Latest News from California

  • Police Task Forces Target California Concentrate Makers
    June 16 - Yesterday’s multi-agency raids on Sonoma County cannabis concentrate manufacturers Care by Design and AbsolutExtracts may be part of a pattern targeting such businesses in California.
  • Local elections bring mixed returns for marijuana advocates
    June 8 - Advocates of liberalized medical marijuana rules fared poorly in local elections last night. The one bright spot was Nevada County, where voters rejected a proposed ban on outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana, Measure W by 58%.
  • Joint Legislative Committee Hearings on Adult Use of Marijuana Act
    The California legislature heard testimony from supporters and opponents of AUMA at a joint legislative hearing of the Assembly Business and Professions Committee, Health Committee, Revenue and Taxation Committee, and Senate Business, Professions and Economic Committee.
  • Tell CA Assembly: No Taxation of Medical-Only Marijuana
    May 10 - The CA Assembly is expected to vote on Asm. Wood's bill AB 2243 to impose a $9.25/ounce tax on cultivation of medical (only) marijuana in coming days. Now is the time to call on your Assembly member to oppose AB 2243.
  • Signatures Submitted for Marijuana Legalization Initiative in California
    May 4, 2016 - Sponsors have submitted more than 600,000 signatures for the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, an adult-use legalization initiative that is expected to appear on the California ballot this November.
  • Assembly Public Safety Committee Passes DUID Bill to Appropriations
    April 19, 2016 - The Assembly Public Safety Committee narrowly passed a bill that would establish a 5 ng/ml per se standard for THC, criminalizing drivers with that amount in their blood.
    April 9, 2016 - California legislative committees are considering two different bills by North Coast legislators to tax commercial medical marijuana.
  • NO TAXATION WITHOUT LEGALIZATION: Cal NORML Opposes Bills to Tax Medical Marijuana
    Cal NORML is calling on the legislature to reject proposed legislation to tax medical (only) marijuana. SB 987 by Sen. McGuire would impose a 15% excise tax on retail purchases of medical marijuana in addition to the current 7.5+% sales tax plus various local business taxes assessed by some localities. AB 2243 by Asm. Wood would impose a $9.25 per ounce cultivation tax on all medical marijuana produced.

  • CDC Guidelines Instruct Pain Doctors Not to Test for THC
    March 17 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in long-awaited guidelines on prescribing opioid medications for pain, gives tepid endorsement for the use of urine testing before and during opioid therapy for pain, and steers doctors away from testing for THC.
  • Hesperia Tables Medical Marijuana Ban in Favor of Personal Cultivation and Delivery
    March 1 - On the very day of the dreaded former MMRSA deadline that had cities and counties passing medical marijuana bans across the state, Hesperia city councilmembers unanimously voted to table their medical marijuana ban on its second reading.
  • Cal NORML Opposes Bill to Tax Medical Marijuana
    February 12 - California NORML has declared its opposition to a bill to impose a new 15% state excise tax on retail purchases of medical marijuana (SB 987 by Sen. McGuire). The tax would be in addition to the current 7.5+% sales tax plus various local business taxes assessed by some localities.
  • Governor Brown Signs Bill to End Medical Marijuana Deadline
    February 3 - Governor Jerry Brown has signed AB 21, an urgency measure introduced by Rep. Jim Wood that repeals a March 1 deadline in the new state medical marijuana law that some have interpreted as requiring local jurisdictions to ban or regulate medical marijuana cultivation, or lose their licensing authority.
  • Ban the Bans: Getting Active Locally
  • California State Marijuana Bills for 2016
    January 7, 2016 - "Clean up" bills on the new state medical marijuana laws, and other bills affecting marijuana laws, have been introduced in Sacramento. An urgency measure, AB 21, which repeals the March 1 deadline for local action in MMRSA, is on track to be signed by the Governor within the month.
