April 19th, 2021 @ 3:23 PM

Union answers Los Angeles City Council Questions to Legislature

Last Updated on Monday, 5 November 2012 07:52 Written by The Union of Medical Marijuana Patients Tuesday, 6 November 2012 07:00

The Union of Medical Cannabis Patients decries the City’s invitation to federal law enforcement to close all local medical marijuana patient associations, especially those which have offered their members extensive social services and have been operating for the of benefit their larger community. These raids are in violation of the will of the majority of Los Angeles residents and are depriving patients not just of their recommended medicine, but also of needed resources beyond cannabis that are sponsored by patient organizations which have developed bone fie healing centers. These raids are also driving patients back to the black market. However, a majority of City Council members have said they would like to pass a new ordinance which would provide safe access for patients and the Union has already provided Council members and the Planning Commission with drafts of ordinances which would survive challenges in court.

The Union for Medical is following up by responding to resolution by the Los Angeles City Council of Sept. 28 that asked the state legislature to clarify issues surrounding the regulation of patient associations.

“The Council apparently isn’t aware that other cities have already successfully implemented local regulation, including West Hollywood, San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland, without resulting in excessive litigation,” said James Shaw, the Union’s director. “The questions the Council has raised have already largely been answered.”

The confusion has to do with a correct understanding of what is compelling legal authority when appellate courts differ and the California Supreme Court have not made a ruling between competing arguments, said Shaw. The high court has other ways of showing how it will eventually rule and of giving extra authority to some cases. It may cite an appellate case for support in a decision, refer approvingly to an authority, or it may refuse to accept an appeal for review. For example, the state Supreme Court has described the California Attorney General’s “Guidelines for the Security and Non-Diversion of Marijuana Grown for Medical Use” of August 2008 (which the current governor, Jerry Brown, issued when he was the state attorney general) as consistent with state law and case law. These types of statements and decisions provide what the Union’s legal team refers to as “super-authority,” which elevates these arguments over the average appellate decision.

A detailed discussion of this analysis can be found here on our web site. Among the highlights:

  • No city has the power to pass an ordinance that contradicts state law when the matter is of statewide concern, as with medical marijuana.
  • Though some claim that only marijuana cultivation is immunized from state law criminal prosecution, the law and case law clearly show that marijuana possession, transportation, sale, possession to sell, maintaining a place to sell, cultivation, harvesting, processing, and owning or leasing a building to store, sell, or serve marijuana, are all immunized from prosecution for properly organized and functioning patient associations.
  • Though some claim that marijuana sales or any financial transactions involving marijuana are not protected from prosecution, the law and case law clearly hold that financial transactions that do not involve making a profit are protected as reimbursements to cover costs and overhead.
  • A careful reading of the original legislation shows that though individuals and caregivers are not allowed to profit from the sale of medical cannabis, collectives may be able to, although the Union believes associations serve their patients best when they operate without profit.
  • The proposed State Medical Marijuana Health Board to determine through research which medical conditions can be alleviated by marijuana is preempted by federal law because marijuana is a Schedule I drug.

“The City brought past litigation on itself previously by ignoring the need to carefully craft ordinances that do not go beyond what state and federal laws allow, while also protecting patient privacy,” said Shaw. “The resulting stalemate that allowed proliferation of new collectives was unfortunate, but there is no reason all parties can’t now move forward with an agreed formula to manage the situation better. Last month, we provided the Council and Planning Commission with drafts of two related ordinances that would enable it to enforce local regulation of medical cannabis patient associations, as well as making sure they comply with the state’s Medical Marijuana Program,” said Shaw.

The Union has also referred the City to AgSite, Inc., a local company that the Union has worked with to develop compliance tools and services.

Press Conference November 7th, 2012
A press conference to discuss how the City can move forward with regulation and why the raids on patient associations are counterproductive will be held Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 9:30 a.m. (a half hour before the regular Council meeting), in the hallway leading to the John Ferraro Chamber, Room 340, at City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., in downtown Los Angeles (plan to arrive by 9:00 a.m. in order to find a convenient parking spot). Media contact: Scott Smith 310/254-4051 (or if he is not available, James Shaw 310/709-1544).
Learn More

Union for Medical Cannabis Patients Presents Los Angeles City Council with Two Ordinances

Last Updated on Wednesday, 3 October 2012 07:36 Written by The Union of Medical Marijuana Patients Thursday, 27 September 2012 08:18

The Union for Medical Cannabis Patients will present to the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday October 2nd two draft ordinances that represent a comprehensive solution for regulating medical marijuana establishments in Los Angeles, while avoiding litigation or having the law overturned by courts.

Our “Preemption Proof” ordinance illustrates how Los Angeles, or any other city in California, can use negative restrictions to require that medical marijuana dispensaries behave as upstanding neighbors without encountering federal or state preemption issues. Based on enforcement of California law, the Union’s “State Compliance Ordinance” is designed to assist the City of Los Angeles in determining which medical marijuana establishments are entitled to exemption from prosecution under California’s medical marijuana laws, and which are not. The two ordinances addressing local and state issues are designed to function either in tandem or independently to effectively regulate medical marijuana establishments. For more in-depth analysis of current case law and how it shapes our ordinances, please see the Union’s introductory letter which will be accompanying the ordinances delivered to City Council.

The Union for Medical Cannabis Patients has taken great care to formulate regulations that will work for patients, their associations, neighborhoods, and the City of Los Angeles. We invite you to study our proposals and encourage you to provide us with feedback. Please address any questions, comments, or concerns regarding the Union for Medical Cannabis Patient’s “Preemption Proof” and “State Compliance” ordinances to Sophie@UnionMMP.org.

Press Conference
A  press conference to discuss the issues and the proposed ordinances will be held in the hallway leading to the John Ferraro Council Chamber at City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., Room 340, Tues. at 9:30 a.m., a half hour before the Council meets (note that finding a convenient parking place requires arriving in downtown L.A. before 9 a.m.). Media contact: Scott Smith 310/254-4051.


Learn More

Bill Rosendahl Supports Medical Marijuana Dispensaries at City Hall

Last Updated on Monday, 6 August 2012 01:28 Written by The Union of Medical Marijuana Patients Friday, 3 August 2012 06:51

Watch Bill Rosendahl supporting medical marijuana dispensaries at City Hall.

Click this link if video below does not appear –> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHlyf94li3k

Learn More

Join the Union

* = required field
Interested in ...