PROTEST AT LONG BEACH COURTHOUSE Wednesday, November 9, 2011 – 8:00 AM

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:
Saturday, November 5, 2011 Joe Grumbine
951 436-6312

PROTEST AT LONG BEACH COURTHOUSE
Wednesday, November 9, 2011 – 8:00 AM

On Wednesday, November 9 a coalition of Medical Marijuana advocates will protest Judge Charles D. Sheldon’s recent decision to deny Joe Grumbine and his former partner Joe Byron an affirmative (medical marijuana) defense against the felony charges they face for operating two legal medical marijuana collectives. That means the jury who decides their fate will not hear a single word about medical marijuana. The Joes will be presented as street-level drug pushers.

Defense attorneys for Grumbine and Byron have filed an appeal with the State Appellate Court on the basis that the decision denies them their 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law, namely the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (Prop 215) which allows qualified patients safe access to medical marijuana, and Senate Bill 420 which allows them to obtain it through collectives. Those laws were also intended to protect people like Grumbine and Byron from prosecution. Specifically, Prop 215 exempts patients and defined caregivers who possess or cultivate marijuana recommended by a physician from criminal laws which otherwise prohibit possession or cultivation of marijuana.

The 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause requires each state to provide equal protection under the law to all people within its jurisdiction. Yet in Long Beach, a judge has ruled that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution does not apply to all people within its jurisdiction, after all. It also means the jury will not be allowed to hear all the facts in the case. “A juror can not take back a guilty verdict,” said one of the protesters, citing the recent execution of Troy Davis in Texas. “Jurors should not have to live with the pain of having returned guilty verdicts based on insufficient or false evidence.”

Outraged citizens have demonstrated at every hearing since this ruling and the numbers keep growing. Joining the protest will be members of The Human Solution, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), Marijuana Anti- Prohibition Project (MAPP), the Landa Prison Outreach Program (LPOP), 420friendsonline and Long Beach’s Committee of Patients (COP,) as well as many affected patients, caregivers and their families.

Demonstrators will gather outside the Long Beach Courthouse, 415 West Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90802 at 8:00 AM and continue until after the hearing when Mr. Grumbine will make a statement. Those wishing to join the rallies, participate in court support, or donate to Joe Grumbine and Joe Byron’s legal defense can do so at The Human Solution (www.the-human-solution.org) or phone 951-436-6312 for additional details.

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This is how our senator sees us

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To those that keep voting on party lines, this is your senator’s position on prohibition. We need to remember as voting day approaches to cast your vote for those that are not supportive of prohibition!
If we remove existing problems, and give 1 chance to the new choice to do what they say, maybe they will start representing our will.

Dear Mrs. Smith:

Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns with the government’s efforts to combat the flow of illegal drugs into this country. I appreciate your taking the time to share your views with me and I agree with many of your thoughts, although I do not support legalization.

With regards to the demand for illegal drugs, both casual and chronic use have been declining, as well as the number of new users. According to a recent report by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), overall drug use in the United States is down 50 percent since the late 1970s. As a result, 9.3 million fewer people are using illegal drugs. Cocaine use is down by 75 percent during the past 15 years. Furthermore, the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s and early 1990s has diminished in scope. We have also benefited from a reduction in the number of new users of heroin, cocaine, and marijuana.

On the supply side, the U.S. has been successful in many of our efforts to find and prosecute drug traffickers and decrease drug availability. In 2003, Customs officials and Border Patrol agents seized more than 2 million pounds of illegal drugs, worth billions of dollars. By stopping drugs at our borders, we prevent them from entering our communities and fostering the destructive cycle of violence, incarceration, and addiction.

We still have many problems to overcome. The emergence of the drug Ecstasy and a variety of other club drugs, such as Ketamine and GBH, is a problem which must be addressed. Yet I still believe that the current policy of balancing prevention, enforcement, and treatment have kept drugs, and the problems associated with drugs, out of millions of American households. These benefits have had an even wider impact by leading to a reduction in the overall crime rate over the past decade. In a study released last year, the British Home Office found violent crime and property crime increased in the late 1990s in every wealthy country except the United States .

