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West Coast leaf, Spring, 2010

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West Coast leaf, Spring, 2010
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West Coast leaf
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West Coast leaf
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El Cerrito, CA
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Creative Xpressions
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English

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serial ( sobekcm )

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Auraria Library
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Auraria Library
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Full Text
The Cannabis Newspaper of Record
FREE
WWW.WESTCOASTLEAF.COM
ISSN 1945-221X • Volume 3 No. l
Spring 2010
Big Win for Cannabis at Cal Supreme Court
California voter initiative collects, hands in sigs in less than half the time allowed
Kelly decision maintains safe harbor, patient collectives; strikes down quantity limits
By Chris Conrad
The California State Supreme Court gave patients a unanimous victory Jan. 21 in its long-awaited People v Kelly derision.
The Court handed patients a four-way win. It affirmed the constitutionality of the Medical Marijuana Program (MMP), commonly known as the SB 420 patient ID system. It affirmed state and local guidelines as a safe harbor from arrest for patients in the state ID-card program. It struck down the nominal quantity limits on a patient's legal defense. It affirmed the consitutional-ity of state patient collectives.
In other words, while preserving all existing patient and collective protections, the ruling means that every patient is entitled to cultivate and possess a reasonable — but not unlimited — supply of cannabis, regardless of state or local policy.
The Court held that the MMP voluntary statewide program with its ID cards, safe harbor, local guidelines and doctor's exception can spare patients from arrest and does not violate Prop 215. It held that the default HS 11362.77(a) quantity limit of eight ounces plus six mature or 12 Please turn to page 10
By Chris Conrad
For the first time since 1972, California voters will have an opportunity to cast ballots for legal adult cannabis this November.
Proponents of the Tax Cannabis 2010 initiative, TC2010, collected and turned in nearly 700,000 signatures Jan. 28, much more than the required 433,971, using only 40 percent of the time allotted by law.
INSURING QUALITY — As cannabis businesses emerge into the mainstream, they face the same insurance needs as other companies. Max Del Real and Michael Aberle are seen inspecting the budding crop of a potential client for Statewide Insurance. Story inside.
Legalization stiil active in Cal legislature
Ammiano's AB 2254 bill is
identical to earlier language
By Dale Gieringer California norml California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-S.F.) has re-submitted his bill to legalize, tax and regulate cannabis. The new bill, AB 2254, is identical to its predecessor, AB 390, which was approved by the Public Safety Committee in January but ran out of time to be heard on this year's calendar because it had been introduced last year.
AB 2254 would establish a statewide system of licensed production and sale of cannabis like that for alcohol. Cannabis would be legal for adults 21 and over, and personal-use cultivation of up to six plants would be allowed. Existing medical marijuana laws would not be affected. Nonmedical cannabis would be assessed a $50/ounce excise tax.
Unlike the proposed Tax Cannabis 2010 initiative on this year's ballot, which would establish a local option system with continued felony penalties for sales, manufacture and transport except in localities that decide otherwise, Ammiano's AB 2254 would legalize sales and production on a statewide basis.
Advocates hope that it will move forward for hearings by the Assembly Health Committee. The legislature has yet to hold hearings on the health aspects of legal cannabis. Recent years have seen mounting evidence that cannabis is safer than previously imagined - for example, that it doesn't cause lung cancer and is a minor Highway safety hazard.
Meanwhile, the state's budget crisis remains a potent force for legalization. The Legislative Analyst's Office has estimated that the bill would net the state $1.4 billion.
"It's obvious that the existing model of
prohibition has been a tragic failure," said Ammiano. "Our prisons are overflowing and it's easier now for teenagers to get marijuana than alcohol. But yet we continue to spend our limited resources on a failed war on drugs instead of education, health care or job training. With this bill, California can finally have a policy towards marijuana that reflects reality."
In a separate move, Sen. Ronald Calderon (D-Montebello) announced a bill to tax sales of medical cannabis. Calderon's bill would require vendors to pay a state license fee to sell medical cannabis, and tax it at a rate "equivalent" to tobacco products - an amount not clearly specified in the bill. Calderon's proposals would do nothing to advance the legal status of cannabis, medical or otherwise. Calderon's office has declined to discuss plans for the proposals, which have met a cool reception in Sacramento and seem likely to die without receiving legislative hearings.
