it is time to go into the SB Board meeting for the Public Comment section. You don't have to make a 3 minute presentation to the Board, but I encourage you to do so - the Board needs to hear from YOU! The first amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives you the right to free speech and to assemble peacefully and seek redress of grievances before your elected officials - this is your right as an American citizen and your chance to experience the incredible high you feel when you use it. Exercising your freedoms is like exercising your muscles - if you don't use it, you will lose it.

Mark your calendar and join your friends and compatriots on Tuesday, April 27 at 10 a.m. at the San Bernardino County Administration Building at 385 N. Arrowhead in downtown San Bernardino 92415.

We would appreciate it if you could send us an email (asasbcountyaction@gmail.com) and let us know if you are planning on coming.

MAY MAPP MEETINGS- Circle the dates on your calendar

Saturday, May 1 at 3 p.m. - Palm Springs/Coachella Valley.
Program to be announced.
Crystal Fantasy Enlightenment Center, 266 N. Palm Canyon in downtown Palm Springs 92262 - across the street from the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Wednesday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m. - Riverside/Inland Empire.
Featured speaker Christopher Fichtner, M.D., American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology Certified, Fellow of the American College of Physicians Executives and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Southern Illinois University.
Meeting at THCF Medical Clinic, 647 Main St., Riverside 92501.

Wednesday, May 19 at 6:30 p..m.- High Desert.
Program to be announced.
Castle Inn, 1388 N. Golden Slipper Lane, Landers 92285.

Lanny Swerdlow
Director, Marijuana Anti Prohibition Project

Thursday, April 22, 2010

RALLY THIS TUESDAY SAN BERNARDINO!!!!!

SAN BERNARDINO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS RALLY TUESDAY, APRIL 27 at 10 AM.

We have got to let SB elected officials know in no uncertain terms that their lawlessness and refusal to recognize California's medical marijuana laws even after their humiliating loss at the U.S. Supreme Court is wrong, wrong, wrong.

I know we have been before the Board before and it all seems so futile - but it is our right and
our duty "to peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
If we don't take this action, then nothing will ever change - so don't throw your hands up in
despair - we can bring about change even in San Bernardino County, but it will take concerted
effort on all our parts.

Your presence, and if you chose, your three minute presentation before the Board, lets them
know, the Sheriff and the DA know, and everyone else know that patients have specific rights and the law must be followed. I honestly believe they will come around, but I know it will never happen unless we are there to tell them that it must happen. Do not abrogate your rights as American citizen to speak to your elected officials and set them straight.

We will meet in front of the San Bernardino County Administration Building on Tuesday, April 27 beginning at 10 AM.

Bring a sign if you like to let everyone know what is going on as they pass by on the atreet, enjoy some speakers, and then join us as we go into the Board meeting to make our presentations during the public comment session.

We need as many people as possible to show up, so please brings your friends. This is an important chance to take part in democracy.

The County Administration Building is located 385 N. Arrowhead Ave. in lovely downtown
San Bernardino 92415.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Delaying Medical Marijuana Law Costly for San Bernardino County

Today's San Bernardino Sun newspaper ran an outstanding op-ed on the topic of what the lack reasonable marijuana regulations in San Bernardino County is really costing Inland Empire citizens. The article is written by our own Lanny Swerdlow, director of the Marijuana Anti-Prohibition Project (MAPP), an Inland Empire medical marijuana and patient's rights advocacy group.

Please take a moment to read the article and do post a comment in the comments section after reading. We want to educate as many folks as possible and draw as much local attention as we can to this important issue at this critical time. You can bet local officials are reading, so the more positive comments posted in agreement of Lanny's position the better. We also want to encourage the Sun and other Inland Empire newspapers and media outlets to cover this topic, and the more interest the public shows, the greater liklihood of that happening.

Read the full SB Sun article and post comments here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Happy 4-20! and High Desert MAPP Meeting Reminder

Happy 4-20 Everyone! Do something to celebrate and do something to give back to the movement. Donate funds, volunteer your time to fight for patients' safe access to medical marijuana, and join with others working to further the cause. For instance, if you're in the high desert area, check out Wednesday's (4-21-10) High Desert MAPP (Marijuana Anti Prohibition Project) meeting.