There is a perception that law enforcement officials target drug users and that our prisons are filled with offenders whose only crime is the possession of a small quantity of illegal drugs. In fact, only five percent of federal prisoners are serving time for possession-related convictions. Although slightly more than a quarter of state prisoners are jailed on possession-related charges, many of those prisoners are drug traffickers who plea bargained down to a possession charge or are repeat offenders. The large majority of first time drug offenders do not go to prison.

Even drugs such as marijuana, which is often believed to pose few risks to users, can have a devastating impact on chronic users. In 1999, a record 225,000 Americans entered substance abuse treatment primarily for marijuana dependence, second only to heroin. Moreover, 87,000 people sought treatment at hospital emergency rooms for medical problems related to marijuana. According to the DEA, marijuana impacts young people’s mental development, their ability to concentrate in school, and their initiative to reach goals. However, I do not oppose further research on the potential medical efficacy of marijuana, nor the idea of compassionate use in medical situations, when prescribed by a physician in writing for serious and/or catastrophic illnesses.

As a member of the California Women’s Board of Terms and Paroles for six years, Mayor of San Francisco for nine years, and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee for twelve years, I know that certain and swift punishment can reduce the crime and violence now plaguing so many of our nation’s communities. This is why I am an advocate of strict sentences for serious crimes, including drug offenses. I also believe, however, that we must use a number of approaches to combat drug abuse, and support funding for drug awareness and outreach efforts, as well as treatment and rehabilitation programs for recovering addicts. Incidentally, the Delancey Street treatment center in San Francisco is one model I strongly support.

Once again, thank you for your letter. I believe that any solution to our nation’s drug problems requires a continuous dialogue on the issue, and while we may disagree, please know that I appreciate hearing your thoughts. If you have any additional comments or questions, please feel free to contact my Washington, D.C. staff at (202)224-3841.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Green Team meets Dennis Peron

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On Saturday October 22nd., Dennis Peron made a guest appearance, with a gathering of about 20 local citizens at about 4 p.m. in a small anti room of the now closed, Cooperative Patient Services Cannabis collective in Temecula California.

The meeting was led by the manager Terry Wilson, who expressed concerns regarding appropriate dress and messengers when speaking to the media, and why they chose to close the collective. Wilson says they could not justify putting their landlord’s property in jeopardy, says that it was “time for everyone in the true sense of a co op, to take an active role and the thought of going to the bank was near frightening. Maybe it’s time to throw away the membership, find 100 of them to take on part ownership in a building.”

To quote their Financial Advisor, “The Foot Vote is needed as much as the Voice Vote”

 

 

 

Robin Sax, former Deputy District Attorney for LA and Riverside Counties that currently works with CNN, Fox News, and many others quotes MLK “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” She discusses how President Obama lied to America during his presidential campaign, then goes on to quote him as well, “What I’m going to do with the Justice Dpt. resources is not to circumvent state laws on this issue simply because I want folks to focus more on the investigation of violent crimes and potential terrorism.” She goes on to say that “Now he’s sent a letter to the U.S. Attorney demanding for the investigation and prosecution of this very issue. That burns me up, I don’t think it’s fair, I don’t think it’s right and I don’t think it’s legal frankly.

In addition I look at medical marijuana as a civil rights issue, this is an issue dealing with a group of protected people, every other group of protected people wether your a group protected class based on gender, sex, religion or otherwise, you are protected by various state laws, and federal laws for whatever protections that you need in order to be playing on a level playing field with everybody else and medical marijuana patients to me are a protected class and this should be an issue like any other civil rights issue should be, the problem is with civil rights you’re dealing with the civil rights perspective, is that all of the other groups of protected classes are very organized, their very cohesive, they come together and they fight loud and they fight proud, what I’ve seen is and I’m going to show you a video in a little bit trying to coal-ate you guys to come together is all of a sudden you deal with this issue and you hide behind your illness, you hide behind your medicine and I understand there’s lots of reasons to be scared of this, the Jews after WWII were afraid to say they were Jewish, but eventually you have to make a decision, ‘Am I going to let my rights be trampled on, or am I going to voice my opinion, my voice, my illness, or whatever to affect change for a greater cause?’ So I’m challenging you. I’m challenging you to tell you stories. I don’t want anyone to be in a position where they feel they may get arrested or not, but until people come together there is no way from an economic stand point that they could even prosecute everybody, if everybody were to put their resources and their time together and organize.”

