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Nuggetry

Fifteen percent of registered voters in Imperial Beach, California have signed the initiative to overturn the city’s current ban on safe access to medical cannabis and replace it with reasonable regulations.
 
The Safe Access Ordinance of Imperial Beach, a collaborative effort between Canvass for a Cause, a San Diego based LGBT non-profit, San Diego Americans for Safe Access, and concerned citizens, launched the first ever initiative to regulate safe access to medical cannabis in Imperial Beach. If passed, the measure would repeal the city’s current ban and replace it with strict zoning regulations and operational requirements for medical cannabis dispensing collectives and cooperatives.

Here’s your daily dose of cannabis news from the newsletter WeedWeek:

On a conference call with reporters this week, Bill Piper, the Drug Policy Alliance’s Senior Director of National Affairs, discussed the nomination of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions (R) for U.S. Attorney General:

“Civil rights groups point out that Sen. Sessions has been one of the Senate’s most extreme voices on issues affecting immigrants, Muslims, African-Americans, Latinos, Women and the LGBT community. He has a long record of obstructing civil rights.

“In the area of drug policy reform, Sen. Sessions is a drug war dinosaur. His has nearly singlehandedly blocked bipartisan sentencing reform in the Senate. Sessions has been critical of the Obama Justice Department’s guidelines around sentencing that were designed to limit harsh sentences, and he has criticized the Justice Department’s use of consent decrees that force local police departments to address police brutality, racial profiling and other civil rights issues. He opposes giving formerly incarcerated individuals the right to vote. 
“He recently described marijuana as a dangerous drug and said that, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.” He has criticized the Obama administration for respecting state marijuana laws. 
“If confirmed as U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions could escalate the failed war on drugs. He will likely use his position to oppose any kind of sentencing or criminal justice reform…He could also undo the Cole Memo which provided guidance to U.S. attorneys instructing them to generally not raid marijuana dispensaries in states where it is legal.
“The war on drugs could also be a weapon that Sessions and the Trump administration use to spy on, investigate incarcerate or deport immigrants and other targeted groups. Already, President-elect Trump has said he wants to aggressively deport any immigrant who commits any offense, no matter how minor, including drug offenses…Senator Sessions could not only escalate the war on immigration and the war on drugs, he could combine them.

“He was deemed unfit to be a Federal judge in 1986 and I believe he will be deemed unfit to be U.S. Attorney General when the Senate looks at his history and record during confirmation hearings next year.”

Following Piper, representatives from LatinoJustice PRLDEF, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, theCouncil on American-Islamic Relations, and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, and the Cato Institute—“massive, massive privacy concerns” – each discussed what Attorney General Sessions could mean for criminal justice and civil liberties.

As Piper writes in a blog post, it isn’t clear how state-legal marijuana businesses would be affected if Sessions wins confirmation:

“No one knows for sure what exactly to expect, but we should assume the worst. His administration, which looks set to be staffed by drug-war extremists, could go after state marijuana laws. Instead of just opposing sentencing reform, they could push for new mandatory minimums. They might demonize drugs and drug sellers to build support for mass deportations and a wall. Trump’s law-and-order rhetoric could fundamentally alter the political environment, nationally and locally.”
Piper adds:
“We need to pace ourselves, choose our battles carefully, be strategic, and perhaps most importantly, keep our morale up. We need to find ways of supporting each other…
“It’s especially important that we find ways to create division among Republicans, who now hold Congress and the White House. The more they disagree, the less they can get done. Two areas that stand out for us are marijuana and sentencing reform. We have enough Republican support on both these issues that we might be able to create dissent within the GOP if Trump tries to do something bad in these areas…
The rise of Trump and Trumpism has put a national spotlight on white supremacy and misogyny. Everywhere, people are now organizing against hate. Drug policy reformers should be part of that fight.

We can start by taking a hard look at our movement and the marijuana industry we have created. If groups draft legalization laws that  ignore racial justice, we need to call them out. If dispensaries, marijuana magazines or other marijuana businesses objectify and demean women to sell their products, or if they exclude people of color, we need to call them out. It is long past time to clean up our own house.”

The Christian Science Monitor tries to parse how or if AG Sessions will go after the industry. So does The Hill. “Pot policy in the U.S. is up in the air,” Brookings Institution scholar John Hudak tells the NYTimes.

Cannabis business lawyer Hilary Bricken shares her views at Above the Law. More from LAist, andMarijuana.com.

