Latest News from California
December 19 - This year saw California NORML active on multiple fronts while we undertook preparations for a 2016 legalization initiative with the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform. Please join Cal NORML, renew your membership, or make a year-end donation to help us with our work in 2015!
December 12 - California reported 13,779 felony and 6,587 misdemeanor arrests for marijuana in 2013, about the same as the year before. Meanwhile, the number of DUI arrests dropped 7.5% to 162,199, the lowest level in decades.
December 2 - Fresno supervisors failed to end their medical marijuana cultivation ban, while El Dorado county let stand their ordinance, opting to look at altering it rather than repeal it.
December 1 - At a meeting tomorrow morning, Fresno county—the only county in California that has enacted a total ban on the cultivation of medical marijuana (indoors and out)—is considering allowing a 12-plant exemption to their ban, as well as amending fines and administrative procedures around their ordinance.
November 10 - As the US prepares to honor its veterans on Veteran’s Day, California NORML has been receiving phone calls and emails from vets who are being told by their VA doctors that they must choose between their prescription pain medications or their medical marijuana.
November 5, 2014 - California voters at the local level continue to favor taxing marijuana, but aren’t sure the want to see it grown, or sold.
October 30 - The fourth and fifth days of U.S. court hearings before Judge Kimberly Mueller on the constitutionality of marijuana's schedule one classification was spent in cross-examining the government's only witness, Dr. Bertha Madras, Professor of Psychobiology at the Harvard School of Medicine.
October 29 - Dr. Bertha Madras will take the stand today in federal court in Sacramento to defend her declaration arguing that marijuana should remain in Schedule One (no accepted medical use; high potential for abuse).
October 28 - Dr. Carl Hart (right) left the witness stand as unscathed as Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner following his masterful testimony on cross-examination by US Attorney Gregory Broderick yesterday.
October 24 - Dr. Gregory Carter was cross-examined by video today in Judge Kimberly J. Mueller’s federal courtroom in Sacramento, after Carter submitted a declaration in support of defendants’ claim in United States v. Pickard, et. al. that there is no rational basis to treat marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance.
October 15 - Federal District Court Judge Thelton Henderson ruled yesterday that medical marijuana patients have demonstrated a strong likelihood of prevailing at trial on their claim that law enforcement raids in Lake County unconstitutionally violate their Fourth Amendment rights.
October 14 - California NORML, the state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, has endorsed the No on Measure A campaign in Shasta county.
October 5, 2014 - According to the California Attorney General's office, there were 13,779 felony and 6,567 misdemeanor marijuana arrests in California in 2013.
California NORML Backs CCPR Unity Initiative for Marijuana Legalization 2016
October 1, 2014 - Plans are afoot for a unity initiative to legalize marijuana in California in 2016. A statewide coalition of advocates, including California NORML, has formed the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (CCPR), to help lead the effort under the banner of ReformCA.com.
September 8 - The disastrous legacy of the war on marijuana will be addressed at a press conference to mark the 100th anniversary of the nation’s first “marihuana” raid in LA’s Mexican Sonoratown neighborhood (pictured) on Thursday, Sept. 11 at 10 am. at LA City Hall. Download flyer.
August 14 - Medical marijuana regulation bill SB1262 has been held in the Appropriations committee, meaning it won't see a floor vote this year.
July 21 - A successful Emerald Unity Coalition event was held on Saturday, July 19 in Lake County to kick off the MMCA (Medical Marijuana Control Act), an initiative that will be on the November ballot to establish better regulations in Lake for marijuana gardens.
June 2 - Call on Senators Feinstein and Boxer to support the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which would prohibit the US Department of Justice from spending resources to interfere with California's marijuana laws.
June 17 - The Correa bill has passed in the Senate and through the Assembly Business and Professions Committee. Changes will have to be made by the time the bill is heard by the Assembly during the week of June 23-7.
May 26 - Tom Ammiano's medical marijuana regulation bill AB 1894 has been amended to clarify that local governments can regulate and/or prohibit MMJ facilities and that patients cultivating for personal use are not subject to its provisions, and to revise how local governments can tax the industry, among other provisions.
May 24 - It is with sadness that Cal NORML reports the death of former California Senator John Vasconcellos at the age of 82. As well as his other accomplishments, Senator Vasconcellos was a champion of medical marijuana rights.
April 30 - The California Senate Health Committee approved Sen. Correa's medical marijuana regulation bill SB 1262 by a vote of 6-0 after the author amended it to satisfy the objections of opponents, including medical marijuana advocates, the California Medical Association, and county governments.
April 29 - Members of the California Assembly Committee on Public Safety have rejected amended legislation, Assembly Bill 2500, which sought to impose 'per se' criminal penalties to individuals who drive with trace levels (2ng/ml or above) of THC or other controlled substances in their blood -- regardless of whether he/she is behaviorally impaired.
April 29 - The California Assembly Public Safety Committee will be hearing a bill to set mandatory per se DUI limits on marijuana and other drugs based on blood testing. But the data do not show evidence of a DUI crisis in California, despite increased marijuana use.
April 23 - Two medical MJ regulation bills - SB 1262 by Sen. Lou Correa and AB 1894 by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano - passed their first committee hearings in the California legislature this week, heightening the likelihood that the legislature will finally pass some kind of comprehensive state legislation for the legal sales, production, distribution and manufacture of MMJ this year.