The regular monthly meeting of the High Desert MAPP group will feature a presentation by local High Desert attorney Stephen Peretz. In addition, Cheri Sicard will be there to speak about the upcoming rally on April 27 with the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. Mark your calendars so you won't miss this informative and, since it is the high Desert group, fun, fun, fun meeting.

The High Desert MAPP meeting will be Wednesday, April 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Castle Inn, 1388 N. Golden Slipper Lane in beautiful albeit slightly out of the way Landers, CA 92285.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Yes-We-Cannabis Meeting 4-21, Riverside and SB Rally

This next week is shaping up to be an exciting one for advocates across the Inland Empire.

After your April 20th celebrations, come out to the Coffee Depot in Downtown Riverside on April 21st for the monthly Yes We Cannabis meeting. Always fun and informative, Yes We Cannabis meetings are a great place to network with other advocates and find out more about how to be involved!Coffee Depot is located at 3204 Mission Inn Avenue, and the meeting begins at 7:30.

Tuesday, April 27th, is our next Rally for Regulations at the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors. We need you to join us in requesting that the County develop responsible regulations for collectives ahead of the expiration of the current moratorium. The rally is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in front of the Board Chambers: 385 N. Arrowhead San Bernardino, CA. We want to fill the room with support, so mark this one down on your calendar!

Going to the THC Expose in Los Angeles this weekend? If so, don't forget to drop in at the Yes We Cannabis booth. We'll be there with new t-shirts, giveaways, and all the information on what is happening in the Inland Empire!

We hope you'll join us this week and get involved in making a change happen in your communities!

Yours in solidarity,

Angela Smith
Co-Direcor, Yes-We-Cannabis

Sunday, April 18, 2010

SAN BERNARDINO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS RALLY TUESDAY, APRIL 27

SAN BERNARDINO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS RALLY TUESDAY, APRIL 27 at 10 AM.

It's a disaster again in San Bernardino County with Sheriff's officers raiding collectives,
patients like Don Lawrence being arrested and jailed and a total abandonment of any effort to
allow patients safe, reliable and local access. We have got to let SB elected officials know in
no uncertain terms that this lawlessness and refusal to recognize California's medical marijuana
laws even after their humiliating loss at the U.S. Supreme Court is wrong, wrong, wrong.

I know we have been before the Board before and it all seems so futile - but it is our right and
our duty "to peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
If we don't take this action, then nothing will ever change - so don't throw your hands up in
despair - we can bring about change even in San Bernardino County, but it will take concerted
effort on all our parts.

Your presence, and if you chose, your three minute presentation before the Board, lets them
know, the Sheriff and the DA know, and everyone else that patients have specific rights and the
law must be followed. I honestly believe they will come around, but I know it will never happen
unless we are there to tell them that it must happen. Do not abrogate your rights as American
citizen to speak to your elected officials and set them straight.

We will meet in front of the SB County Administration Building on Tuesday, April 27 beginning at 10 AM.

Bring a sign if you like to let everyone know what is going on, enjoy some speakers and then join us as we go into the Board meeting to make our presentations during the public comment session.

The County Administration Building is located 385 N. Arrowhead Ave. in lovely downtown
San Bernardino 92415.

Lanny Swerdlow
Director, Marijuana Anti Prohibition Project

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

CHINO SUPPORT RALLY TOMORROW 4-14-10

Thank you to those who joined us in our court support efforts last week at the Chino Superior Courthouse for those volunteers and staff being held from the recent raid on the San Bernardino Patients Association.

SBPA has currently re-opened as an advocacy center and will be hosting their first support rally tomorrow evening. Patient members of the collective who were arrested and detained during the raid will be on hand to discuss their stories. The rally will be held at SBPA-3757 Riverside Dr. Ste B Chino, CA 91710 and will begin at 6:30 PM. Come out to show your support for the patients involved, and hear about why San Bernardino needs regulations, not raids.

Yours in solidarity,

Angela Smith, Co-Director, Yes-We-Cannabis

Monday, April 12, 2010

High Desert MAPP Meeting, Wednesday, April 21

The regular monthly meeting of the High Desert MAPP (Marijuana Anti Prohibition Project) group will feature a presentation by local High Desert attorney Stephen Peretz. In addition, Cheri Sicard will be there to speak about the upcoming rally on April 27 with the Board of Supervisors. Mark your calendars so you won't miss
this informative and, since it is the high Desert group, fun, fun, fun meeting.

