Posts Tagged ‘CALIFORNIA MEDICAL MARIJUANA’

California Judge Rules Medical Marijuana Not An Agricultural Product

marijuana CaliforniaBy Steve Elliott of Toke of the Town

Yes, marijuana is a plant you grow from the ground. No, it’s not an agricultural crop. Confused yet?

In what is believed to be the first ruling of its kind in the state, a judge in California has ruled that a marijuana collective can’t operate on land zoned for agriculture, reports Lewis Griswold of the Fresno Bee.

In his ruling last week, Tulare County Superior Court Judge Paul Vortmann dismissed a property owner’s argument that a medical marijuana collective’s cultivation of marijuana is legal because it is in an agricultural zone.

“In this state, marijuana has never been classified as a crop or horticultural product,” Judge Vortmann wrote in his ruling. Marijuana is a controlled substance, the judge said.

“The court finds as a matter of law that growing marijuana … is not an agricultural use of property,” the judge wrote.

It’s the first time a court has addressed whether medical marijuana might be an agricultural crop, according to Tulare County Counsel Kathleen Bales-Lange, whose office sued a property owner and collective on behalf of the Board of Supervisors.

Marijuana plants are “agricultural in nature” because they grow like any other crop, according to lawyer Brandon Ormonde of Tulare, who represented the property owner. He acknowledged that medical marijuana has never been legally acknowledged as an “agricultural plant.”

“If it’s not a crop, I don’t know what it is,” said Dale Gieringer, director of California NORML, reports the Associated Press.

The case involved the Foothill Growers Association medical marijuana collective, which rented a building south of Ivanhoe in an agricultural zone. The collective grew plants inside the building and operated a dispensary.

Tulare County sued the collective and the property owner last year, arguing that marijuana dispensaries are only allowed in specified commercial and manufacturing zones.

Hash PlantThe group has until Friday to stop using the building. Hanford attorney Bill Romaine, who represents Foothill Growers Association, said on Thursday that he believed the cooperative had negotiated a new site to use in unincorporated Tulare County, reports David Castellon at the Visalia Times-Delta.

Five years ago, an estimate that marijuana was the top cash crop in the United States at $35.8 billion a year made headlines nationwide. The crop’s value is more than corn and wheat combined, according to legalization advocate Jon Gettman, who prepared the 2006 report.

But never mind all that. Marijuana is not recognized by the California Department of Food and Agriculture as an “agricultural commodity.” (Maybe it’s time they catch up to reality.)

No agricultural commissioner in the state — not even in Mendocino and Humboldt counties — lists cannabis in is annual crop reports.

“We don’t regulate or track marijuana at all and regard that as a law enforcement issue,” said Steve Lyle, speaking for the state agriculture agency.

That could all change, though, under a proposed ballot initiative that plans a farming future for marijuana. Among other things, it proposes to apply “existing agricultural taxes and regulations to marijuana” and would prohibit zoning restrictions on cannabis cultivation.

It was recently approved by the Secretary of State’s office for signature gathering in an attempt to get it on the 2012 ballot.

Article From Toke of the Town and republished with special permission.

‘Marijuana Is Sexy’: Talking Pot with Mendo Sheriff Tom Allman

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Photo: Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman:
“We are, of course, supportive of legitimate medical marijuana here.”
By Jack Rikess
Toke of the Town
Northern California Correspondent

The Coming of the New Prophet
Rikess: Last time we spoke in August of last year… (See Toke of the Town’s 2010 interview with Sheriff Allman here.)
Sheriff: Seems like yesterday…
Rikess: (laughs) I know and still…you don’t write and you don’t call…
Sheriff: (laughs) Okay…
Rikess: So last time I was here, you said something that was incredibly right on. You said that there was going to be very little difference between George Bush’s administration and Obama’s, when it came to medical marijuana. You said that someone big in the attorney general’s office sat in the chair I’m sitting in and said, and I’m paraphrasing, “He guaranteed me that it was going to be the same under Obama as it was with George Bush. In the end, Eric Holder will handle medical marijuana the same way [the] George Bush [Administration] did.” 
Sheriff: It wasn’t Eric Holder. It was a U.S. attorney. The chronological order was, the U.S. attorney came up here and said, (this is definitely under George W.), saying, “ummm, the U.S. government will not get involved with any marijuana cultivation, distribution, what-ever-you-want-to-call-it, that falls within the boundaries of California’s medical marijuana.”
Okay, thank you very much. And, you know, he took his dog and pony show and went somewhere else.
Then the presidential election happened, okay. Then in the primary or maybe it was before the general election, Obama just mentioned something about medical marijuana.

