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Protected: James Speaks to LACC

Last Updated on Thursday, 8 November 2012 01:52 Written by The Union of Medical Marijuana Patients Wednesday, 7 November 2012 12:23

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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).
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Heal the Senses – Art Gallery Opening at Member Collective

Last Updated on Monday, 23 July 2012 01:07 Written by The Union of Medical Marijuana Patients Thursday, 12 July 2012 07:25

The Union of Medical Marijuana Patients is proud to announce the grand re-opening of Freedom Gallery at one of its member organizations, the Arts District Healing Center. The Union is dedicated to healing and the betterment of society. Since healing takes many forms, this is an excellent opportunity to explore alternative healing that will invigorate the senses in a collection of inspiring artistic expression.

The event is free of charge and will be open to the public so bring all your friends

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