The High Desert MAPP meeting will be Wednesday, April 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Castle Inn, 1388 N. Golden Slipper Lane in beautiful albeit slightly out of the way Landers, CA 92285.

San Bernardino Medical Marijuana Rally April 27

San Bernardino Rally April 27 to Protest Raids and Medical Marijuana Ordinance Inaction

As we have written in past posts, San Bernardino County has failed to live up to their commitment to implement California's medical marijuana laws and allow patients safe, reliable and local access. The Sheriff's office has begun a systematic program of raiding collectives and arresting collective operators, employees and even patients. This is beyond the pale and one of the most effective avenues to try and stop these hideous practices is to once again go before
our elected officials on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors and demand that they take action to reign in the lawless actions of SB County law enforcement. The democratic and American way to do that would be to get our elected officials to light a fire under the Planning Department to get a medical marijuana ordinance allowing collectives to operate before the Board for a vote and for it to be implemented ASAP.

Mark your calendar now for Tuesday, April 27 at 10 a.m. and join us at the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors meeting at the County Administrative Building at 385 N. Arrowhead Ave. in downtown San Bernardino. More information will be forthcoming in future posts, but mark your calendar now so that you can be there.

We can stop this madness, but only if patients and advocates such as yourself make the time to join us and demand our rights under California law.

Lanny Swerdlow, Director MAPP

Marijuana TV Show Now Seen in Inland Empire and More!

Marijuana Compassion and Common Sense, the TV show which has been seen in the Coachella Valley, Riverside and the High Desert since 2006, breaks into the big time on Charter Cable TV beginning Friday, April 16. The show will now be seen on Charter Cable in the San Gabriel Valley (Pasadena, Alhambra, Norwalk, Azusa, Irwindale and others), Inland Empire (Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, Norco, LaSierra, Riverside, Rubidoux and more), Long Beach, High Desert (Victorville, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Big Bear, Running Springs, Crestline and more), Whittier and Malibu every Friday night at midnight on Charter Cable 31 (11:30 p.m. in the San Gabriel Valley and channel 3 in the High Desert).

Tackling issues from the medical efficacy of cannabis to the laws surrounding it use
recreationally as well as medically, the show will specifically work to develop support for the
Cannabis Tax and Regulate Initiative that will appear on California's November 2010 ballot as well as repoprt local medical marijuana news.

If you have cable TV in any of these areas, you can now see the show. More importantly, you can help spread the word by telling your friends, neighbors, co-workers and every else about the
show. If your friends are not as lucky as you to have cable and only have a satellite dish,
invite them over a Marijuana Compassion and Common Sense party. You know it will be a hoot.

Monday, April 5, 2010

STOP DEA MEDICAL MARIJUANA RAIDS

Over the past two months, the DEA has raided medical marijuana laboratories and cultivators in Colorado and Hawaii. To make matters worse, the federal government has assisted local law enforcement in dozens of other raids in California, Colorado, and Michigan.

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, will soon conduct the confirmation hearings for Acting DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart. President Obama has nominated Michele Leonhart to be the new administrator of the DEA.

Please urge Senator Leahy to aggressively question Ms. Leonhart about recent DEA medical marijuana raids.

Please take a minute to email Senator Leahy today: www.americansforsafeaccess.org/AskLeahy

MAPP Meeting Wed April 7 and Radio Show

From: Lanny Swerdow, Director Marijuana Anti Prohibition Project

MAPP Meeting, Wednesday April 7
7:30 PM
THCF Medical Clinic
647 Main Street
Riverside 92501

Radio Show
Don Lawrences's release and the Chino collective raid will be the topic of discussion on Monday's
Marijuana Compassion and Common Sense radio show at 6:05 p.m. You can learn what happened at the arraignment and what will be happening next. If you are member of the SBPA, it would be great to have you call in to the show. The number to call is 888-909-1050.

The radio show can be heard everywhere in the western Inland Empire on radio station KCAA
1050AM. If you can't get it on your radio dial, the show is also simulcast on the Internet and
can be heard at www.kcaaradio.com. Click on LISTEN LIVE on the home page.

MAPP Meeting
The Chino Collective raid will also be one of the items under discussion at the Wednesday, April
7 Riverside MAPP meeting. We should have a lot more information and hopefully some of the
victims of the raid will be able to be there and fill us in on exactly what happened.