Rikess: I have the quote. [Regarding federal raids on medical marijuana facilities in states which have approved its use, Candidate Obama said,] I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users. It’s not a good use of our resources.
Sheriff: Then all the people started, “Oh my gawd, the prophet has arrived. Y’know, he’s here!” And then after he won the election and took office, Eric Holder came out and said, “The U.S. government will not get involved in any violations that fall within the state guidelines.” People are going  “That’s brilliant, that’s wonderful! Thank you sooo muuuuch!”
And those of us in law enforcement are going, “Huh?” It wasn’t even any different wording [than the George Bush people used too], it was the same, um, so I tell people that on a regular basis, not to be criticizing Obama at all, because…
Rikess:  When I was here last, a little positive that things were going to change surrounding medical marijuana and you set me straight with…again I’m paraphrasing, you said to me, “Whatever you think is going to happen with Obama, there’s going to be very little change between George Bush’s administration and Obama’s, when it comes to medical marijuana.” 

And at the time, I thought you were wrong. And you were…1000 percent correct.
Sheriff: Only because…honestly…What I really try to do is get down to the root…no pun intended… of where we’re going on this.
Y’know… I’ve heard many times in my career that our United States constitution is a living breathing document. Y’know, when you’re a kid you go, “Really? Well, I’ve been watching it for five years and it just sits there.” And you don’t understand the depths of a living, breathing [document, then it changes] …such as, what happen to the second amendment a few weeks ago.
Guns and Cannabis
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Photo: Herald Democrat
Rikess: What’s new with the 2nd amendment?
Sheriff: Well, what happen was there were some pro-gun people in the Bay Area. They were going to Starbuck’s with unloaded guns on their hip, fully exposed, because it wasn’t a violation of carrying a concealed firearm, because it was exposed. And it wasn’t a violation of carrying a loaded firearm in public because it was empty. And because they were pushing the envelope so much, yesterday the California Legislature said, “Ixnay, no, you can’t do that.”
And one of the things the 9th district just said was, and I don’t agree with…is…Sheriffs absolutely have the right to say, ‘no,’ to concealed weapons.
Rikess: Does that mean, you judge who has the right to carry a concealed weapon or not?
Sheriff: Yeah. But now the law allows the sheriff of the county or the chief of police, to issue concealed weapons permits. In Mendocino County we’re really weird…Okay?
Rikess: You’re preaching to the choir brother.
Sheriff: [Laughs] Monty Python was…uh…born here, okay, maybe not born here but conceived here.
We are, of course, supportive of legitimate medical marijuana here. But we’re also very supportive of concealed weapons here. Due to the recent population shift, I’m down to 87,000 people and I have 2,400 concealed weapons.
Rikess: How many?
Sheriff: 2400. Here’s the best news…25% of those 2400…are females. Jack, that’s great stuff right there.
Rikess: Because they’re not threatening like men?
Sheriff: No, because I want women to be able to protect themselves. The former sheriff said, “Tom, as sheriff of the county, you have the legal ability to empower someone to take care of their own personal safety.” Wow, that’s some pretty heavy words there.
Rikess: Okay my next question is…it seems like violence has increased here in the last year…
Sheriff: A very specific type of violence… Other violence hasn’t, road rage hasn’t, child abuse hasn’t [increased.]…
Rikess: But why would you want to introduce more guns into the community? What benefits you by doing that? [I say] the more guns [you introduce] into the community, some of those guns don’t find their way back to where they’re supposed to.
Sheriff: Right. So I have 2,500 concealed weapons approximately out there with people who have gone through the 16 hour course, they’ve been finger-printed; they’ve paid a total of about $300. They’ve been interviewed by my command staff.  I’ve reviewed their file. Now out of those 2,500, seriously Jack, I want you to really think about this one, on an annual basis, how many people with concealed weapons get in the eyes of law enforcement because of they’re carrying a concealed weapon.
Rikess: I would say a very small percent.
Sheriff:  Three a year, when I say they come on the radar of law enforcement, it’s not because they’re brandishing a fire arm. When they come up on the radar [it is usually because of what’s written] on the bottom of the concealed weapons permit. It says, “Not valid if under the influence of alcohol or drugs.” We have probably about three people per year who get arrested for DUI that have their concealed weapon and we say, you were illegally carrying a concealed weapon.
Rikess: Do you feel, are you supportive of the use of concealed weapons in America?  Let’s say in Arizona? Arizona where they can bring ’em into bars and such.
