News Archive 2009

December 2009

  • CaNORML 2009 Accomplishments and Plans for 2010
    California NORML is proud to have been on the forefront of marijuana reform in 2009, a year that marked a memorable turning point in the movement as legalization finally emerged as a serious political issue. Your support for CalNORML will help us move this issue forward as never before.
  • Pain Doctors Discriminate Against Medical Marijuana Patients
    December 29, 2009 – NORML has received a flood of recent complaints from chronic pain patients wrongfully denied treatment by pain clinics for having failed unwarranted drug tests for medical marijuana.
  • L.A. City Council Once More Puts Off Medical Marijuana Ordinance Vote
    December 17 – At a rollicking meeting where someone signed in as “Santa Claus” for public comment, LA City Council yesterday once more put off their vote on a medical marijuana ordinance, at least until a special meeting they will hold on the topic January 13.
  • AB390 Hearings Set for January 2010
    The California Assembly will be hearing AB390, Tom Ammiano’s landmark bill to legalize and regulate marijuana in early January, 2010. Please tell your assembly member that it’s time to stop wasting money on marijuana prohibition and to reap the benefits of a legally regulated market.
    December 1 – A San Diego jury’s not guilty verdict for medical marijuana defendant Jovan Jackson sends a powerful message to District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis to call off the heat and dismiss the numerous other defendants currently facing similar charges in San Diego.
  • L.A., Redding to Hear Medical Marijuana Ordinances
    December 1 (UPDATE) – Redding city council will consider a comprehensive medical marijuana ordinance on Dec. 1; L.A. City Council has put off the matter until Dec. 8.
  • Two LA Committees Vote for Medical Marijuana

    November 2009

    November 17 – After a huge public outpouring of support, two Los Angeles City Council committees rejected the advice of the city attorney and voted Monday to approve an ordinance that allows marijuana dispensaries to continue selling marijuana to people with a doctor’s recommendation.

  • AMA, CMA Call for Medical Marijuana Research, Policy Change
    November 11 – The American Medical Association and the California Medical Association have both adopted resolutions in favor of research and debate on medical marijuana.
  • CaNORML Opposes Red Bluff Cultivation Ban
    November 10 – A proposed Red Bluff ordinance would effectively deprive patients of their Prop. 215 right to grow medical marijuana, both individually and collectively.
  • Kelly Case Sees Oral Arguments
    November 3 – In a remarkable turn of events, both sides at today’s California Supreme Court Hearing on the Kelly case agreed that the so-called SB 420 quantity limits in Health and Safety Code 11362.77 are unconstitutional when applied to limit patients’ right to a compassionate use defense under Prop. 215.
  • Cal NORML Testifies at Historic Hearings on Marijuana Legalization

    October 2009

    SACRAMENTO, Oct. 28th – The state Assembly Public Safety Committee held historic hearings on the legalization of marijuana, the first since “Indian hemp” was prohibited in 1913. The hearings were chaired by Tom Ammiano (D-SF), who has proposed a legalization bill, AB390, which will be heard early next year.

  • Ill-Conceived L.A. Medical Marijuana Proposal Would Cost $36 – $74 Million In Tax Revenues
    October 26 – A medical marijuana regulation ordinance proposed to the L.A. City Council by City Attorney Carmen Trutanich would cost $36 – $74 million in lost tax revenues plus untold additional enforcement costs, according to an analysis by California NORML.
  • Marijuana Arrests Up Again in California
    October 19 – Marijuana arrests in 2008 rose to their highest level in California since the state’s 1976 decriminalization law, according to the latest data from the Cal DOJ Bureau of Criminal Statistics.
  • Will They Really? Feds Finally Accept State Laws on Med MJ
    October 19 – While it is certainly encouraging that the Obama administration has committed to writing the AG’s declared policy of respecting state medical marijuana laws, the proof will be in the pudding.
  • LA District Attorney Targets Cannabis Collectives
    October 18 – Turn up the pressure on the LA DA! Tell him that LA’s dispensaries provide a valuable service to the community, and that they should be subject to reasonable city regulations, not arbitrary raids and closures.
  • Mendo Measure B Blamed for Increased Arrests
    October 17 – Mendocino county reported a record number of marijuana arrests in 2008, according to data from the Cal DOJ Bureau of Criminal Statistics.
  • Legalization Initiatives Filed in CA
    Two marijuana legalization initiatives are currently collecting signatures for the 2010 ballot in California. A third initiative has also been submitted but is not presently circulating.
  • September 2009

