From: Letitia Pepper
Subject: Why AB 2312 Is Unconstitutional Under Prop. 215, and Bad for the Local Economy
Date: Wednesday, June 20, 2012, 6:38 AM
Please pass the following concerns about AB 2312 on to the members of the Senate. Thank you.
I have been an attorney for not quite 30 years, during much of which time I worked for appellate court justices analyzing cases and legislation from a neutral perspective.
I have been a medical marijuana patient (for MS) for about five years.
I am also the Director of Legal and Legislative Analysis for Crusaders for Patients Rights, a non-profit corporation based in Sacramento, CA that supports people legally using cannabis as medicine.
I am opposed to AB 2312, which purports to turn the individual rights held by individual patients under Prop. 215, who have the right to collectively organize, pursuant to the state and constitutional right to freedom of association, into a right that can be held by a limited number of entities. It also purports to allow local governments to ban collectives and to tax cannabis. These provisions are all clearly contrary to Prop. 215, and will lead to litigation, which the State will lose, based on Prop. 215′s status, as a People-enacted initiative, as controlling over contrary legislation by the People’s elected officials.
I am also opposed to all efforts to tax cannabis as medicine, which is the only legal use of cannabis allowed under state and federal law.
While some people may be smirking about using the medical marijuana laws to use cannabis “recreationally,” their deceptions have nothing to do with the only actual legal use of cannabis — as medicine. People get doctors to write prescriptions for prescription drugs which they are actually using “recreationally,” yet no one is trying to tax prescription medications as a consequence. No more should the presence of recreational users among the flocks of patients be used as justification for taxing cannabis.
Pebbles Trippet of the Mendocino Medical Marijuana Advisory Board sent the following release 25 Jun 2012, courtesy of Donna Lambert:
From: Pebbles Trippet
To: Bill Gage <email@example.com>
Cc: Info at Mendocino Medical Marijuana Advisory Board <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Americans for Safe Access Safe Access <email@example.com>; Cailfornia NORML Gieringer <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Drug Policy Fdtn Fdtn <email@example.com>; MCN ListServes <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Save Cannabis Cannabis <email@example.com>; Mickey Martin <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Robert Sutherland <email@example.com>; C Aanastad <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, June 25, 2012 4:31 AM
Subject: [Save Cannabis] AB 2312 opposition statement from Mendocino Medical Marijuana Advisory Board
To: Senators on the Businesses, Professions and Economic Development Committee (916) 324-0917 fax
From: Mendocino Medical Marijuana Advisory Board (MMMAB) / email@example.com
Re: Medical Marijuana Regulation / California Assembly Bill 2312 under consideration June 25, 2012 by the Senate Committee.
|Email from Letitia Pepper received 16 Jun 2012
Don’t Use ASA’s easy, union-based e-mail letter to the LA City Council!
It’s a TRICK!
ASA makes it sound like there are only TWO choices: a BAN or REGULATIONS that LIMIT COMPETITION to only 100 dispensaries! That’s not true!
The only automated ASA e-mail you can send asks the LA City Council to limit dispensaries to 100! That’s BAD for patients! (Competition is GOOD!)
Under Prop. 215, local governments cannot either ban or limit competition of dispensaries, just like they can’t ban or limit competition among pharmacies! Prop. 215 gives us as much right to use cannabis as to use prescription drugs, which means dispensaries have as much right to exist as pharmacies. Under Prop. 215, bans and limits are ILLEGAL!
Right this minute, we medical marijuana patients are close to winning this ban issue! The California Supreme Court has taken up two conflicting Court of Appeal decisions, one that says bans are legal (out of Riverside), and one that says they are not legal (out of conservative Orange County, no less!), and it is going to decide the issue once and for all very soon.
The California Supreme Court will decide that the bans are not legal under Prop. 215 – just like it decided in People v. Kelly that the limits on quantities set by SB 420 weren’t legal, because they violated Prop. 215. Here’s why:
Prop. 215 specifically only allows the government to adopt laws that further the purpose of Prop. 215, and that purpose was each, individual patient’s safe and affordable access to cannabis. The local bans do just the opposite, so they are illegal under Prop. 215.
Don’t be tricked into actually ASKING your local government to F*** you by limiting dispensaries!
3:52 – “All of these cities putting more and more taxes on patients, it’s outrageous. As an industry, those of you that are asking for taxation, it’s crazy. It’s absolutely insane … because that taxation is falling on the backs of patients.”
- Steph Sherer of Americans for Safe Access, 29 Jan 2011
In order to understand what a fraud AB 2312 is, it’s important to remember a little history.
On 23 Feb 2009 Tom Ammiano introduced AB 390 in the California Assembly to legalize the cultivation and sales of marijuana in California.
Per the California State Board of Equalization, it would have raised $1.4 billion in revenue from a $50 per ounce tax on recreational sales.
The bill explicitly exempted medical from any tax:
…this fee shall not be imposed on marijuana used medicinally with a doctor’s recommendation as specified in Health and Safety Code Section 11362.5, which is known and cited as The Compassionate Use Act of 1996.
This ignited a media circus over all the money that could be made and was being made off medical marijuana, much of it focused on Colorado.
NORML rented an electric billboard in Times Square depicting marijuana as a money tree, and Richard Lee and Oaksterdamn U introduced Measure F in Oakland, the 1st sin tax on medical marijuana, which levied a sin tax of 1.8% (the same as alcohol) on top of sales tax.
And then Richard Lee, Dale Skye Clare Jones, and Oaksterdamn U announced Prop. 19, which authorized the government at every level to tax marijauna (including medical) without limitation, with the result that Rancho Cordova passed a $15,000 annual license fee for a 5′ x 5′ personal medical marijuana grow.