Please turn to page 11
By Ken Wolski, RN, MPA
Executive Director, Coalition for Medical Marijuana
Outgoing Governor Jon Corzine signed the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act into law on Jan. 18, 2010 making New Jersey the 14th medical cannabis state.
The new law removes statewide penalties for the possession and use of up to two ounces of cannabis a month when a licensed physician recommends it for qualifying medical conditions, including cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, seizures, ALS, Crohn's disease, glaucoma, intractable muscle spasticity, or a diagnosis of less than 12 months to live. The recommending physician must
The initiative takes a restrained approach to control cannabis by legalizing
adult personal possession of one ounce plus a very small garden. It gives localities the option of allowing taxed and regulated cannabis sales, and forbids sales to minors. Please turn to page 10
TURN-IN — TaxCannabis 2010 proponent Richard Lee (I) and petition consultant Ken Masterton turned in thousands of signatures to the Alameda County Registrar Jan. 28. Once the signatures are validated the initiative will get its number. WCL photo by Mikki Norris
take responsibility for the patient's ongoing condition. Qualified resident patients will be issued ID cards in a program run by the state Dept, of Health and Senior Services (DHSS).
Patients will obtain cannabis from alternative treatment centers that operate under permits from the DHSS. These centers will be authorized to grow, harvest and sell cannabis and related supplies to patients or their caregivers who possess valid ID cards. These centers will be tightly regulated by the state. The DHSS will monitor, oversee and investigate all activities performed by these centers.
Please turn to page 25
New Jersey becomes 14th medical marijuana state
Clinical studies confirm medi-cannabis efficacy
By Paul Armentano NORML Deputy Director Peer-reviewed clinical studies released Feb. 18 repudiated the basis for the federal ban on cannabis as being a Schedule 1 drug with "no currently accepted medical use."
The results of a series of randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials assessing the efficacy of inhaled cannabis consistently show that cannabis holds therapeutic value comparable to conventional medications, according to the findings of a 24-page report issued to the state legislature by the California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR).
The studies come in the wake of last year's American Medical Assn. (AMA) policy shift to support cannabis research. Placebo-controlled clinical crossover trials are considered to be the 'gold standard' method for assessing the efficacy of drugs under the US FDA-approval process.
Four of the five trials demonstrated that cannabis significantly alleviated neuropathy, a difficult to treat type of pain resulting from nerve damage. Two additional clinical trials are ongoing.
"There is good evidence now that cannabinoids (the active compounds in the cannabis plant) may be either an adjunct or Please turn to page 15
LA passes ordinance; launches crackdown on a score of dispensaries
By Kris Hermes Americans for Safe Access With Mayor Villaraigosa's signature, the second largest city in the country adopted an ordinance Feb. 3 to regulate the sale of medical marijuana and establish rules for operating dispensing collectives and cooperatives, otherwise known as dispensaries.
The Los Angeles City Attorney's office soon began filing lawsuits and sending eviction letters to 21 locations on Feb. 18.
Although patient advocates were able to improve parts of an ordinance that took more than two years to develop, provisions in the final version will effectively shut down nearly all the existing facilities and make it almost impossible to locate anywhere in the city. Specifically, advocates point to a 'poison pill' provision that would prevent dispensaries from operating anywhere near residential property or within 1,000 feet of a laundry list of so-called 'sensitive uses,' including schools, libraries, parks and churches.
"This is a bittersweet victory for medical marijuana patients in LA," said Don Duncan, state director with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the nationwide advocacy organization that played a pivotal role in convincing the City Council to reject a proposal banning medical marijuana sales. "Although historic, the passage of medical marijuana dispensary regulations in LA has been undermined by restrictions that threaten to wipe out nearly all of the dispensaries in the city."