Sheriff: Well, I disagree with Arizona’s policies, because their screening is not as serious as what I just said we go through.
Rikess:  So you’re saying guns in your point of view is a little like medical marijuana, it’s up to the states and the locale to work out the  . . .
Sheriff:  Concealed weapons, fire arms, are a states’ rights issue, so much so, that right now, this is scary, Utah is saying, if we manufacture guns in Utah, if we sell guns in Utah, ATF has no legal authority to restrict what is made and sold in Utah because there’s no state borders that are crossed.  You know what? They’re right!  Oh my god, it’s pushing the states rights issue all the way up the line!
I got off topic. Because you’re here to talk about Medical Marijuana.
Rikess: And also, I’m here to talk about violence.
Sheriff: Ok, let’s talk about violence.
Rikess: What are your thoughts on a 31-bullet clip and amour-piercing bullets? 
Sheriff:  Well, I mean there are limitations.  Do I believe there is a need to prevent armor piercing rounds from entering the public? Of course I do.
My question for the average NRA member is, and I’m a very pro Second Amendment person: “Tell me where the line is.” I say, we start with a bb gun and we go to a nuclear bomb of weapons. Where is the line of what a citizen can have? Is it a nuclear bomb?”
Of course not, that’s crazy. Alright, well, we’re getting somewhere, you know, Let’s get down to a grenade, what about a grenade? And then we get to machine guns, what other…
Rikess: Their fear is that, and just like the marijuana people, if you take away their 31 [bullet] clip, you’re going to come after something else next.
Sheriff:  Is there a slippery slope?  The difference between gun ownership, I believe, and medical marijuana, is gun ownership is clearly defined in law.  When I send a deputy out on the street, and he finds a gun that could be illegal, he can look in his book and say, what’s the law, it is illegal. And I’m taking you to jail. However, when he goes out and stops a car with 20 pounds of marijuana in it and the guy has a recommendation from a doctor that says he can have 20 lbs of marijuana, he goes, “Oh”.
Rikess: Well my response to that is we [as a society] understand guns but we don’t understand marijuana.
Sheriff: Okay, I’m gonna change that…in my opinion…We as a society have grown up with guns since the Revolutionary War…
Rikess: …[You’re saying] Incorporated guns into our lifestyle…
Sheriff: …Since you know we beat the British. And marijuana has always been…Shhhh.  It is only in the last few years we’ve been able to talk about it openly.
Da Feds and Those Damn Black Helicopters
Rikess: In the last three weeks, the Federal Government has really amped up their busts and how they are treating the medical marijuana industry…
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Photo: The Fix
Sheriff: …Where?
Rikess: San Francisco. San Jose. The state of California. The weird thing is north of Cloverdale, all of a sudden, you guys are getting your stuff together. You’re doing cooperatives, dispensaries, and paperwork. [Still] A lot of people are not feeling good because they don’t trust the Feds.
Sheriff: Sure, okay. Whatever. And let me make sure I read this to you…
[The Sheriff reads the agreement of the collectives, ending with the phrase, “This does not give me [the collective] immunity from prosecution under Federal law.”
Rikess: Yes, we get it.
Sheriff: We have to say that.
Rikess: Sure, we can say that here. Even joke about it. We want to bring more people into your permitted zip-tie program. We’re trying to get people out of the shadows and say, “The time is right to come out.”
Sheriff: Sure, that’s what we’ve been saying too.
Rikess: Well, the same thing goes for your people. Your people are freaking us out.Your people are raising the bar with what it takes to come out. You’ve asked the growers to let go of 40 years of bad blood between the law enforcement and the growers. We know you’re a cop and you answer to authorities higher than us. 
Sheriff: No, I don’t. Please don’t say that. The voters are my boss.
Rikess: My point is, you just don’t answer to the growers but all the citizens of Mendocino. With that being said, this ‘Operation Full-Court Press,’ The War on Drugs,…The war…
Sheriff: …Please don’t use the War on Drugs, it’s not a good analogy…
Rikess: I disagree, what is it then?
Sheriff: The War on abusers of public land.
Rikess: Or how about another way to spin it, this a revenue stream for you guys…
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Photo: Democratic Underground
Sheriff: What???
Rikess: This is a revenue stream for you guys to create a false war on drugs by saying there are cartels in these national forest when they may be just the same as the other opportunist who are heading to Mendocino to get in on the ‘Green Rush,’ just like the Russians, Israelis…
Sheriff: Bulgarians, Germans…
