Apr 24 2010

ASA chapter for Santa Cruz uncertain

Posted by J. Craig Canada in Examiner.com, organizations, roger mentch, Santa Cruz
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Ed Rosenthal & Roger Mentch

Ten people showed up Thursday night for a meeting to organize a local chapter of Americans for Safe Access (ASA),  “the nation’s largest organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research.”

Among the ten were 2 Hemp Sisters and 3 members of the same family. Not one person from The Wo/Man’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) or the two medical marijuana dispensaries in town, Greenway and Santa Cruz Patients Collective, were in attendance.

The meeting was organized by Roger Mentch of the Hemporium in Felton. Roger has been the target of repeated raids and harassment by various local and federal law enforcement and is the subject of the infamous Mentch decision. In this decision the California Supreme Court determined that in order to qualify as a caregiver, a caregiving relationship must exist prior to providing marijuana for medicinal purposes and cannot consist of merely providing marijuana.

This is in complete contradiction of both the letter and the intent of Proposition 215, The Compassionate Use Act of 1996.

The meeting was held at Loudon Nelson Center, which charges $32 to rent a meeting room for 2 hours.

In order to establish a local ASA chapter Roger needs 10 ASA members. ASA memberships are $35/year.

At this point Mentch’s next court date is May 17th. One of the things Mentch hoped the local ASA chapter would focus upon is court support.

If and when the next meeting will occur is uncertain.

Mentch mentioned that Greenway contributes enough to ASA to fund a full-time staffer, and that the dispensaries in San Francisco sponsor such meetings.

For more info:
New Chapter of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) forming in Santa Cruz – IndyBay | 15 Apr 10
Medical marijuana activist Roger Mentch prepares for third trial – IndyBay | 18 Mar 10
Medical marijuana and caregivers – examiner.com | 27 Nov 09
WAMM issues press release supporting marijuana dispensaries – examiner.com | 18 Nov 09
Roger Mentch on trial again – IndyBay | 15 Aug 06
Roger Mentch will continue the Hemporium – santa cruz independent media | 2 May 05

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