Pro-pot activist and journalist Tom Angell told Buzzfeed, “From a political lens, I think reversing course on [marijuana]and trying to shut down broadly popular state laws, that’s going to be a huge distraction from all the other things they care a lot more about,” Angell said. “It’s a fight that they don’t want to pick.”

To put this differently, unlike going after undocumented immigrants or Muslims, an attempt to crush the legal marijuana industry would likely have political consequences for a Republican administration.

If Sessions doesn’t realize it already, he’ll soon learn that gutting the REC and MED industry would require opposing state Legislatures in Ohio, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, and going against the will of voters in states including Florida, Arkansas, Nevada, Colorado, Montana and North Dakota. It would mean killing tens of thousands of jobs, and perhaps prosecuting White, media-savvy, cannabis executives, who can afford good lawyers.

Trump did not make a return to prohibition central to his campaign — his support for MED has beenrelatively consistent – and for a president who wants to win re-election, it’s hard to see much if any upside for him in a widespread crackdown. Given these uncertainties, there is a case for the industry to keep its head-down and hope President Trump has other priorities.

There is also a case for action.

In important respects, the marijuana industry is a marginalized community. But unlike other marginalized groups, marijuana is also a thriving industry, one expected to generate more than $6 billion in revenue this year.

During the Obama years, the marijuana industry has obtained the resources and geographic scope to make the Sessions confirmation a fiercely contested battle, and perhaps even defeat him. To do so, Republican Senators, especially those from legal states, need to understand that a vote for Sessions will cast a long shadow over their political futures.

For more than two years, cannabis executives have been telling me that this industry isn’t just about getting high and getting rich, that it’s rooted in struggles for health and justice. The Sessions nomination is the test of that commitment. If industry leaders don’t fight when other groups –including those that include colleagues, friends and customers — appear far more vulnerable, it’s hard to see how this industry stands for anything except its own enrichment. If the industry doesn’t fight now, who will stand up for it if political realities shift and legal cannabis emerges as a primary target?

The cannabis industry is indebted to countless Americans whose lives have been ruined by the war on drugs. Honoring their sacrifice demands a full-throated, and generously-funded, campaign against the Sessions nomination.

Keep your friends close. Keep your enemies closer. Keep your Friends List private.


You may remember a couple of weeks ago we reported here on a story about DEA agents in New York stealing a suspect’s online identity and creating a fake Facebook profile in her likeness in an attempt to lure her friends into guilt-ridden admissions of their own.
The suspect, Sondra Arquiett, sued the Drug Enforcement Agency and the federal government for $250,000 and was due to begin court proceedings on the matter this week, but the suit is now in mediation as the feds try to buy their way out of the embarrassing situation. The revelation that law enforcement was using the popular social media networking site to conduct undercover investigations was just another on a growing list of incidences that have left those still logging on wondering just how real, and how safe, Facebook actually is.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (in the orange cap).

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon talked about many things in his State of the State speech Tuesday night. He talked about jobs (used the word 20 times), kids (said “child” 16 times), the economy (12 times), and he even gave a shout-out to the LGBT community.
But one thing he never mentioned: marijuana reform.
Why not? The Riverfront Times digs deeper.

Research Nursing 518
Patient’s Bill of Rights — You didn’t know you had rights?

Worth Repeating

By Ron Marczyk, RN


The Patient’s Bills of Rights guarantees you the right to make your own health decisions when seeking medical care, which includes all the medicines you personally choose to put into your body, in partnership with your physician’s recommendations, to prevent, heal, or improve your quality of life due to suboptimal health.

The Patient’s Bill of Rights grants you the freedom to use medical marijuana to heal yourself! 
People who are ill, injured, suffering from a disease or disability, and who are prescribed medical marijuana, are patients protected by this Patient’s Bill of Rights (PBR) in or out of the hospital. Wherever your pain goes, so go your patient rights.
 

Hal Yeager/The Birmingham News
CLUELESS! Rep. Jim McClendon, chairman of the Alabama House Health Committee, called constituent emails “harassment”

Health Committee Chairman Unwilling To Read Citizen Emails

Ah, representative democracy. When citizens have concerns, they contact their elected representatives, right? Right?? One Alabama legislator apparently could use a basic civics lesson; it seems Republican Rep. Jim McClendon has forgotten for whom he works. On Thursday morning, he sent an email message to constituents, colleagues and newspapers statewide accusing medical marijuana lobbyists of “harassment.”

McClendon, chairman of the Alabama House Committee on Health, apparently felt quite put upon by the emails sent by members and supporters of the Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition, a group fighting for safe access for medicinal cannabis patients in the Heart of Dixie.