She mentions that Occupy LA has no clear message. States that they’ve been covering Occupy LA on Fox on a daily basis, “This Occupy LA thing”… “I still don’t know what the message of Occupy LA is” “All I know is that it has something to do with jobs and there’s about 5 thousand different causes and 400 different leaders and they’r all fighting with each other and there’s no cohesive message and that’s kind’a the story within the story, it’s kind of a joke.

Also there is a great confusion in the area of marijuana, the belief by the outside public is that it’s either legal or it’s not. The belief from the outside public is that it’s a big fat joke, it’s really a farce, it’s a front to legalizing marijuana. And I think that what’s important is to really own the medical aspect of it, own the transparency, own the different parts of medical marijuana, and do it in a way that is transparent.

And this is where our combination has come together. We are putting Cooperative Patient Services together and I wont call it CPS which is btw a whole other thing, CPS is Child Protective Services in my world and I think that’s one of the problems Doug and Terry and others battle about this, I really think we need to clean up our language if it’s medical marijuana, if it’s therapeutic then we all need to be using the same language.

I think it’s very confusing if you are a general legalize it person I think that at this juncture it would be better for you to keep that opinion aside and stay within the law that’s legal right now so that we can win the fight that’s in front of us and if you want to use your energies at some other point. Save that for a different fight. There’s a federal crack down affecting the states today, that’s where our priority is, this isn’t a legalize it completely priority in my opinion today. I think that we need to organize in that way.

I think that when you go down to LA, you do need to organize, what are you going down there for, what are you going to say? When you’re down there, what are you going to say if your interviewed by the media? What are your talking points, and make sure that if you’re going to say something that you get more than just one person to say it and think about what the points are together. If you are confused, follow some guidelines from other organizations. One of the things that I personally think from a media’s perspective, If you can connect your story to the cause you will get on TV. Your story will come out there, those are the stories they want to hear. We want to hear from the people that can utilize their expertise and be able to keep the issue in perspective.

I’ve never seen anyone kill someone over a marijuana accident in all my years in the DA’s office, I’ve never seen also by the way, a single case of anybody with less than an ounce ever go to trial. Ever. Never happened, I’ve never seen it before. In LA. So we need to make sure that we’re using reliable facts, sources and people.”

 

Luis Bolanos, former investigator for the DEA, FBI and the Riverside County District Attorney and Sheriff’s Offices says he’s “Here to represent a legitimate collective because he’s “Never seen one thats not in it for profit, or some type of criminal activity. I know they’re out there but I’m here to represent CPS.” His true colors shined brighter when he states that 9% of marijuana users become dependent, as opposed to 50% of booze. The word “dependent” seems to infer “addicted”. However, Luis Bolano carefully tells the audience that we now arrest one American every 38 seconds on marijuana charges, and this, we believe.”

 

Dennis Peron co author of proposition 215, is a man of little stature but of huge presence. He gave a soft and at times hard to hear speech, but every word proud, true and humane. This tiny man that once ran for President of the United States stole the hearts of the audience.

“215 was very loosely written in an effort to go around the Feds. Fed are crazy about marijuana, they just hate it, they’re crazy about money, they want it.” Says he’s never cared about money, but that the people that crafted 420 were very interested in money, that it wasn’t created to help us. “Our friends decided to help us by enacted ab420. That was not going to help us. They invited people in to help craft the law. The people they invited in to craft the law, were not really our friends, they were people that wanted to make money on marijuana and they had police there too, who hate us.

And the thing about marijuana, they all go blind for money, cause they see a lot of money. And it’s true there’s a lot of money, it’s a 20 billion dollar a year business. It’s not about money for us, it’s not about money to believe in, I believe marijuana is medicinal so I never cared about money. But the people that crafted 420 are very interested in money. “How can I sell marijuana? And so 420 has gotten us into a lot of trouble because it’s accumulated money in one spot which the feds think, “I’ll go after that spot and i’ll get the money” and that’s what they’re doing now, they’ve done this before, 96, 97, 98…

First they went after the doctors but doctors can say anything they want, they couldn’t get them, then they tried to go after the suppliers but there’s too many of us. This recent attack by the feds it will not work, they cannot defeat us with this. They cannot take 4K jury trials of marijuana.

