Latest News from California
May 22 - Medical marijuana dispensaries will remain open in Los Angeles after voters approved Measure D allowing 175 dispensing collectives to remain open in the city. In an election with slim turn out, Measure D earned 193,969 votes (63%). Measure F, which would have allowed any dispensary that met city standards, won only 41% of the vote.
May 20 - The California Senate approved a bill to clarify the state's law protecting medical marijuana collectives. The bill, SB 439 by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (Sacramento), protects collectives and cooperatives that operate in compliance with the Attorney General's guidelines, and makes it clear that their workers can receive compensation for their labor and expenses.
May 11 - Cal NORML and ASA protesters sent a message to A.G. Holder as he addressed UC Berkeley Haste Law School graduates at the Hearst Greek Theater on Saturday. "Holder: End RX Cannabis War #Peace4Patients," read an airplane banner that circled the stadium for two hours.
May 10 - Join us in protesting Attorney General Eric Holder's visit to Berkeley this Saturday, May 11th, 8:45-11am. Holder has been invited to address the commencement of Berkeley Law School at the Hearst Greek Theater.
May 8 - Medical cannabis advocates and public officials rallied today to protest the Obama administration's latest assault on medical marijuana: the U.S. Dept of Justice has filed a property forfeiture lawsuit against the landlord of the East Bay's oldest operating medical cannabis dispensary, the Berkeley Patient's Group.
May 6 - The California Supreme Court has issued its long-anticipated ruling in the City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center case. "Some counties and cities might consider themselves well suited to accommodating medical marijuana dispensaries, conditions in other communities might lead to the reasonable decision that such facilities within their borders...would present unacceptable local risks and burdens."
May 2 - It is with sadness that CalNORML reports the death of Mike Gray: screenwriter, author of the seminal book Drug Crazy, and chair of CommonSense for Drug Policy.
April 30 - US Attorney Melinda Haag has issued a spate of new landlord letters targeting medical cannabis dispensaries in Northern California. Cal NORML has so far heard reports from dispensaries in San Jose, San Francisco and Ukiah. The letters warn landlords that the facilities are operating too close to a school or park.
April 30 - The State Senate Public Safety Committee approved Sen. Steinberg's bill to regulate medical marijuana, SB 439, and refused to pass Sen. Correa's "zero-tolerance" drug DUI bill, SB 289.
SACRAMENTO Apr 23. - The Assembly Public Safety Committee approved Tom Ammiano's MMJ regulation bill AB 473 on a party line vote. The bill would create a new Division of MMJ Regulation and Enforcement in the Dept of Alcoholic Beverages Control to regulate commercial sales, production, manufacture, testing and transport for MMJ.
April 23 - "I hope everybody realizes that this bill, SB289, is basically a crime creation program," CalNORML director Dale Gieringer said. "It would take thousands and thousands of perfectly safe drivers who happen to have the technical amounts of unprescribed drugs--particularly marijuana--in their bloodstream, and consider them automatically impaired or under the influence."
April 14 - Serving as acting governor while Jerry Brown is in China on a trade mission, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom called for the decriminalization of marijuana in his speech at the California Democratic Convention in Sacramento on Saturday.
Despite growing public support for marijuana legalization, drug warriors are seeking to tighten the screws on consumers by imposing new and tougher drug testing rules that have nothing to do with safety or impairment. CalNORML responds with a new drug testing guide and a campaign against a new DUI bill and drug testing in general. Read Cal NORML's testimony on SB289
UPDATE April 9 - Concord voted in an outdoor medical marijuana ban on its second reading, after discussing variances. City Attorney Mark Coon asked CalNORML for the Trinity ruling on variances, and it was provided. The public speakers at the meeting were all in favor of patients' rights, see video.
3/15/2013 - Hearings on Sen. Correa's zero-tolerance DUI bill SB 289 have been set for April 23rd before the State Senate Public Safety Committee. The bill would outlaw driving with ANY detectable amount of marijuana or other controlled substances in the blood.
3/8/13 - Federal researchers this week began a serious PR push on a flawed driving study; meanwhile SB289 (Correa) has been referred to the Senate Public Safety Committee.
March 5 - Congressman Eric Swalwell (CA-15) co-sponsored several bills that treat marijuana in a rational way and allow more freedom at the state level.
February 26 - There appears to be an excellent chance that the California legislature will once again pass hemp legislation this year, as two bills to legalize production of industrial hemp have been introduced in the CA legislature.
February 6 - The 3rd District Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of Tehama county on a challenge to their medical marijuana cultivation ordinance.
February 5 - The California Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Riverside vs. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center, a case determining whether or not Riverside may ban medical marijuana dispensaries within its borders.
January 30, 2013 - Daisy Bram, who has had her three children taken from her by Tehama county officials, had her car seized when she appeared in court yesterday, leaving the young mother without transportation while her children remain in foster care.
Over 300 people attended California NORML’s conference marking the 100th anniversary of marijuana prohibition in California, held January 26 & 27 at Ft. Mason Conference Center in San Francisco.
January 22, 2013 - The US Court of Appeals has turned down an appeal by the Coalition to Reschedule Cannabis to reschedule marijuana.
January 15 - This morning at its Board of Supervisors meeting, Shasta county's board will consider a resolution setting in motion a ban of outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana. The proposal is "a wonderful crime-creation program for the Shasta sheriffs," said CalNORML director Dale Gieringer.
January 3 - In an LA Times article, the Drug Czar's office has acknowledged that the "cartel" narrative is a myth devised by law enforcement to help secure federal funding.
January 3, 2013 - Yet another study from California's Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research shows cannabis to be effective for neuropathic pain. Despite this, Cal NORML continues to receive complaints from pain patients who say clinics are denying them medical marijuana through abusive drug testing practices.
January 1, 2013 - This New Year marks the 100th anniversary of the war on cannabis in California. In 1913, the state Board of Pharmacy led the legislature to pass a bill outlawing possession of "Indian hemp." The law was the opening shot in a century-long prohibitionist campaign that has cost the state millions of arrests and billions of dollars in enforcement costs even while cannabis has increased in popularity and public acceptance.
In 2012, CalNORML fought off bad bills in Sacramento, advanced good ones, protested federal involvement, and continued to work at local levels on policy. We will kick off 2013 with a conference to mark the 100th anniversary of cannabis prohibition in California and plan for the end of that failed and unjust policy.