Rikess: Right, so I’m saying that these Mexican growers in the forest might be just like those people, and not necessarily a cartel, but more in the vein of the other opportunists who come here. We also know when you find 10,000 seedlings in the National Forest; there is some organized syndicate behind it. Those grows take a lot of people to run. Whether it is a cartel, disorganized crime, or a group of gangsters, we’re not saying they are angels, but they might not necessarily be the Mexican mafia cartels as they are being painted in the papers and news. 
Sheriff: Okay, okay…Let me boil this down for you…Number one, you’ve never heard me use the word, ‘cartel,’ other than to correct people to never use the word, cartel. ‘Cause I’ve never said the word ‘cartel,’ in that sentence. What I say is…organized crime.
Rikess: Okay, we know there is …a certain build-up going on in Mendocino…
Sheriff: Okay, let’s talk about those black helicopters…The Blackhawks…
Rikess: Okay…
Sheriff: The Blackhawks… Why are they here?
Rikess: Okay, let’s start there. Were they here?
Sheriff: They were here, two of them.
Rikess: Okay…
Sheriff: They were here. Why were they here?
Rikess: Should I tell you what my people say? 
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Photo: Ganja Farmer’s Emerald Triangle News
Sheriff: We did a press release on this but go ahead…
Rikess: I tell you what my people say…Homeland Security is here and they’re not leaving.
Sheriff: Oh well…wait, your people are right.
Rikess: Huh? Really?
Sheriff: So, why are they here?
Rikess: ?
Sheriff: You didn’t answer my question.
Rikess: Cause they got their foot in the door…
Sheriff: …Really? Of what?
Rikess: …I tell you what…What they are doing here is….They are equating what is going on here, with terrorism. And if they can equate it with terrorism, then they got Homeland Security. And if Homeland Security can get a foothold…
Sheriff: C’mon, Jack. [Laughs at Jack’s logic, shaking his head] The drugs of the Sixties were too good.
Rikess: …Let me finish…Then you can tell me where I’m wrong…
Sheriff: …You’re wrong already…
Rikess: Okay, when you can equate the organized crime going on in our national forest with terrorism, once you can do that…You can win the hearts and the minds of the people and then you guys can get as much money as you need to do your job. It starts getting to be about money. And this is a smokescreen to amp up the war on drugs, which we are trying to deflate and change, and you guys are doing business as usual. And this is a revenue stream. The war on drugs doesn’t work, and you guys don’t know it.
Sheriff: I’ll send you a bill for counseling…’Cause you got a lot of stuff off your chest… And the three words I’ve heard from my wife many times — I’ve been married 26 years — You are wrong.
And it’s very basic. You are wrong.
Rikess: To be very clear, tell me exactly what I’m wrong about.
Sheriff: Do you know what revenue we’re getting? Do you know what money we’re getting?
Rikess: Yes, I read about it…I got it here. [Jack pulls out article detailing the Sheriff’s budget.]
Sheriff: No, no, stop. Don’t have a preconceived notion of what my budget is…
Rikess: I have the answer here… 
Sheriff: No you don’t, because you don’t know the question.
Rikess: Sorry to cut you off, [checks notes] but you guys received $236,000…
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Photo: StoptheDrugWar.org
Sheriff: That money is only going to be used to reimburse Mendocino County for the cost associated with overtime and logistics for this operation.
Rikess: So was I right?
Sheriff: If the Federal government said, “Tom, we have $236,000,” and I don’t know if that is the correct figure…
Rikess: It is, roughly.
Sheriff: “…We have $236,000 and it is yours, but are you going to use it for marijuana or methamphetamine? I would be out of that office in a thirty second because I would answer one word, “Methamphetamine.”
Rikess: That’s what we want too! To change the focus…
Sheriff: First of all, Blackhawks. The Blackhawks were not transporting soldiers or law enforcement other than the pilot was a military guy. They were transporting biologists to Lake County, and environmentalists, because they were doing reclamation of some of the older gardens that were not covered with snow…
Rikess: Couldn’t you say, “Boys, couldn’t we get a couple of nondescript helicopters in here because of as soon as you bring in black helicopters, my people are going to get paranoid.” 
Sheriff: Oh Jack. Tell me what the price of a helicopter is? Tell me what the price is? I can I tell you? If I got a helicopter the size of a Blackhawk that can transport stuff and lift up stuff. I’d have to pay around $2,000 per hour. Y’know the price that military helicopter cost me?
Rikess: You’re talking logic. I’m talking about Mendocino people. When you have these Blackhawk military helicopters landing, people are going to talk. 
Sheriff: As far as Blackhawk helicopters go, I can’t afford other helicopters. I can’t afford them.
Those helicopters were doing reclamation in Lake County and the national forests. They were really and truly improving the quality of land when a Lake County sheriff’s sergeant, two weeks ago…didn’t even know the Blackhawk helicopters were there. He’s driving up to the national forest to do good, sees a van on the side of the road. Gets out of his car, watches three Mexicans with guns run into the bushes. Gets one Mexican with a gun and takes him into custody. Finds probably a thousand dollars worth of water fittings. I don’t know if I could fit a thousand dollars of water fittings in this room? Okay?