So it’s a lot of hot air, they’re blowing a lot of smoke, but they scare a lot of people and that’s what they’re trying to do, scare us. United we can defeat these guys. In fact we have 10% of the congress, why are we not asking to do something about this, and our senators, Fienstein, and Boxer are getting a free ride on this, they have never spoke for us but in fact are our representatives. We attack Obama but I think that’s misdirected, I feel like we should support Obama because what’s after Obama is a lot worse, I think about what’s next is bad, but Obama he’s not that bad. Yes there’s a lot of broken promises, but I think if we give him another term a lot of hope can come to this country but if he doesn’t win I don’t know what’s going to happen.

I know we’re redirected a lot of our anger toward’s Obama when in fact a lot of it is for Congress, why when we have 52 congressmen are we not holding them accountable to demand that they do something about this? And of our senators, what about Fienstein and Boxer not doing anything? We voted for it, this is the way we vote in our country, we vote and we’re suppose to have it. Statewide we kind of have it, it’s a long battle, its been 14 years now, we kinda have it. No longer about the prosecution of marijuana, there’s some, but they signed that bill last year making it a total misdemeanor, an infraction, so we’re kinda out of the woods on that one, but we still got some way to go with the feds, and I think if we were to hold accountable, our congresspeople even if they hate marijuana, which they all do, you see we have to stand up for our rights.

And I think this can be done with a pen, the HSS, just sign it, say marijuana does have medicinal value and put it in another schedule, just one person can do it. To say that we have to go through all this stuff when just one person can do it and we find out tomorrow “oh marijuana does have medicinal value and reschedule it!” But they’re not going to do that, it’s too politically volatile, BUT, it COULD happen that way.

You don’t have to go the long way, the long way is through congress, but we have 52 congressmen, we have 2 senators that are very important, we can do that. I think we have to decentralize it a little bit. That set us up to be taxed by the government, decentralize it and not make it so that so few organizations that can sell marijuana. There’s 4 distributors for marijuana in Oakland they have 4, 4 distributors for marijuana. That’s ridiculous!

We should get the government out of sanctioning our business, I never asked, i didn’t ask for sanctions or control by the government but they gave it to me anyway, they just did, and I think that’s what we should do, build it and they will come. We need than what we have, we need tens, we need hundreds, decentralize and it’ll make us more powerful, demand our rights and it can happen, at the end we can see where this is going when it’s going, Marijuana will be rescheduled, marijuana will be legalized some day but we cannot afford to pit regulation and money, that is pushing us down and holding us back. Don’t worry about money, money always comes. If you have money and no pot, what good is it?

Pot can change America, you have to legalize marijuana for America, we are true patriots that the consciousness of the country has to change or we’re going to be mired down in wars and hate. We have to change this country. It’s our obligation to do what we’re doing, not just for medicine, not just for broken bones and glaucoma, and all that yeah, but consciousness!

What’s it do to your consciousness? It changes you. I know, when I first smoked pot I was 17, the first time I got high and I thought ‘oh god I hope I don’t turn to heroine!” The 2nd time I got high I got outside my body and I looked at myself and I hated myself. ‘Boy you are stupid, you are ignorant you are self centered.’ I didn’t like myself, I hated myself. Marijuana helped me change myself, I changed in to the person I want to be, I want to be a loving, giving, generous, wanted to be a friend to people, not superficial, it changed me to make me the person I am today, and I think a lot of you can say that too, it changed you, it changed your consciousness. That does not show up in the xray. 

You know, they say, ‘you look pretty healthy Dennis, man you don’t know what’s going on in my mind, oh boy.” You change your consciousness and American needs a consciousness changing drug, right now we’re on alcohol therapy. The whole country is on alcohol. Alcohol is a war drug, it’s a drug that makes you want to go to war, marijuana is a peace drug, it makes you think about peace, think about a world without bombs, think about a world without hate.

