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Backers of the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative have been given the go-ahead from the state to begin collecting the required 504,760 signatures needed to get their legalization bill before voters this fall.
If approved, the measure – dubbed the Jack Herer Initiative — would legalize cannabis use for adults 21 and up, allow for licensed and taxed cannabis retail sales, loosen restrictions on doctors recommending medical cannabis for minors, restrict drug testing for pot by employers and forbid any state funds from going toward enforcement of federal marijuana laws. But that’s a big “if”. The signatures must be collected by Aug. 18, and that’s not going to be cheap or easy to achieve.

The city of Garden Grove, Calif. has had a ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in the town since 2008, though up until last week you wouldn’t have known it by driving through the municipality of about 175,000 southeast of Los Angeles.
But all that changed May 6 when the California Supreme Court ruled that cities do have the power to ban medical marijuana collectives and as of today, the city is actively enforcing it’s ban.

Photo: KTLA-TV
Image from the surveillance video

​A courier delivering medical marijuana to what he thought was a dispensary was mugged for $20,000 worth of cannabis by three men, according to police in Fullerton, California.

Police said the trio set up a fake medical marijuana dispensary in a commercial building in Fullerton, even painting a green cross on the outside wall of the building, reports Dennis Romero at LA Weekly.
“These suspects had spent some time putting this ruse together, putting the order in and finding a building that worked for what they were trying to do,” said Sgt. Andrew Goodrich of the Fullerton Police Department, reports Eileen Frere at ABC 7.

Graphic: Yes On Prop 19

​It’s gonna be a close one in California, as the latest poll on Proposition 19, this November’s tax and regulate voter initiative, shows the numbers tightening.

According to the latest SurveyUSA poll [PDF] of likely voters, taken August 31-September 1, Prop 19 still holds a modest lead with 47 percent of voters saying they will vote yes with 43 percent saying they will vote no. Ten percent still weren’t certain how they’d vote on the measure.
The last two times SurveyUSA polled the state, August 9-11 and July 8-11, 50 percent of likely voters said they’d vote yes for legalization, while 40 percent said they would vote no, reports Jon Walker at Firedoglake.
The initiative would allow adult Californians to possess up to one ounce of cannabis, while allowing cities and municipalities to allow, prohibit or regulate its sale in retail stores, reports Dennis Romero at LA Weekly.
Just this week, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein announced she will co-chair the campaign against legalization of marijuana with L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca.
“Is it no surprise that people are going to get killed behind this easy profit?” Baca said Wednesday, reports Nannette Miranda of ABC 7. The sheriff seems to be unaware that the illegal nature of pot is what leads to the violence — just as with alcohol Prohibition.

Photo: The Fresh Scent
Starting today, June 7, Los Angeles’s medical marijuana ordinance says there should be 400 fewer dispensaries in town.

​Hundreds of Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensaries are under orders to lock their doors Monday as the city’s new ordinance regulating the shops takes effect. About 400 stores have been ordered to shut down by Monday, June 7.

“The people pushing the law haven’t come out to see what we’re actually doing here,” said “Amber,” an employee at The Humming Collective in Highland Park. “We’re here for everyone, and it’s a shame they don’t see that as part of the healing of the community.”
The owner of The Humming Collective said they serve 4,000 patients, most of them from the San Gabriel Valley, reports Leanne Suter at KABC-TV. Those who rely on the location will be seriously impacted by the city’s new ordinance, according to patients and advocates.

Seniors living at the Laguna Woods Village retirement community, also known as “Leisure World,” didn’t have a medical marijuana dispensary — so they formed their own patient-run collective, as reported by Ellen Leyva at KABC.

The city of Laguna Woods, with a majority of older residents, was one of the first in Orange County, Calif., to pass an ordinance allowing medical pot dispensaries. But nobody’s opened a shop yet, so these folks took matters into their own hands.

“A group of patients got together and decided we’d try to grow our own and make it available for our neighbors who also have doctor recommendations, but are too ill to grow,” said Lonnie Painter, a resident and member of the Laguna Woods for Medical Cannabis Collective.