And so…was the Blackhawk helicopter involved? Were they involved with the enforcement action that day? Of course they were! But we can’t predict what is going to happen? Are there going…
Rikess: …Tom…
Sheriff: Hold on; let me ask the question you’re going to ask…
Rikess: Okay.
Sheriff: Are there going to be Blackhawks this summer in Mendocino? Absolutely there are… [Editor’s note: This was about a month before this year’s eradication effort, Operation Full Court Press began.]
Rikess: Are there going to be Blackhawks in Covelo?
Sheriff: Of course there are. I cannot afford other helicopters.
Rikess: Are you saying this is a government thing? That in the rental pool, all you got to choose from is those darn Blackhawks? 
Sheriff: Yeah, Air National Guard. This is what they got.
Rikess: So you’re saying if there was another helicopter to choose from, you would? That you don’t have another choice.
Sheriff: I don’t have choice. Air National Guard. This is it.
Rikess: So that’s your answer. 
Sheriff: That’s it. They are taxi cabs. They’ll be used for transport of some of the Federal officers…
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Photo: In The Pines
Rikess: One more question. I have reports of drones being seen in Covelo.
Sheriff: Those reports are wrong.
Rikess: Just one more time. The people who reported this to me, didn’t have pictures, [so I don’t have proof] but there are all these people worried, and part of the reason I’m here is to defuse paranoia, and I trust you, Tom Allman.
[Sheriff Tom Allman stands and retrieves a picture of wife and kids.]
Sheriff: This is a picture of my family. I’m going to put my right hand on the picture and say, “From the bottom of my heart, nobody on god’s green earth has given my any information that there is unmanned aircraft patrolling any part of this county.
Rikess: Okay, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t ask this question. Would they keep you out of the loop so you wouldn’t have to answer questions like this? 
Sheriff: No, that would seriously damage the relationship between local and federal government.
Rikess: Third thing…then I’ll leave it. Would you tell them [the federal government] that you are adamantly against drones being used anywhere in my county?
Sheriff: Okay, let’s talk about that before I say that…
Rikess: Okay.
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Photo: Business Insider
Sheriff: When this program first started, I asked about drones. Because the purpose of intelligence gathering, is to find out where in the national forest…there’s a hotbed of activity. Okay? In other words, where people are? So…drones may be the right answer. And I thought it was a legitimate question and then I was clearly told by the FAA. Drones inside the political boundaries of the United States of America, are illegal, except for on the American-Mexican border. I can’t fly drones even if I wanted to.
Rikess: That’s great. That is the most concrete logical answer. So we can say if there ever was actually a drone within this area…that would be illegal activity. So it wouldn’t happen.
Sheriff: Period. End of statement.
Trust
Rikess: We want people coming out. We want to be able to trust, I don’t know if that’s the best choice of words…to trust the Sheriff’s Department…That when they [the growers who will register] come forward…it’s going to be okay for them…
Sheriff: …And all of that’s true right there…All of that’s true.
Rikess: That’s not true [for some]. Some people said, “I came out in 2008 [registering and doing the paperwork for the zip-tie program, e.g. giving the police department my name and that I’m growing] and when it didn’t happen in 2009 (the program was suspended for that one year and has functioned every year since), I got very scared.” And I’m crossing my fingers for 2010, and now, 2011, and hopefully, 2012.
Sheriff: We didn’t bust any of those people, did we?
Rikess: Right.
Sheriff: Sounds to me like its working, huh?
Marketing Tools
Sheriff: The Five Percenters…
Rikess: What? 
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The Pot Republic
Sheriff: Here’s the Tom Allman’s unofficial survey. Five percent of the population believes…if you have a marijuana cigarette, marijuana seed, marijuana plant, you should go to federal prison for the rest of your life. Okay, five percent of the population on the other side believe… You can do anything you want with marijuana, heroin, any natural drug… Smoke it until your head caves in.
I have learned through my 29 years of law enforcement, there’s nothing I can say to those two outlets at this point to get them to change anything. All they want to do is try to change me and harden my stance, one way or another. So I’ve come to the conclusion… I hardly listen to these people. [But] The 90 percent in the middle…The ones who want to make change, all right.
Rikess: And that’s what I’m doing here today, representing the 90 percent… Y’know…We…