Although the city adopted a moratorium, or Interim Control Ordinance, in 2007 Please turn to page 29


Full Text

PAGE 1

The Cannabis Newspaper of Record WWW.WESTCOASTLf.AF.COM FREE SPRING 2010 Big Win tor Cannabis at Cal Supreme Court Kelly decision maintains safe harbor, patient collectives; strikes down quantity limits By Chris Conrad The California State Supreme Court gave patients a unanimous victory Jan. 21 in it s long-awaited People v Kelly decision . The Court handed patients a four-way win. It affirmed th e constitutionali ty of the Medical Marijuana Program (MMP), com monly known as the SB 420 patient ID sys tem. It affirmed state and local guide lines as a safe harbor from arrest for patients in the state ID-card program. It struck down the nominal quantity limits on a patient's legal defense. It affirmed the consitutional ity of s tate patient collectives. In other words, while preserving all existing patient and collective protections, the ruling means that every patient is enti tled to cultivate and possess a reasonable -but not unlimited-supply of cannabis, regardle ss of state or local policy . The Court held that the MMP volun tary statewide program with it s ID cards, safe harbor, local guidelines and doctor's exception can spare patients from arres t and does not violate Prop 215. It held that the default HS 11362.77(a) quantity limit of eight ounces plus six mature or 12 Please tum to page 10 Am.m.ian o ' s AB 2254 bill is identical to earlier language By Dale Gieringer California NORML California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-S.F.) has re-submitted hi s bill to legalize , tax and regulate cannabis . The new bill, AB 2254, is identical to its predecessor, AB 390, which was approved by the Public Safety Committee in January but ran out of time to be he ard on this year's calendar because it had been introduced last year. AB 2254 woul d establish a s tate wide sys tem of licensed production and sale of cannabis like that for alcohol . Cannabi s wo uld be legal for adults 21 and over, and personal-use cultivation of up to six plants would be allowed. Existing medical mari juana laws would not be affected. Non medical canna bi s wo uld be assessed a $50 I ounce excise tax . Unlike the propose d Tax Cannabis 2010 initiative on thi s year's ballot, which would establis h a local option sys tem with continued felony penalties for sales, manu facture and transport except in localities that decide otherwise, Ammiano's AB 2254 would legalize sales and production on a s tat ewide basis. Advocates hope th at it will move for ward for hearings by th e Assembly Health Committee. T h e legislature ha s yet to h old hearings on the h eal th aspects of legal cannabis. Recent years have see n mounting evidence that cannabis is safe r than previ ously imagined for exam ple , th at it does n ' t cause lung cancer and is a minor high way safety hazard. Meanwhile, the s tat e's budget crisis remains a potent force for legalization. The Legislative Anal ys t's Office ha s estimated that the bill would net the s tate $1.4 billion . "It's obvio u s that the existing model of INSURING QUALITY As cannabis businesses emerge into the mainstream , they face the same in surance needs as other companies . Max Del Real and Michael Aberle are seen inspecting the budding crop of a potential client for Statewide Insurance . Story inside. California voter initiative collects, hands in sigs in less than hall the time allowed By Chris Conrad For the first time since 1972, California voters will have an opportunity to cas t ballots for legal adult cannabis this November. prohibition has been a tragic failure," sai d Ammiano. "Our prisons are overflowing and it's easier now for teenagers to get marijuana than alcohol. But yet we contin ue to spend our limited resourc es on a failed war on drugs instead of education, health care or job training. With this bill , California can finally ha ve a polic y towards marijuana that reflect s reality." In a se parate move, Sen . Ronald Calderon (D-Montebello) announced a bill to ta x sa le s of medical cannabis . Calderon's bill would require ven dors to pay a state license fee to sell medic al cannabis, and tax it at a rate "equivalent" to tobacco products an amount not clearly specified in the bill. Calderon's proposals would do nothing to advance the legal status of cannabis, med ical or otherwise . Calderon's office has declined to di s cus s plans for the proposals, which have met a cool reception in Sacramento and seem likely to die with out receiving legislative hearings . Please turn to page 11 Proponents of the Tax Cannabis 2010 initiative, TC2010, collected and turned in nearl y 700,000 signatures Jan . 