  • Gov. Brown Supports Woods Fix to March 1 Local Deadline in MMRSA
    December 18, 2015 - Assemblyman Jim Wood, an author of legislation setting new rules for the medical marijuana industry, said the March 1 deadline for local control was inserted in the bill in error and he plans emergency legislation next month to remove it from the law. Gov. Brown's office has confirmed he supports the measures.
    December 14, 2015 - Given its extraordinary length and complexity, AUMA includes a number of legal glitches and inconsistencies that will have to be fixed by the courts. These and other problems of interest to users are highlighted in this summary of AUMA’s major provisions.
  • Ca NORML Lobbies on Capitol Hill with fellow reformers
    November 19 - A lobbying day on Capitol Hill preceded the international Drug Policy Alliance conference in Washington DC yesterday, buoyed by the fact that HR 3713, the Sentencing Reform Act, passed the House Judiciary Committee unanimously that morning.
  • SF Exempts Medical Marijuana from Drug Testing Program for Taxis (and Lyfts)
    October 20 - In a victory for marijuana patients' rights, the SF Municipal Transportation Agency voted to amend a new drug testing program for taxi drivers to excuse positive test results for marijuana given a physician's recommendation or approval.
    October 9 - Governor Brown has signed the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, which creates a comprehensive state licensing system for the commercial cultivation, manufacture, retail sale, transport, distribution, delivery, and testing of medical cannabis. The MMSRA will begin to take effect on Jan. 1, 2016.
  • California Marijuana Arrests Reach Lowest Level Since 1966
    September 30 - California recorded 19,711 marijuana arrests in 2014, down slightly from 20,346 in 2013. This included 13,300 felonies and 6,411 misdemeanors.
  • Lawmakers Pass Three Medical Marijuana Regulation Bills
    September 11 - California lawmakers said late Thursday that they have reached a deal on legislation to regulate and license medical marijuana. The bills passed today.
  • Governor Amends AB 266 / Cal NORML opposes AB 243
    August 28 - The newly amended AB 266 proposed by the Governor's Office appears to be an improvement on its predecessor. Patient advocates are urged to tell the legislature to reject a proposed bill to tax medical marijuana cultivators (AB 243 - Wood).
  • Cal NORML Challenges Fish & Wildlife Figures on Marijuana Water Consumption
    August 3 - California NORML has written to Scott Bauer of California Fish and Wildlife questioning his often-repeated estimation that marijuana plants use 5-10 gallons of water every day throughout their growing season (June-October). This figure has been extrapolated to cause law enforcement to overestimate the water consumption of gardens they raid, much as they have always overestimated plant yields and prices.
    July 28 - About 40 protesters turned up this morning for a press conference and rally to protest the Sacramento Board of Supervisors’ recent move to declare all marijuana cultivation outside of their nine-plant indoor limit a waste of water.
  • Central Valley Water Board / Fish & Wildlife Offer Draft Regulations for Marijuana Farmers
    July 17 - A Marijuana Working Group meeting was convened by a “joint” committee of the California Water Board and Fish and Wildlife at which a draft pilot program for regulating marijuana farms in the region was distributed.
  • Organ Transplant Anti-Discrimination Bill Becomes California Law
    July 6 - California Governor Jerry Brown has signed Assembly Bill 258, to end discrimination against medical marijuana patients who need organ transplants.
  • State Hearing Held on Drought and Illegal Marijuana Impacts to Fisheries
    July 2 - “Fish, Flow and Marijuana Grows: Drought and Illegal Marijuana Impacts to Fisheries” was the title of a hearing held July 1 in the California Assembly Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture, co-chaired by North Coast Senator Mike McGuire and his assembly counterpart Jim Wood, both freshman who have filed MJ regulation bills this year.
  • Santa Ana Police Caught On Camera Apparently Eating Edibles, Joking About Kicking Amputee in Her "Nub"
    June 12 - Santa Ana police were caught by surveillance cameras in some troubling behavior during a recent raid at the Sky High dispensary.