Sheriff: …Can’t we all get along?
Rikess: Well, more so than that is…We’ve stuck our necks out supporting you…
Sheriff: Whoa…
Rikess: You don’t owe us anything for that…
Sheriff: (Shakes his head)
Rikess: But, we want things in return…And…and…we understand as the Big Cop, you can’t always give us things we want, like when we say, we don’t want you to smash the Mom and Pop’s on the way to the big grows….
Sheriff: …Right…
Rikess: That can’t be guaranteed. 
Sheriff: Here’s what I will guarantee…
Rikess: Okay. I think I got a scoop.
Sheriff: No.
Rikess: Oh…
Sheriff: There will be no 25-plant gardens eradicated this summer. I think that’s a really, reasonable guarantee.
Rikess: I had this conversation with somebody last night and I was unclear with this…with 25 plants, they don’t need to get it permitted. [Editor’s note: You still need a medical marijuana card in order to grow.]
Sheriff: No.
Rikess: Right…So what they told me is…They can be hassled by your deputies for up to three hours to determine [if they have a doctor’s recommendation]…So I said to someone…is it beneficial for you…someone to get the permits…the zip-ties on your 25-plant garden? 
Sheriff: You’re confusing permits and zip-ties…Just to let you know. You don’t need a permit to get 25 zip-ties.
Rikess: Right.
Sheriff: You just need cash.
Rikess: Sorry. And I said, is it worth it for you to get zip-ties on your 25 plants for peace of mind?
Sheriff: Yep, that’s it.
Rikess: They said yes because lot of times, these helicopters will come into our compounds, they look around, if they see the zip-ties, they just take-off. 
Sheriff: Isn’t that amazing?
Rikess: I say that is incredibly amazing. 
Sheriff: Yep.
Rikess: That is just amazing. And it’s progress. 
Sheriff: Last year probably the biggest marking tool we had is when a guy got stopped by one of our law enforcement officers, who is one of the most aggressive against marijuana going…[this guy] was stopped with thirty thousand cash [on-board and he told the officer that he was part of a permitted cooperative.] On his cell phone, the officer called Sergeant J. to inquire if the stopped gentleman was indeed part of a legitimate cooperative? Sergeant J. said, “Yes, he’s permitted.” And the guy and his cash were allowed to continue southbound. And that word got out… One step further.
Marijuana Is Sexy
Rikess: Alright. I’m going to end with this…
Sheriff: All right. The hardest question of the day. (Tom in an announcer’s voice)  “Ladies and gentlemen, could you please stand-by for the hardest question of the day.”
Rikess: This isn’t even the hardest…this is…Why is…Why is this thing so god-damn confusing?
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Photo: Stop Pop Culture
Sheriff: Let me tell you why… One of my goals has been to take marijuana off the front page. So now the question is…Who wants to take it off the front page?
Because…Or… How about this? Who doesn’t want it taken off the front page? And who doesn’t is… is a longer list than who does. Because the media does not want it off the front page. Marijuana is sexy. Marijuana is just… everyone wants to read about marijuana. Whether you’re pro, con or whatever…
It is on the front page. You want to read it. It is on 60 Minutes. You want to look at it.
All these things — it’s sexy.
Second thing of why it is confusing… In my humble opinion, there are so many nuances to 9.31, that we had radicals, and that’s a strong term I rarely use, from both sides…Those five-percenters, okay? [And they] pick and choose what they’re talking points are…and they use those talking points… And 90 percent of the middle says, “What about this?” When they’re trying to have an educated argument.
And the five percent who say, “You shouldn’t ever have anything.” Here are their talking points: Number one, “Because the Federal Government says it is illegal.” [And above these growers] “These people don’t pay taxes. You and I pay taxes. These people should pay taxes.”
For the other five percent… [The Sheriff uses his holier than thou voice] “It’s a God-given herb. Why can’t you let us have it?” Then they’ll start to use the alcohol thing. You know what? Radiation is God-given element on this Earth. So I’m surely not going to agree with what their talking points are. If these people keep throwing their talking points out there to confuse the mix, and all I say…and all these 90 in the middle says, “You know what? I think we can come up with a happy medium. So we are. We’re coming up with a happy medium.
Find Your Own Solutions
Rikess: A person has asked me to ask you this. Someone is growing 25 plants on a parcel…
Sheriff: And they end up with 100 pounds…
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Photo: Science Daily
Rikess: No, just the opposite. This person is growing with a collective because he or she can’t grow on their property or cannot be part of a 99-plant grow, and is under the umbrella or part of cooperative that is growing 25 plants. There’s 12 people part of this collective.
At the end of the season because of bugs, mildew, theft, what have you, and for my readers, this is a legitimate operation. At the end of the season things don’t go right for these people. Now then there are 10 plants for 12 people.