28, much more than the required 433,971, using only 40 percent of the time allotted by law. The initiative takes a restrained approach to control cannabis by legalizing adult personal possession of one ounce plus a very small garden. It gives localities the option of allowing taxed and regulated cannabis sales, and forbid s s ale s to minors. Please turn to page 10 TURN-IN TaxCannabis 2010 proponent Richard Lee (I) and petition consultant Ken Masterton turned In thousands of signatures to the Alameda County Registrar Jan. 28. Once the signatures are validated the Initia tive will get its number. WCL photo by Mikki Norri s New Jersev becomes 14th medical mariiuana state By Ken Wolski, RN, MPA Executive Director, Coalition for Medical Marijuana Outgoing Governor Jon Corzine signed the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act into law on Jan. 18, 2010 making New Jer sey the 14th medical cannabis state. The new la w removes statewide penal ties for the possession and use of up to two ounces of cannabis a month w hen a licensed physician recommends it for qual ifying medical conditions, including cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, muscular dys trophy, seizures , ALS, Crohn' s di sease, gla ucoma , intractable muscle s pasticity , or a diagnosis of less than 12 months to live. The recommen ding physician must tak e responsibility for the patient' s on going condition. Qualified resident patients will be issued ID cards in a pro gram run by the sta t e Dept. of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). Patients will obtain cannabis from alternative treatment centers that operate under permits from the DHSS. The se cen ters will be authorized to grow, harve st and sell cannabis an d related supplies to patients or their caregivers w ho po ssess vali d ID cards. These centers will be tightly regulated b y th e s t ate. The DHSS will mon i tor , oversee and investigate all activities perform e d by th ese centers. Please turn to page 25 Clinical studies confirm medi-cannabis efficacy By Paul Armentano NORML Deputy Director Peer-reviewed clinical s tudi es r e l ease d Feb . 18 repudiated the ba s i s for the federal b a n on cannabi s as being a Schedule 1 drug with "no currentl y accepted medical use . " The results of a series of randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials assessing the efficacy of inhaled cannabis consistent l y s ho w that cannabis holds therapeutic val u e comparable to conventional medica tions, according to the findings of a 24-p age report issued to the state legi s lature by the California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR). The s tudies come in the wake of last year's American Medical Assn. (AMA) policy shift to s upport cannabis research . Placebo-controlled clinical crossover trials are considered to be th e 'go ld s tand ard' method for assessing the efficacy of drug s under the US F DAapproval process . Four of the five trials demonstrated that cannabis significan tly alleviated neu ropathy, a difficult to treat type of pain res ultin g from nerve damage . Two addi tional clinical trials are ongoing. "There is good evidence now that cannabinoids (the active compound s in the cannabis plant) may be either an adjunct or Please turn to page 15 LA passes ordinance, launches crackdown on a score of dispe nsaries By Kris Hermes Americans for Safe Access With Mayor Villaraigo sa's s i gnature, the second largest city in the country adopted an ordinance Feb. 3 to regulate the sale of medical marijuana and establish rule s for operating dispensing collectives and coop eratives, otherwise known as di s pen saries. The Los Angeles City Attorney's office soon began filing lawsuits and se ndin g eviction l etters to 21 locations on Feb. 18. Although patient advocates were ab l e to improve part s of an ordinance that took more than two years to develop , provision s in the final version will effectively shut down nearly all the existing facilities and make it almost impossible to locate any where in the city . Specifically , advocate s point to a ' poi son pill' provision that would prevent dispensaries from operat ing anywhere near residential property or within 1,000 feet of a laundry list of so called 'sensitive uses, ' including schools, libraries, parks and churches. "T hi s is a bitter sweet victory for med ical marijuana patients in LA," sai d Don Duncan , s tate director with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the nationwide advocacy organizatio n that played a pi v otal role in convincing the City Council to reject a proposal banning medical marijuana sales. "Although historic, the passage of medical marijuana dispensary regulations in LA has been undermined by restrictio n s that threaten to wipe out nearly all of th e dis pensa ries in th e city." Although the city adopted a moratori um , or Interim Control Ordinance , in 2007 Please turn to page 29