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 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

1 comment:

  1. I forgot to relay one priceless moment that happened at yesterday's San Bernardino County Board of Supervisor's meeting. One of the items many of us were focused on during the public comments section was the county's lack and funds which has resulted in cut services, the closing or drastic operating hour cutbacks of courts, libraries, etc. and many county employees being reduced to a 4 day work week. Yet the county has wasted hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars (we're still trying to discover exactly how much, stay tuned) pursuing medical marijuana cases.

    Well, during the 40 plus minutes we were forced to wait for the late supervisors to come back from lunch (we were all on time at 1:30PM as we had been told, but the supervisors were on their own time)we had time to talk to the officers and clerks. Scott Bledsoe, in preparation for his upcoming 3 minute talk, asked if he could use the overhead projector like he had at previous meetings. We were informed that the machine had broken down and county did not have the funds to repair it!