The people who are trying to grow their own marijuana are down to one and half plants each. And in six months’ time, they’re searching out for other…means to grow marijuana. It isn’t realistic…
Sheriff: Well, it is actually…If they’re from the northern part of the county it’s realistic because the plants we eradicated out of Laytonville were seven pound plants. But go ahead…
Rikess: Okay. We want to understand that you do realize 25 plants for 10 people is unrealistic. We understand it is advancement. We understand it is a first step. Then there is this Kelly law which I don’t understand because it seems it directs the answer to that question but it never answers that question directly. Tom, do you know what I mean…
Sheriff: Keep talking. I know exactly what you are saying…
Rikess: So, you’re doing the best you can. Some people can’t get into the 99 plant because of water, electricity, blah, blah, blah. Some can’t grow for whatever the reason, so they grow with a collective. So like I said, they are forced to seek out other means to grow this medicine.   
So the plan has a hole in it. If the plan is to be realistic, and we’re not with that five percent that says, let me grow as much as I need, for as many people…There has to be regulations…But do you understand where we’re coming from…
Sheriff: Number one, let’s get off straight. You ask me a question. Don’t I realize that 25 may not be enough? Well… Listen, if it was up to me, a lot of things would change in this world. But the world according to Tom is not what fills up law books. Okay? So… Do I realize that? I realize that…however; let me tell you why I’d throw the bullshit flag on this if someone wanted to challenge me in public on this.
Okay, there’s 12 of you. I want to make sure there’s 12 of you. Yeah. This is 25 plants per parcel. This is per parcel. Are you saying between the other 11 of you, there is no other place to grow it?
Rikess: Yes…
Sheriff: Because I would follow by saying…Remember when I told you about the one-percenters? The single digit percentage of people who are legitimate? That means there is a double-digit high percentage of people who are illegitimate. And they just waiting for someone to come to them and say, I have a recommendation, I have cancer. And I don’t have a place to grow.
And they go, hallelujah. I’ve legitimized my marijuana. Please come on in! And they welcome them in. And they take care of it.
All you have to do in a marijuana community is talk to other people and you can take care of your problem. But if you want to lay awake at night and find a kink in the system, hell, you can do it. These 12 people, I’m going to say, have not ventured out to find out what they can do. I don’t know of any real situation that you just said, unless the people cannot venture out and cannot figure out what to do…
Why Permits Work
Rikess: When it comes to the purchasing of permits and zip-ties, I’ve encountered two schools of thought from growers who are coming forward. One belief is they do it for civic pride and peace of mind. That once they’re permitted and legit: they’ve done away with the local law enforcement intangible. There’s another school of thought that’s more cynical, that calls it blood money. They believe it’s what they have to pay to law enforcement to grow their medicine. What do you do with the money you make from permits and zip-ties?
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Photo: News Junkie Post
Sheriff Tom Allman has been supportive of medical marijuana patients who go by the rules.
Sheriff: My business shows that if I have a hundred of these files, I’ve collected $600,000 from these people. The rules state that the money I take in can only be used for what impacts this office. People think that this money goes to just keeping on deputies or that it is some kind of revenue stream. By law, I can only use this money for what impacts this office. I could give you a lot of figures, real numbers that would stagger your mind. Okay?
Marijuana impacts Mendocino County. And we’re just not talking medicinal, okay? So from April 20th to October, marijuana impacts this county greatly, not to mention the rest of the year, but spikes during this period. That’s what this money is used for. To try to keep up with the bad guys and do right for the good guys, okay? Again, we support legitimate medical marijuana. Everything costs money.
The money I’ve taken in so far only reimburses about a third of my expenses. Again, I’m operating on the same size budget that the Mendocino County Sheriff’s office had during the LBJ era.
Remember, some of the most vocal opponents to marijuana in Mendocino County complain that these marijuana growers don’t pay taxes like the rest of us good folk do. The money from permits and zip-ties silences that argument.
So I have this business plan, you take money in and you also understand that with the money comes that obligation… We’re trying to do the right thing for all residents of Mendocino County. So far we’ve found a pragmatic solution that seems to be working. And what we’re going to do is… everything we can do… to protect the legitimacy of the operation.