  • September 28 – Appeals Court Rules Some Cities May Disallow Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
  • September 23 – PayPal Violates First Amendment, Dumps CaNORML
  • September 20 – Feds Cast Doubt on “Cartel” Myth
  • September 19 – Fresno and Madera Seek to Shut Collectives
  • September 19 – Jack Herer Suffers Heart Attack in Oregon
  • San Diego Cracks Down on Dispensaries with DEA Help
    September 11 – SWAT-style raids on 14 medical marijuana outlets in the San Diego area on September 9 resulted in 31 arrests, including a man in a wheelchair who was wrestled into a police car.
  • August 2009

  • First DEA Arrests Under Obama Administration in Lake County
    Aug. 24th, 2009 – UPPER LAKE, CA: In what are believed to be the first DEA medical marijuana arrests since President Obama took office, the federal government arrested five Lake County defendants on marijuana charges on Tuesday, August 18th.
  • Recent Pain Study Put in Context
    August 23 – A recent University of Texas study that claims the active ingredients in marijuana spread and prolong pain is an isolated, theoretical lab study involving rodent cells and endocannabinoids. It is more compelling to consult the long list of human clinical studies examining actual use of marijuana for chronic pain.
  • State Senate Balks At Prison Reform Bill
    August 22 – In a troubling development, the state assembly is balking at passing the prison population reduction bill passed by the state senate. The major objection appears to be the review of penalties for various offenses including drugs.
  • DEA Raids Two Los Angeles Collectives
    August 12 – According to press and eyewitness reports, the DEA and other federal and local agencies raided two Los Angeles cannabis collectives today, as well as the residences of collective officials.
  • Governor’s Prison Plan: Don’t Tax Pot, Steal a Car
    August 10 – As California considers how to reduce prison spending, it has overlooked releasing non-violent marijuana prisoners in favor of car thieves.
  • CaNORML Invites Drug Czar on Fact-Finding Tour
    After Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske pronounced “Marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit,” in Fresno last week, California NORML cordially invites Kerlikowske to come and interview a few real, live medical marijuana patients, physicians, researchers and providers next time he visits California.
  • Attacks BOE Report, CaNORML
    CalNORML director Dale Gieringer writes: “While Fox news is right that studies on marijuana consumption are hazy, it is confused about how Cal NORML got its estimates on marijuana consumption in CA. In fact, our estimates are lower than those of the ONDCP.”
  • July 2009

  • Oakland Voters Approve Nation’s First Cannabis Business Tax
    July 22 – Last night’s landslide victory for Oakland’s cannabis business tax by 79.9% of the vote mirrors the historic 79.6% victory of San Francisco’s path-breaking medical marijuana initiative in 1991.
  • LA City Council Introduces Two Reform Proposals
    July 18 – At their meeting yesterday, LA City Councilmembers introduced resolutions to study the feasibility of taxing medical marijuana collectives in Los Angeles, and to support HR 2835, the Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act.
  • Marijuana Legalization Bill Would Net California $1.38 Billion in Revenues
    Board of Equalization, Cal NORML Agree On Benefits of Ammiano Bill AB 390 (July 15)
  • New CBS Poll Shows Increasing Support for Legalization Nationally
    July 15 – A new nationwide CBS News poll reports 41% support for marijuana legalization. This is a 10% jump since the last CBS poll just four months ago.
  • VA Allows Medical Marijuana for Pain
    The Veterans Administration will ignore marijuana drug screening for pain patients who have legal medical marijuana recommendations, under a new policy reported by VA Watchdog.
  • June 2009

  • L.A. Continues Reviewing Hardship Exemptions
    The Los Angeles Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee will be holding a special meeting next Monday June 29, 2009 to hear 29 medical marijuana hardship exemption applications. On June 22, L.A.’s mayor signed off on the revised Interim Control Ordinance (ICO) regulating medical marijuana collectives in Los Angeles.
  • CAMP Season Begins
    June 22 – The CAMP (Campaign Against Marijuana Planting) marijuana eradication helicopter program is starting operation today.
  • Rep. Frank Re-Introduces Bill to Recognize State Medical Marijuana Laws
    Cal NORML thanks Rep. Barney Frank and California’s co-sponsors for HR 2835, a bill to let states legally regulate medical marijuana.
  • State, Federal Efforts to Clarify Medical Marijuana Policy
    On June 8, State Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) introduced a SJR 14, which calls for a comprehensive federal policy to ensure safe and legal access to medical marijuana for patients who benefit from its therapeutic use.
  • May 2009