Assembly Bill 2500 has been amended to impose 'per se' criminal penalties to individuals who drive with trace levels (2ng/ml or above) of THC or other controlled substances in their blood -- regardless of whether he/she is behaviorally impaired. NORML and California NORML opposes the imposition of this legislation. Take Action on AB2500 Read Cal NORML's testimony on AB2500
April 22 - The Sacramento Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to ban outdoor medical marijuana cultivation in unincorporated areas of the county, but chose not to ban indoor cultivation and rather work with advocates to develop an indoor ordinance.
April 21 - SB 1262 (Correa), a bill introduced by the California Police Chiefs Association and the California League of Cites, passed the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee today in Sacramento and will next be heard in the Senate Health Committee.
April 16 - The Martinez city council voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance outlawing the cultivation of medical marijuana outdoors "or within public view."
April 3 - Tom Ammiano has re-introduced his medical marijuana regulation bill under a new bill number, AB 1894. The new bill will be heard in the Assembly later this month, effectively replacing his other bill, AB 604, which had been pending in the State Senate.
March 2014 - For the second year in a row, a “zero-tolerance” drug DUI bill has been introduced to the legislature. The bill, AB 2500 by Assembly Member Jim Frazier (D-Oakley), would make it illegal to drive a motor vehicle with any detectable amount of THC or any other controlled substance in one’s blood.
March 25 - After a screening of “Breaking the Taboo” in San Francisco, a panel featuring Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, DPA’s Laura Thomas and activist Dorsey Nunn discussed legalization in California.
March 26 - In a disappointing setback for Prop 215 patients' rights, the CA Supreme Court denied review of the Maral v Live Oak appellate decision, which upheld the right of local governments to completely ban personal use cultivation by medical marijuana patients.
Regulation of the state’s medical marijuana industry tops this year’s legislative agenda for Cal NORML, as two different bills to regulate the industry have been introduced to the legislature
March 7 - California NORML, the state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, has launched an advertising campaign in response to Governor Jerry Brown's pronouncement on "Meet the Press" that "potheads" are unable to compete in the modern workforce, and that therefore he does not favor marijuana legalization in California.
Thanks to the efforts of the Brownie Mary Democratic Clubs and the NORML Women’s Alliance, the California Democratic Party added to its platform a plank expressing support for “the legalization, regulation and taxation of pot in a manner similar to that of tobacco or alcohol,” at its March 2014 convention in LA.
March 5, 2014 - The California Assembly Public Safety Committee will be hearing AB 1588 (Conway) on March 11th. The bill would expand the minimum distance of dispensaries or collectives from schools to 1,000 feet from the present 600 feet.
February 28, 2014 - Against all odds, the citizens of Shasta county have turned in an estimated 13,080 signatures on a referendum to repeal their outdoor cultivation ban, only 20 days after their campaign began. The number is more than twice the 6,600 valid signatures needed to overturn the measure.
February 14, 2014 - The Dept of Justice has announced new federal guidelines for providing financial services to marijuana-related businesses. But because California doesn't have a state licensing system, it's questionable whether these guidelines apply in California.
February 13, 2014 - Lawmakers in San Francisco and Los Angeles are considering legislation to ban the use of smokeless e-cigarettes and vaporizers wherever smoking is banned - including many outdoor locations. Although advocates claim to be targeting tobacco use, e-cigs are broadly defined in the law so as to include cannabis vaporizers.
February 7, 2014 - You’d think the possibility of blowing yourself up making butane hash would stifle enthusiasm for the product, but BHO hash oil seems to be spreading everywhere unabated. Here are some possible reasons why.
February 4 - By a vote of 5-0, the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors voted to table an ordinance that would have banned medical marijuana dispensaries and outdoor cultivation today.
January 26 - As the popularity of cannabis e-cigs and vaporizers has taken off, California NORML has been busy fighting bills to ban e-cigs in non-smoking areas and has published an oped in today's Sacramento Bee about the topic.
January 24 - The surest way to guarantee federal recognition for CA's medical cannabis providers would be to enact AB 604 by Assemblyman Ammiano, soon to be heard in the State Senate.
January 7 -The Fresno County Board of Supervisors Supervisors has voted 5-0 to ban ALL medical marijuana cultivation as a public nuisance. The County is also banning dispensaries and collectives, leaving patients no legal access to medicine.
January 3 - In a lawsuit supported by California NORML, attorney Joe Elford has filed a petition today asking the State Supreme Court to review a recent Third District Appellate Court decision that upheld the right of local governments to ban medical marijuana cultivation entirely.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting in San Francisco, will decide on whether citizens in the nine Western states which make up the Ninth Circuit have a fundamental right to possess, use, and distribute cannabis for medical purposes as allowed by state law.
January 2, 2014 - Los Angeles Judge Hammock has upheld the city's medical marijuana ordinance Proposition D. LA-area collectives should expect that the city will proceed to enforce the ordinance. In other LA news, the police department has begun to deploy oral saliva swabs for DUI checks.
CalNORML's year-end newsletter is in the mail to our members. Read about our 2013 accomplishments and activities and join us to support our efforts in 2014.