  • ReformCA Coalition Storms the State to Legalize Marijuana in 2016
    June 2015 - Plans are proceeding apace for a California unity initiative to legalize marijuana for adult use in November 2016. A statewide coalition of reform groups, including Cal NORML, the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform, DPA, MPP, LEAP, ASA, SSDP, Emerald Growers Association, the California Cannabis Industry Association, NAACP, William Velazquez Institute, UFCW and others are planning to file a comprehensive initiative with the Attorney General’s office later this summer.
  • On Water and Weed: Is Cannabis Responsible for California's Drought?
    June 1, 2015 - The press has been lapping it up like….well, water: the allegation that marijuana cultivation in California is contributing to the state’s drought crisis.
  • Medical Marijuana Bills By the Score in Sacramento
    In a flurry of action before the looming 2016 election, lawmakers are considering some twenty bills dealing with marijuana this session.
  • Opening the Door: DOJ Memorandum On Marijuana in Indian Country
    The United States Department of Justice has issued a Memorandum titled “Policy Statement Regarding Marijuana Issues in Indian Country,” which effectively opened the door to Indian nations growing and selling marijuana on their lands.
  • Senators, Including Feinstein, Approve Amendment Allowing Vets to Use Medical Marijuana
    May 21 - In her first-ever vote in favor of medical marijuana, Sen. Dianne Feinstein joined fellow Appropriations Committee members in approving an amendment that would permit veterans to use medical marijuana.
  • Senate Commitee Approves McGuire Medical Marijuana Regulation Bill With Amendments to be Determined
    April 20 - The CA Senate Business & Professions Committee voted 7-0 to approve a medical marijuana regulation bill, SB 643, by Sen. Mike McGuire (D-N. Coast).
  • Assemblyman Lackey Stages 4/20 "Breathalyzer" Demonstration
    April 20 - Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) sponsored a demonstration of a new oral swab drug test in the State Capitol today. Lackey is sponsoring a bill, AB 1356, that would allow California police to use the test as an alternative to urine or blood tests for DUI stops.
  • Federal Judge Denies Marijuana Descheduling Motion
    April 15 - Judge Kimberly Mueller denied a motion to deschedule marijuana in a Sacramento federal criminal trial this morning.
    This year's legislative agenda includes several bills to regulate commercial medical marijuana cultivation and sales in California. None of them have been finalized yet, and all could be substantially changed by gutting and amending.
    March 22 - The California legislature is considering an anti-e-cigarette bill, SB 140 by Sen. Leno (D-SF), that would classify smokeless medical cannabis vaporizers as "tobacco products" and ban their use everywhere tobacco smoking is prohibited.
    March 19, 2015 - A lawsuit supported by California NORML is being filed today against the recently enacted ban on medical marijuana cultivation in Clearlake, California. San Francisco-based attorney Joe Elford will file the case in Lake County Superior Court with the intention of seeking relief for all qualified medical patients living in Clearlake.
  • Southern California Regional VA Policy Revised to Allow for Medical Marijuana Use with Opioids
    March 10, 2015 - In response to months of effort from California NORML, Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access, affiliated groups and Congressional offices, Cal NORML has been informed that VISN-22 policy has been revised to allow the use of medical marijuana with opioid prescriptions at all VA facilities in the Southern California region.
  • Researchers Allege Increase in Youth Marijuana Use Following Decrim Law
    February 17, 2015 - Having failed to find evidence that Prop 215 increased teen MJ use in CA, researchers are now alleging an increase in youth marijuana use following adoption of CA's decriminalization bill in 2011. Unfortunately, the CA AG stopped conducting its biennial surveys of student drug use, so it's difficult to confirm these figures.
  • UCLA Looks At Cannabis and Cancer
    January 13 - The UCLA Simms/Mann Center for Integrative Oncology, which has offered free psychosocial care for cancer patients and their families for 22 years, kicked off its 2015 "Insights into Cancer" lecture series with a panel on medicinal marijuana and cancer.
    This year saw California NORML active on multiple fronts while we undertook preparations for a 2016 legalization initiative. Please join Cal NORML, renew your membership, or make a year-end donation to help us with our work in 2016!

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