There has been considerable discussion on what our response should be and by Wednesday night I would imagine that there will be options that we need to discuss. We can't just do nothing - if
we don't fight back for our rights, it will only get worse and more dangerous.

Part of our problem is that most elected officials have little direct contact with us and don't
see us as a constituent whose concerns need to be addressed. If we want to part of the system to
protect our rights, then we need to work within the system. At the meeting on Wednesday we will be doing just that as two candidates for elective office will be at the meeting.

Anna Nevenic, RN, candidate for the 37th State Senatorial District and Herb Higgins, candidate
for the 4th District in Riverside County will be making presentations about their candidacy. We
hope that other candidates for elective office will contact us so that they may speak before us
and learn about our concerns.

Following the MAPP meeting will be a group of activists seeking interest in establishing a NORML chapter in the Inland Empire. There will be representatives from several Southern California chapters to speak.

As you can see, the Wednesday, April 7 MAPP meeting in Riverside is going to be of some interest and will certainly stimulate and hopefully motivate you to get involved.

The MAPP meeting on Wednesday, April 7 begins promptly at 7:30 p.m. and takes place at that
Mecca of medical marijuana rationality and perseverance, the THCF Medical Clinic, 647 Main
Street, Riverside 92501.

Don Lawrence Case Dismissed! - Still in Jail

From: Lanny Swerdlow, Director, Mariujuana Anti Prohibition Porject

Good News!


Medical marijuana patient Don Lawrence, who has been in prison for over one and one-half months had his case dismissed last Friday. Unfortunately due to some kind of court to prison mix-up, he is still in jail. Hopefully we will be able to get him out on Monday.

As for what happened - it is all too bizarre.

Don was in jail and facing 25 years to life in prison because of totally incompetent defense by
the San Bernardino Public Defenders office. With only 12 plants, police claim of two pounds
(which is always absurd), an exceeds limit recommendation and two other patients he was growing for, the case should have been dismissed at the preliminary hearing. None of this evidence was introduced because his public defender didn't even show up and the public defender representing his son substituted and he knew nothing of Don's case and next to nothing about medical marijuana law.

Figuring that Don would continue to be represented by incompetent public defenders, the
prosecuting attorney tacked on a three strikes charge to scare Don into pleading guilty to a
lesser charge because Don knew all too well just how incompetent his public defenders were.

Putting his home up for collateral, we were able to raise the money to retain the services of
Zenia Gilg, whose illustrious string of successful defenses included Inland Empire patients
Marty Victor, David Markarian and Rich and Joanne McCabe. Ms. Gilg's prowess as a medical
marijuana defense attorney is well known by Inland Empire prosecutors.

Last week Ms. Gilg informed the San Bernardino DA's office that on Monday, April 5, she will be
filing for change of counsel and that she would now be Mr. Lawrence's attorney. This fact was
reported in an excellent story in the April 2 issue of the SB Sun and Inland Valley Daily
Bulletin
.

The same day the story comes out, I get a call from his public defender, that the SB DA's office
has moved to dismiss all the felony marijuana charges. Whatever hopes they had of facing up
against an ill-prepared public defender were dashed when they learned that Zenia Gilg would soon be Don's attorney. They lawyers in the DA's office are not stupid , they knew they didn't have a case against Don and they didn't want to be embarrassed by losing what, thanks to the SB Sun article, was going to become a high profile case.

Hopefully we will get Don out on Monday and he will be at the Wednesday Riverside MAPP meeting to celebrate his freedom with us.

Chino Raid Update

From: Lanny Swerdlow, Director Marijuana Anti Prohibition Project

CHINO COLLECTIVE OPERATORS TO BE ARRAIGNED MONDAY

The two operators of the SB Patients Association collective remain in jail along with three
employees and possibly one or two patients stemming from the raid by San Bernardino Sheriff'
officers on Tuesday, March 30. Although a couple of those arrested were able to post bail, most
remained in jail with a combined bail total exceeding $10 million.

There has not been much more information available from what was in the last email newsletter. I have received a number of emails from members of the SBPA very upset at the loss of their source of medicine. Several of these emails were from low income individuals expressing how
compassionate SBPA was in providing low cost or even free medication to them. SBPA was one of
the relatively older collectives and operated in compliance with the Attorney General
Guidelines.