I think we can do it and if we can do that the country consciousness change, then whole America can change, it has nothing to do with money, it has nothing to do with all that. We have an obligation to change the consciousness of America and I stand here, I ask you, to join me to somehow help me change the consciousness of the country, help us change America. We will be remembered, if we can do that, if we change America that we are true patriots of this country, and that we’ve changed America from this hate mongering world of war to a loving, peaceful country which will then lead to a peaceful world.

I’m proud of what I did, if left alone I believe this war would be over, but it’s not. It’s up to us to end this war and yet what we’re doing here today is part of it, joining together and fighting is part of it, demand doers of our congress people, let’s go to where the action is and let’s not go against Barrack Obama, yes there’s a lot of broken promises, yes there’s a lot of disappointments, but let me tell you what’s down the road is a lot worse than that.

I think we can do that, together we can do it. United we can stand, and divided we can fall. Place the blame where it’s going, not just Barrack Obama, there’s a lot of faults but let’s put the blame where it belongs, the federal government, the bureaucracy, the government leaders, and you have to understand too, the DEA they don’t like Obama, they have an obligation to enforce the laws, so try to support Obama even if you’re disappointed.

I’m disappointed too, but in the end we have to support our man, and we can see the end of this tunnel, if he wins we can see the end of this war. Thank you for having me here, a lot of people went to great expense to get me here and I appreciate that.

I had a stroke about a year ago, so it’s not the same Dennis Peron it was a year ago. I apologize for my short speech and my shortness of breath but this is what we got. I still have a lot of memory, I forgot a lot of things too but I wrote my autobiography before, a lot of it’s coming back slowly but surely thanks to my medicine, but I decided to do what I can do with what I have now, and to make new memories to make the most of them make them memorable, and so this is one of my new memories, thank you for having me, thank you for having me here.”

 

 

Drug war: What prohibition costs us [Blowback]

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“As a student of history and a retired deputy chief of police with the Los Angeles Police Department, I can attest that the damage that came from the prohibition of alcohol pales in comparison to the harm wrought by drug prohibition. In the last 40 years drug money has fueled the growth of violent street gangs in Los Angeles, from two (Bloods and Crips) with a membership of less than 50 people before the drug war to 20,000 gangs with a membership of about 1 million across the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Justice. These gangs serve as the distributors, collection agents and enforcers for the Mexican cartels that the Justice Department says occupy more than 1,000 U.S. cities.

Sabet, a former advisor to the White House drug policy advisor, ignores these prohibition-created harms, making no mention of the nearly 50,000 people killed in Mexico over the last five years as cartels have battled it out to control drug routes, territories and enforce collections. When one cartel leader is arrested or killed, it makes no impact on the drug trade and only serves to create more violence, as lower-level traffickers fight for the newly open top spot.”
Excerpted from the Los Angeles Times, by Stephen Downing, a retired deputy chief of the Los Angeles Police Department and board member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition:

you can read the entire article @ http://opinion.latimes.com/opinionla/2011/10/drug-war-blowback.html

Prosecutor may go after media running pot ads

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SAN DIEGO – A prosecutor is contemplating expanding a federal crackdown on the medical marijuana industry by going after newspapers, radio stations and other outlets that run advertisements for California pot dispensaries, her office told The Associated Press on Thursday.

U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy made the comments initially to California Watch, a project of the nonprofit Center for Investigative Journalism. They come a week after she and three other U.S. attorneys in California vowed to close medical marijuana businesses they deem questionable and single out people who rent buildings or land to the industry.

“I’m not just seeing print advertising,” Duffy told California Watch. “I’m actually hearing radio and seeing TV advertising. It’s gone mainstream. Not only is it inappropriate — one has to wonder what kind of message we’re sending to our children. It’s against the law.”

The federal government will determine whether the media crackdown is necessary as the results of last week’s actions unfold, Duffy’s spokeswoman Debra Hartman said. She cited a federal law that prohibits people from placing ads that have the purpose of buying or selling a controlled substance.

You can read the entire article at http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/10/13/national/main20120247.shtml