411 on the 420 in CaliforniaBy Meital Manzuri
The Tides Change in San Diego
San Diego has, historically, been one of the most hostile regions to medical marijuana and to dispensaries. Today, that has all changed! Recently elected Mayor Bob Filner demanded prosecutors halt all actions against dispensaries—and they’ve complied. Filner took it further and vowed to create citywide regulations soon. He even publicly called for the resignation of San Diego’s overzealous U.S. Attorney, Laura Duffy.
More breaking good news out of San Diego: The California Supreme upheld the Jovan Jackson decision, which, once and for all, legitimizes dispensaries by allowing them to bring a medical marijuana defense in court.
The Bottom Line: “Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change—this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress.” — Bruce Barton
Los Angeles has Gone into Overdrive
What’s happening? The city of no hope, when it comes to regulating medical marijuana, now has three ballot initiatives for the voters to decide on in May. One allows the 100 or so dispensaries that have been around since 2007 and another implements regulations, but does not grandfather in the older dispensaries. The city’s previous ordinances have been overreaching and have cost the Los Angeles too much money in lawsuits.
The Bottom Line: A voter-approved initiative would be binding. Hopefully, though, with three initiatives on the ballot, one will get enough votes to pass, and we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!
Sacramento, Our Capital, in Disarray.
The medical cannabis community is losing ground in Sacramento, the capital city of a state known as a pioneer in the cultivation and legitimization of medicinal cannabis. Meanwhile, states like Colorado and Washington have moved on to full legalization. It makes no sense.
Review of Regression: In October 2011, outdoor growing was banned. In December 2011, the city enacted a ban closing over 100 dispensaries. Another ballot initiative would effectively close the remaining 16 dispensaries in the city.
The Bottom Line: “Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice, and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Bay Area Continues to Fight for Patients’ Rights
The city of Oakland sued the federal government in an effort to allow Harborside to continue providing to its 100,000 patients. Oakland officials warned that a shutdown would lead to a “health crisis.” A federal magistrate in early January agreed and Harborside can continue to operate, at least for now, in Oakland and San Jose despite a bid by federal prosecutors to shut it down.
The Bottom Line: “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” — Henry Ford
Everything Rides on a Pending Supreme Court Case Out of Riverside
City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center is headed to the Supreme Court in early February, and will have a big impact in California because it decides whether cities can, legally, have a ban on dispensaries. Nearly 200 other cities in California currently have a ban, and this case could blow the top right off!
The Bottom Line: Stay tuned because thousands of dispensaries’ existence is riding on this case and we hope it goes in our favor!
Attorney Meital Manzuri is a medical cannabis expert, collective consultant and experienced criminal defense attorney. Those with questions about starting a collective or interested in scheduling a free consultation can call (310) 601-3140 or go to manzurilaw.com.