In a story published in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, which is printed at the end of this
newsletter as well, the SB Sheriff's office has issued a press release with some really weird
wording. It is very unusual for the Sheriff's office to issue any kind of press release unless
they realize what they are doing is pissing off a lot of people and that these people complain
to their elected officials and so to cover their butts they put out a press release touting
their heroic acts of bravery and the evilness of the evil they have just vanquished.

As more information becomes available, I will send it out in a newsletter, but in the meantime,
court support is being sought at Monday's arraignment hearing at 7:45 a.m. at the Chino Superior Court, 13260 Central Ave in Chino, CA 91710.

It is not known which courtroom the hearing will be held in, but supporters will be out in force
with rally signs. Having gone through trials myself and with way too many patients, I know how
empowering it is to have friends and supporters on hand when standing before a judge, so if you
can make it, please come.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Become a Fan on Facebook

You can now get San Bernardino County medical marijuana updates on Facebook. Check out our Facebook page here.

Follow us on Twitter!

You can now get San Bernadino County medical marijuana news and action alerts via Twitter. Follow us here
http://twitter.com/ASASBCAction

ACTION ALERT! -- Help Those Arrested in Chino

Friday, April 2, 2010
Good afternoon,

As we are awaiting information in regards to those still in custody from the Chino raid, here are a few ways you can help.

1. Below you will find a list of the phone numbers and the emails of the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors. We need to light up their phone lines this afternoon and fill their in boxes this weekend with requests for regulations, not raids!

2. This morning, both the San Bernardino Sun and the Daily Bulletin posted articles (Links Below) about the Chino raid, and the aftermath. There have been multiple negative comments posted since then. We need to reply with positive responses and make sure our voice and opinions are heard. Remember-Regulations, not Raids!

We will keep you posted on pending court support. Actual arraignments have not occurred yet but may happen as early as this afternoon or as late as Monday morning.


Spread the word, we stand together.


Angela Smith, Co-Director Yes-We-Cannabis

RESOURCES

SB Sun Article Here


Daily Bulletin Here

San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors

Brad Mitzelfelt
1st District
909-387-4830
Paul Biane
2nd District
909-387-4833
Neil Derry
3rd District
909-387-4855
Gary Ovitt
4th District/Chairman
909-387-4866
Josie Gonzales
5th District/Vice Chair
909-387-4565

HOW DO I FIND OUT WHAT DISTRICT I AM IN?
Check out these district maps to find which supervisor you should write to (if you already don't know).

District 1 Map -- Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt

District 2 Map
-- Supervisor Paul Biane

District 3 Map -- Supervisor Neil Derry

District 4 Map -- Supervisor Gary Ovitt

District 5 Map -- Supervisor Josie Gonzales


Chino Raid and Court Update

Friday April 2, 2010
Good morning,

Thank you to those who rallied at Chino Superior Court today for those still in custody from this weeks raid on San Bernardino Patients Association.

Deputy D.A. James Hoffman stated that thus far charges were to be filed against seven people, those not charged would be released later today. The D.A. advised that there is very little information available in the discovery at this time as many reports are still being filed.

We will keep you posted on pending court support. Actual arraignments have not occurred yet but may happen as early as this afternoon or as late as Monday morning.

Also, the Daily Bulletin has posted an article about the raid that can be read HERE

Spread the word, we stand together.

Yours in solidarity,

Ryan Michaels, Director Yes-We-Cannabis

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Court Support Needed Friday!

From: Angela Smith, Yes-We-Cannabis

Good Evening,

Here is the latest information that we have in regards to the Chino Raid:
At this time formal charges have not been filed by the San Bernardino District Attorney's office against the operators of SBPA, though they are still being held in custody. Even so, they are due to be arraigned tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. in the Chino Superior Court, Department C-2, 13260 Central Ave. Chino, CA 91710.
We need your support in the courtroom to show that we will not stand idly by and let San Bernardino County stand on the rights of qualified patients.

Please email info@yes-we-cannabis.org for additional information.

