Friday, November 25, 2011

As the Fed's Step it Up, So Can You!

It looks like WeedMaps is stepping up their game. As the Fed's start their crack down on your local medical cannabis collectives, WeedMaps has started their Medical Marijuana political action alert page. We should all know about it and share it. If you have a medical cannabis event that you want your fellow Prop 215 patients to be aware of contact them at

Here are the current events on the TeamWeedMaps political action alert page for November 25th - December 13:

NorCal ASA Action Meeting
Thu, December 1, 5pm – 7pm
625 5th Street Santa Rosa, CA 95401 (map)
Update on recent/current Cannabis patient events and discussion. Cool stuff to hear, and usually some refreshments.



OC NORML South County Meeting
Fri, December 2, 7pm – 9pm
Fuddruckers in Lake Forest (map)
26221 El Toro Road Lake Forest, CA 92630

Contact Kandice Hawes for questions
Executive Director of Orange County NORML
1-877-OC NORML


CPR-ASA meeting
Tue, December 6, 7pm – 9pm
Crusaders Hall is one block off I80 and Norwood 320 Harris Ave suite H Sacramento, CA 95838 (map)
Please join our medical cannabis activist meeting! We are involved in patient and professional education, legislation, court support and participate in community events! Refreshments are served and we welcome non-patients also!

Lanette Davies

ASA chapter meeting
Tue, December 13, 7:30pm – 9:00pm
847 Howard Street (Between 4th and 5th Street), San Francisco CA, 94103 (map)
Come join medical cannabis activists and friends for delicious pizza and soft drinks as we educate on all issues related to medical cannabis. Normally 50 to 70 people attend meetings.
We also do court support and actively participate in San Francisco's Medical Cannabis Task Force. Expect fun and surprises while supporting medical cannabis activism.

David Goldman


Don't have a NORML chapter in your area? Start One! Contact them at

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Fifth Annual Medical Cannabis Competition

The winner for Best cannabis from seed Strain was Humboldt Royal Kush grown by EarthGreenCali Farms. The strawberry dread-headed gentleman that came to the stage to claim the trophy first thanked everyone in attendance for being there and a special shout-out to Kevin Reed for putting on the event.

The second and third place was won by the dispensary, The Green Door for the strains Platinum Cookies and Candy Jack. With all the good work that The Green Door does for the city, it was a fitting tribute to the political and spiritually minded pot shop that they were recognized.

The Patients' Choice includes both indoor and sungrown cannabis; the winner reminded everyone why he thought that outdoor, organic was the way to go. In summation, he professed his love for the herb and seeds would be available soon.

Carrying the heavy-duty trophy off the stage to heartfelt congratulations of high-fives and THC infused hugs, the winner held the award high and also up in the air.

When the night ended, I followed the winning group out. With the trophy in hand the gentleman grower and entourage enter one of the more swankier hotels in SF. I watched as the doormen, bellstaff and hotel employees read the gold plaque on the crystal cup stating 'Best Cannabis Strain of 2011."

My favorite quote of the evening: After the winners were announced, hash brownies were being distributed by a sponsoring company. There was a big Santa Claus like satchel left to the right of the door with a couple of hundred wrapped brownies still in the bag. A very medicated person turned to me when passing the sack of brownies and said, "That looks like a very comfortable chair."

Monday, November 14, 2011

45 Days are up... Were the Fed's faking?

California's four US Attorneys set a 45-day deadline for MMJ dispensaries and their landlords to make themselves scarce or face the consequences, and that deadline expired on Saturday. Whether the federal authorities have the nerve to carry out the threat remains to be seen, since their belligerence has provoked an extraordinary backlash in the media, in Congress and in the courts.

The federal authorities like to paint a picture of a free-for-all marijuana market, in which bogus dispensaries effectively hand out drugs to all-comers. But that does not account for the rapidly evolving regulatory framework imposed by states and local municipalities.

Steve DeAngelo doesn't have the luxury of worrying about a threatened US government crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries like the one he runs in Oakland, California. For him, the crackdown is already in full swing.

As the head of the largest pot dispensary in the country, with more than 80,000 customers and annual revenues of more than $20m, DeAngelo always knew he would have a big target on his back if the federal authorities chose to challenge the state laws that allow him and thousands of other operators across the United States to sell marijuana on the open market.

At the end of September – even before California's top federal prosecutors announced their intention to start filing criminal charges against medical marijuana purveyors, their landlords and the newspapers and television stations where they advertise their services – the feds fired their first shot. The Internal Revenue Service, America's tax collecting agency, sent a letter demanding an initial $2.5 million in back taxes and characterised DeAngelo's dispensary, the Harborside Health Center, as a drug trafficking organisation.

Using a provision of the tax code originally written to help seize the assets of gangsters and organised criminals, the IRS said Harborside was disqualified from claiming its ordinary business expenses – payroll, insurance, rent and so on – as deductions and needed to pay taxes on them instead.

Seeing himself not as a drug pusher but as an advocate and carer for the sick, DeAngelo is fighting with everything he has, and so is the rest of the medical marijuana movement. He has helped establish a nationwide publicity campaign to push back against the IRS and its characterization of regulated dispensaries as traffickers.

His dispensary is about to be featured in a television reality show called "Weed Wars" in which his battles with the feds will be front and centre. He and other advocacy groups have organised protest marches up and down California.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NORML throws down on the Fed's

The NORML attorneys allege the federal government has engaged in entrapment of California marijuana patients and their caregivers. They point to the courts’ dismissal of County of Santa Cruz, WAMM et al. v. Eric Holder et al.where the Department of Justice (DOJ) “promised a federal judge that it had changed its policy toward the enforcement of its federal drug laws relative to California medical cannabis patients.” So after 2009, California providers had reason to believe that the federal government had changed its policy. The legal argument is called ‘judicial estoppel’, which basically means that courts can’t hold true to a fact in one case and then disregard it in another.

Kumin, Michael, and Silber also argue the government has engaged in ‘equitable estoppel’, which most people commonly think of as ‘entrapment’. That is to say, you can’t bust a person for committing a crime when the authorities told him it wasn’t a crime to do it!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Medical marijuana? Montel Williams impressed by Israeli approach

Montel Williams says the U.S. could learn a thing or two from Israel's liberal stance on medical marijuana. The Emmy Award-winning TV personality was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999 and he has been an outspoken advocate of medical marijuana to relieve pain caused by the disease since then.

Medical marijuana: Which 16 states permit pot

Williams, 55, is in Israel on a fact-finding mission to learn about its approach to medical weed. He's meeting with legislators, scientists and doctors.

In Israel, certain doctors can approve cannabis prescriptions and disperse them to patients, said Itay Goor-Aryeh, the head of the pain management unit at the Sheba Medical Center in central Israel. He said that while marijuana use is carefully regulated, many doctors prefer prescribing it to patients who qualify because it is "the lesser of evils."

Those patients, if they do not get cannabis, they will get morphine-like drugs and other harmful drugs," said Goor-Aryeh. "I think that in many ways, cannabis is tolerated and is less addictive that morphine-based drugs.

Sixteen U.S. states have decriminalized the use of medical marijuana. Critics claim dispensaries are often no more than drug trafficking fronts.

"For me, there is nothing else that can do what it does," he said. "It helps me suppress my pain... When I am not using cannabis, I am thinking about my pain every 45 seconds."

He said the drug had been "vilified to substantiate the false reason why it was banned in the first place," and that he hoped it would one day become a regular prescription drug.

"There are chemicals within that plant," he said, "and some of the leading science on where and how those chemicals work is being done right here in this country," referring to Israel.