  • Eddy Lepp Receives 10 Year Mandatory Minimum for Medical Marijuana
    May 18, 2009 – US District Judge Marilyn Patel sentenced Eddy Lepp to ten years mandatory minimum for having grown over 1,000 marijuana plants for a medical marijuana garden in Lake County.
    May 18, 2009 – The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear case #08-887 San Diego County, CA, et al. V. San Diego NORML, et al., leaving in place an appeals court ruling holding that California law trumps federal law over medical marijuana.
    May 5 – Asked today about a recent Field Poll showing that 56 percent of registered voters support legalizing and taxing marijuana in California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said “Well, I think it’s not time for that, but I think it’s time for a debate.”
    May 23, 2009 – Hearings for AB 390 have been set for the next session of the California Assembly (Dec – Jan) so as to provide time for building support.
  • 10-Year Medical Marijuana Sentence Upheld
    May 3 – In an unpublished opinion, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed the 10-year mandatory minimum sentence of Bryan Epis on charges of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana.
  • April 2009

  • CA Field Poll: 56% Support Legalizing Marijuana
    April 30 – Public opinion has swung to legalization here in California.
  • DOJ to Charles Lynch: Business as Usual
    The US Dept of Justice has made a mockery of AG Eric Holder’s policy of supposedly respecting state medical marijuana laws in the case of Charles C. Lynch, whose sentencing has been postponed until June 11.
  • March 2009

  • SF DEA Raid Raises Doubts about Obama Policy on Medical Marijuana
    March 26, 2009 – Yesterday’s DEA raid on a San Francisco medical cannabis club is a wake-up slap to everyone who was hoping for the best from Attorney General Holder’s promise to end DEA raids.
  • Rep. Loretta Sanchez Backs Legalizing Marijuana in California
    Speaking live on CNN, Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-47) cited the west coast’s majority support for regulating cannabis like alcohol and called for a statewide “pilot program” to objectively assess the impact of cannabis legalization upon adult society.
  • February 2009

  • Attorney General Holder Says Medical Marijuana Raids Will End
    February 25, 2009 – Speaking at a press conference with DEA administrator Michelle Leonhart, Attorney General Eric Holder declared that ending medical marijuana raids “is now American policy.”
  • Bill to Tax and Regulate Marijuana Would Raise Over $1 Billion for California
    February 23, 2009 – Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-SF) announced the introduction of a landmark bill to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol and tobacco at a press conference today.
  • New Poll Finds Growing Support for Legalization
    February 19, 2009 – A growing number of Americans, and a majority in the West, support legalizing marijuana, according to a January 29-31 poll of 1,053 likely voters by Zogby International, sponsored by California NORML and Oaksterdam University.
  • Kelloggs Drops Michael Phelps for Smoking Pot
    Feb. 6 – Pot advocates unite! Tell the Kellogg Company and USA Swimming that you’re disgusted by their spurning of Michael Phelps.
    February 5 – A White House spokesperson says that the Obama administration will re-evaluate policies of DEA interference in state medical marijuana laws.
  • Zogby Poll: 72% of Voters Want Obama to End DEA Medical Marijuana Raids
    Feb 4th, 2009 – While the DEA continues to stage medical marijuana raids in California, nearly three-quarters of voters think President Obama should honor his campaign pledge to end the raids, according to a poll of 1,053 likely voters by Zogby International.
    February 3 – California NORML has confirmed reports of four DEA raids in L.A. today.
  • January 2009

    January 30, 2009 – The newly released biennial Attorney General’s Survey of Student Drug Use in California shows that marijuana use among 7th, 9th and 11th graders remained stable during 2007-8, but reports an “alarming rate” of prescription drug abuse.
  • Call on Obama to End the DEA Raids!
    January 23, 2009 – Cal NORML is sorry to note that the DEA yesterday conducted its first medical marijuana raid under the Obama administration. Supporters are urged to call the White House and ask that Obama act promptly on his pledge to end DEA medical marijuana raids. Call the White House hotline 202-456-1111 or visit the White House website.
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