Sammy & Sherlock Can’t Get Any
Cassandra Paras is the lead actress in “Sammy & Sherlock Can’t Get Any,” playing the role of Sammy

By Lawrence Zoeller
Director, Sammy & Sherlock Can’t Get Any
“People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy.” 
That was Bruce Wayne as he returned to Gotham to become The Dark Knight. He recognized that to make a difference you could not just do business as usual. 
In the 1930’s when the government was trying to stigmatize marijuana so they could tax it, they too used a “dramatic example.”
Reefer Madness. A fictionalized film touting the “horrors” and “abuses” of marijuana. Iconically this is what people remember as the reason public opinion was swayed towards the negative stigma that has been with us for more than 80 years!

AAHA Trends Today

It was a hoax — but it was hoax to make a point.
The San Diego chapter of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a nationwide cannabis advocacy group, working with LGBT activism group Canvass for a Cause and as part of the The Yes Men’s “Yes Labs” project, released a series of satirical press releases on Tuesday which indicated that U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy would begin targeting pharmacies for closure using asset forfeiture proceedings.
The purpose of the action was to draw attention to the U.S. Attorney’s harmful efforts to deny patients access to doctor-recommended medical cannabis.
“Just as the closure of retail pharmacies, like CVS or Walgreens, is poor public health policy, so is the federal government’s crackdown on medical cannabis dispensaries,” said Eugene Davidovich of San Diego ASA. “Pharmacies, like medical cannabis dispensaries, play an essential role in our communities as they help the sick and dying treat and manage various medical conditions.”

All photos by Sharon Letts

She’s The Brains, He’s The Strains: On The Road With Craig & Sharon


Story and Photos by Sharon Letts
Strain Review by Craig Carroll

•••••••

Introduction: Changing the Way People Think About Cannabis, One Bud at a Time

By Sharon Letts

Craig and I came of age in the 70s. He surfed and played guitar in rock bands, while I rode the waves on a Boogie Board and gardened.
Both of us reaped the benefits of cannabis: Craig for anxiety and undiagnosed autism; me for menstrual cramps and depression. I can’t speak for the boys, but we girls knew what worked each month, and pitied the girl relying solely on Midol and a heating pad.
Both of us watched as cannabis grew up to be good medicine, then was legalized in California in 1996. Neither of us rushed out to get a “Prop. 215 card.” I was busy raising my daughter; he was teaching high school and starting a family. Both of us stopped smoking for long periods of time. 
Surprisingly, it was age and health issues that brought the herb back into our lives. 
Heading into menopause, already suffering from digestive issues and weight gain caused by Thyroid Disease, I began using cannabis to relax my stomach where I hold my stress. 
Sleeplessness with menopause has become a huge issue for me, and a honey tincture provides at least six good hours of sleep a night, allowing me to write. 
While others may go the pharmaceutical route, we’ll stick to this simple herb. Our travels will have Craig looking for a pick-me-up for his chronic fatigue and relief for his chronic pain. I’ll be perusing the edible isles for sleep-aids and help with my flucuating mood swings.
Each trip will include a review of the top five collectives from the town we are visiting, while Craig reviews its top strains, deciphering aesthetics of the bud, and potential medicinal benefits.
We’ll also find a canna mover and shaker from that town and have a hang-out, chatting about what’s going on with the medicine in their world.
If your personal favorite club isn’t listed, not to worry, we’ll pass through town again! Send in your favorites and who knows, maybe your friendly neighborhood collective will make our list during our next trip.
So, sit back, relax, roll-up a fatty, and enjoy the ride!

All photos by Jack Rikess for Toke of the Town


By Jack Rikess
Toke of the Town

Northern California Correspondent

The demonstration that was planned for Tuesday morning to protest the most recent letters sent by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag took on an added dimension of anger and unabashed outpouring of emotion with the Feds’ untimely raid on East Bay’s Oaksterdam and Richard Lee yesterday morning.  Hundreds of patients, caregivers and activists streamed to the steps of City Hall, carrrying signs and chanting slogans to relieve the anger most were feeling from the assault on Richard Lee. 
The elegant David Goldman, from Americans for Safe Access, commanded the podium and took Haag to task for making the assumption that most patients are basically faking it and dispensaries are nothing more than illegitimate drug dealers. David and others spoke of the Attorney General’s additional comment that she is only “going after dispensaries, not patients,” which garnered many boos from the crowd.  
Supervisor David Chu, observing the crowd, said, “We’re Black, we’re Asian, we’re White, we’re Latino, and today…San Francisco is Green!” Applause echoed between City Hall and the surrounding buildings, drawing in more supporters.
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