Latest News from California
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
July 6 - California Governor Jerry Brown has signed Assembly Bill 258, to end discrimination against medical marijuana patients who need organ transplants.
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.
June 12 - Santa Ana police were caught by surveillance cameras in some troubling behavior during a recent raid at the Sky High dispensary.
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.
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.
In a flurry of action before the looming 2016 election, lawmakers are considering some twenty bills dealing with marijuana this session.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!