Take care and stay safe,

Yours in solidarity,

Angela Smith

Latest Info on Chino Raid

From: Ryan Michaels, Yes-We-Cannabis

Good afternoon,

We are slowly gathering more information about the actions of San Bernardino County Sheriffs and Chino Poice involved in a raid on a local medical cannabis collective, here are the updates so far:

1. On Tuesday evening March, 30, 2010, 15 minutes prior to closing as many as thirty officers in raid gear swarmed the facility through front and rear doors, badges were covered.

2. Paper bags were placed over the cameras.

3. Two operators, husband and wife, and eleven employees were on-site at the time and all were detained and arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to sell.

4. All marijuana, computers, patient files, and some furniture was taken.

5. Currently ALL parties are being held on a four million ($4,000,000) bond, we are awaiting updates from attorneys and bail bondsmen today to see how they will proceed for release but a number of personal contacts are involved working to get the operators released.

6. Chino Police and San Bernardino County Sheriffs reportedely arrested patients as well, and in fact set up a checkpoint in the parking lot from which they searched and arrested a number of individuals who were coming to the collective yesterday. Arrests were made for a variety of charges including simple possession.

It is unfortunate to have to report news of this nature, but I am hopeful from the incredible response from all across Southern California and now the nation, we are working to coordinate a response that is in-line with the desires of the operators, we will not stand idly by and let San Bernardino County stand on the rights of qualified patients.

Take care and stay safe,

Yours in solidarity,

Ryan Michaels
Director, Yes-We-Cannabis

Medical Marijuana Advocacy Groups to Stage Upcoming Rallies in San Bernardino

Two Inland Empire medical marijuana advocacy groups are co-sponsoring two upcoming rallies at the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors meetings on April 27 and May 25. Directors from the Marijuana Anti Prohibition Project (MAPP, www.cannabisnews.org) and Yes We Cannabis (www.yes-we-cannabis.org) are organizing the rallies to give the public a chance to speak up and request responsible medical marijuana regulations in the county. The rallies will begin at 10 AM at 385 N. Arrowhead Ave, in downtown San Bernardino.

The county’s current moratorium on medical cannabis dispensaries is scheduled to expire in June and Inland Empire patients want to see regulations, not another extension on the current moratorium or an outright ban.

“It is time for our local government to act in the interest of qualified patient constituents and we are hopeful that county officials will take heed of the concerns of the community to provide for the safe access to medicine for medical marijuana patients, “ says Ryan Michaels, director of Yes-We Cannabis.

Lanny Swerdlow, a registered nurse and director of the Marijuana Anti-Prohibition Project, takes issue with the county’s waste of taxpayer money. "With no ordinance on how medical marijuana is to be distributed, taxpayer money that is desperately needed for county services is being wasted as San Bernardino County medical marijuana patients and providers continue to be arrested and prosecuted,” says Swerdlow.

Following the raid of a medical marijuana collective in Phelan, KABC news reported on March 9 that “Authorities in San Bernardino County said they are aggressively cracking down on violators of a county moratorium against selling marijuana.”

Swerdlow continues, “If this is indeed the policy of San Bernardino County law enforcement, how many more patients will be ensnared in the criminal justice system and how much more money must San Bernardino County continue to hemorrhage while waiting for a medical marijuana collective ordinance to be drafted?"

In fact, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been wasted throughout California arresting and prosecuting legitimate patients whose charges are routinely dropped. In many cases, the courts have even ordered cities and counties to pay damages to wrongfully prosecuted patients. MAPP and Yes-We-Cannabis don’t want this happening in San Bernardino County.

Angela Smith, co-director of Yes-We-Cannabis notes that patients in San Bernardino have faced an uphill battle in regards to gaining safe access to their medicine, often having to drive to Orange or Los Angeles counties or even resort to black market sources. “The establishment of responsible regulations for collectives will protect the patient's safety and well-being In addition, responsible regulations would have the added benefit of keeping a potentially important source of revenue firmly in San Bernardino County."

County residents who agree with that position are encouraged to join MAPP and Yes-We Cannabis at the two rallies and let their positions be known to our elected county officials.

The Marijuana Anti Prohibition Project (MAPP, www.cannabisnews.org) is a non-profit inland empire medical marijuana patient support and law reform organization.

Yes We Cannabis (www.yes-we-cannabis.org) is a non-profit inland empire advocacy group promoting greater public understanding regarding medical marijuana laws, scientific studies of medical marijuana, and objective evidence relating to medical marijuana.