Jan 12 2009

The State of The Movement

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The Movement is in pretty sorry shape if you ask me. The death-blow came from right here in Santa Cruz, California with the Mentch case. What is important about this case is that it essentially will make it impossible for patients to get cannabis as only patients will be able to grow and distribute it, i.e. it divorces providing marijuana from ‘caregiving’.

Here is a synopsis from the blog where I got the above video:

a defendant asserting primary caregiver status must prove at a minimum that he or she (1) consistently provided caregiving, (2) independent of any assistance in taking medical marijuana, (3) at or before the time he or she assumed responsibility for assisting with medical marijuana.

I haven’t read the briefs yet, my knowledge is primarily from Robert Norse and the local ‘independent’ media. This was happening while I was occupied wandering the streets looking for a place to sit down and sleeping on the sidewalk. But my take is that if this becomes established as the law of the land, it will be the death-knell of medical marijuana. In the video the prosecutor said “they can grow it”. Well, I tried that and look what happened to me. Never mind that most people can’t wait 3-6 months to start taking their medicine after they get sick. Americans for Safe Access has links to pdfs of the briefs here. Also, I found an article in the San Francisco Chronicle which mentions the decision, but doesn’t explain or analize it all that well if you ask me.

Another stunning defeat here in Santa Cruz has been the gutting of Measure K, which established adult marijuana crimes on private property as the lowest priority of the police and set up a commission to monitor marijuana arrests and citations.

While Michigan has passed something called “medical marijuana” or “compassion” or some such, it prohibits medicating in public. So, this isn’t about patients and I’m beginning to wonder who exactly it is all about. Of course, I’ve been wondering that for some years now.

In Palm Springs the city first announced it was going to approve dispensaries, even in commercial zones, and then said it would allow only 2 (7 are now in operation) dispensaries in industrial zones, and in the meantime it’s going to close ALL the dispensaries and at some time in the future, they will have a beauty contest and the winners will get to sell weed out in some industrial area.

As far as I’m concerned that is the ultimate insult to medical marijuana. I maintain that your typical medical marijuana patient is not a kid out buying party favors, but old, sick, tired and probably mobility challenged. Dispensaries, or co-ops should be centrally located in commercial areas, convenient to public transit, wheelchair accessible, with a lounge where patients can relax and medicate as many are mobility challenged and it is an ordeal for them to get there in the first place. And they shouldn’t be pressured or compelled to buy something every time they come. Many are isolated and need the society and support of others like themselves. I’m very sad about what ‘dispensaries’ have become. This was supposed to be about more than dispensing. At least I thought it was.

Myself, I’ve been going to San Francisco the past several months because I can’t afford the price of compassion in Santa Cruz. It’s an eight hour trip via bus and then train, but I can save $100-$200, or more.

I have yet to find a dispensary in San Francisco where I can go inside and sit down and rest, and medicate.

I need an ounce a month and cannot continue to buy it at the prices I’m having to pay.

I’ve been banned from Americans For Safe Access’s forum for over a year now for daring to criticize our anointed leaders, and even longer from www.marijuana.com

The ACLU drug policy office is here in Santa Cruz, and it is truly amazing the duplicity that creates. The city is egregiously violating the spirit and the letter of Prop 215 but the ACLU isn’t going to sue its host city because, well, how would that look? Myself, I can’t understand how the ACLU could let me suffer on the sidewalk for three years, homeless, hounded, and mercilessly harassed literally on their doorstep because I’m a medical marijuana patient and completely ignore it.

Meanwhile, WAMM is all about WAMM and no one and nothing else. If you have more than two years to live they aren’t interested, and it’s been that way at least four years. And unless there’s a miracle, they had their last fundraiser in San Lorenzo Park this year. The city banned smoking in the park, probably because it was the only way they could prevent marijuana smoking. The owner of the wine shop at the museum, representing the NEXT political cartel anointed to run this town (and the voters be damned) objected to WAMM members medicating in at their fundraiser. So lifting the ban on smoking to allow the WAMM fundraiser was not perfunctory, and only some last minute slight-of-hand garnered the 4 votes necessary (of 7) to approve lifting the smoking ban ‘in the smoking tent only’ and not the rest of the park.

And that might have flown a year or two more except that it turns out they put a convicted sex offender in charge of the childcare.

It seems to me just as in the Mentch case with its insane rationale and as here in Santa Cruz with the gutting of Measure K (which is now merely a rubber stamp for the Police Department, a whitewash) the opposition to ending prohibition across the nation and at the federal level is coming from the top down. 69% of the populace here voted for Measure K, to illustrate my point. And Anita Henry, a member of the Measure K commission, stated on Robert’s show yesterday that marijuana arrests increased from 120 to 180 over the previous period.

In a nutshell, the requirements for the commission to request information from the police department in the form of a report was objected to by the police department, and therefore the city attorney went to court and represented the police department to strike the committee’s ability to review the arrests claiming it violated the city charter in that it constituted someone other than the city manager telling the police department what to do.

Here is a link to some of my information regarding that. What really pisses me off about this is that the people that passed it are ‘recognized successful activists’ who received a grant to put this thing on the ballot and get it passed. Well, they were from out of town, and the local sponsors went to Hawaii right after the passage to open a hostel. At least that’s what the local paper reported. So now here we are and the chair of the committee is obviously there to sabotage the whole intent of the committee and the will of the voters. Here is their webpage. Take a look, click the links. I don’t think this is what the voters had in mind.

I found a very kind comment from Loretta offering to help which I may or may not publish. I glanced over her blog the other day and she appears to still be doing what she can way down yonder.


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