Packaged Marijuana Good, Live Marijuana Bad
Rikess: I don’t know if you know about this…What am I saying? You know everything.
Sheriff: You mean that ticket you didn’t pay in ’88? I know all about it…
Rikess: Wow, you’re good.
Sheriff: I know it…
Rikess: I had to change my name to get out of that…So…Joy Greenfield. 
Sheriff: Oh, yeah, okay.
Rikess: I want to hear it from the cop’s mouth. 
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Photo: Fark
Sheriff: ‘Kay.
Rikess: This is what my people tell me…
Sheriff: (laughs) My people? My peeps?
Rikess: Sorry, I just love saying that. (Both laugh) And again, I want to be really clear. I represent no one. 
Sheriff: Okay…Joy Greenfield…
Rikess: Okay, here’s the deal up here…is Joy Greenfield got busted.
Sheriff: Yes…By? Finish the sentence…
Rikess: DEA. 
Sheriff: DEA.
Rikess: And she got her crop taken…
Sheriff: Yep…
Rikess: Not returned…
Sheriff: Well…
Rikess: Hey, hey, hey.
Sheriff: How can you return grown marijuana?
Rikess: It was told that it was a bad bust and it should be returned. And the people up here say, “What we do is, because we do not want to accrue legal expenses, we take the loss with the weed…”  
Sheriff: Cost of doing business.
Rikess: Cost of doing business, right? They say she should have got her medicine back. 
Sheriff: …By the federal government?
Rikess: Yes. 
Sheriff: I’m not aware of the federal government ever returning marijuana.
Rikess: They do.
Sheriff: THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT?
Rikess: The federal government. 
Sheriff: Happens all the time?
Rikess: Not all the time…but on busts…that are inappropriate…
Sheriff: I’m assuming… when they return it…they’re returning the package processed product, not the live plant. Because we take those out and destroy them.
Rikess: I didn’t know that…
Sheriff: And its unknown how we destroy them…No one knows that…It’s unknow
Rikess: What do you mean?
Sheriff: Well…I’m not telling you…
Rikess: You mean besides for burning them in the backyard?
Sheriff: We don’t burn them…
Rikess: Okay…Can we do 20 questions? Number one, do they go into a container?
Sheriff: No. We destroy them.
Rikess: How do you destroy them? 
Sheriff: In the accordance of law.
Rikess: C’mon tell me…
Sheriff: C’MON, JACK!
Rikess: No, this is cool. How do you destroy marijuana? What could you possibly do different than incinerate it? 
Sheriff: Okay, you’re talking to Tom Allman. So how would Tom Allman…?
Rikess: Encase all that seized marijuana in a thick glass box with glue all over it… So you can have those… those hippies look at stuff that they could never touch… And catch the ones that do touch it.
Sheriff: This isn’t for public dissemination. Stop the tape recorder and I’ll tell you…
(tape recorders stops)
[The Sheriff tells Jack one of Mendo’s biggest secrets.]
[Tape recorder comes back on.]
Rikess: You were worried about me writing about allowing the Vets in your jail to celebrate Veteran’s Day with a BBQ while dressed in their uniforms. Nothing happened with that and that was published…So why I don’t come out with how you get rid of marijuana?
Sheriff: I can’t.
Rikess: But Tom, you do so many good programs here. You should come out about them.
Sheriff: BREAD’S my favorite.
Rikess: What’s that?
Sheriff: When I took office, I was walking through the jail …And I went into the kitchen…I created a baker’s program. The inmates learn how to make breads, cakes, pastries, mostly their learning a trade. So now we’re up to 16 [accredited bakers] and we had one guy come back, but we put him right back into the Bread program, because…he’s a good inmate.
Rikess: Alright. I’m going to end with that…Thanks a lot.

Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act Of 2012

regulate cannabis like wineThis is the language from the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine webpage:

Section 1. Findings, Declarations, Purpose, Directives, and Orders

Section 11362.95 is added to the Health and Safety Code:

11362.95. This section shall be known as and may be cited as the “Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act of 2012,” known hereinafter as the “Act.”

(a) The People of the State of California find and declare all of the following:

(1) Outlawing marijuana has not reduced its availability and has resulted in making it easier for minors to acquire. Adults 21 years and older are responsible to use and cultivate marijuana, and should not be subject to sanctions or criminal penalties.

(2) Marijuana is an untapped revenue source for the State of California, and that the best way to tap into that source for the benefit of all Californians is to tax and regulate it.

(3) The regulation of marijuana will benefit the People of the State of California by reducing criminal gang and cartel activity, promoting agriculture, creating jobs by creating a new hemp industry in the State of California, and reducing the fiscal and overpopulation burdens on courts, jails, and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

(b) This Act does the following:

(1) Amends California Health and Safety Code sections 11357, 11358, 11359, 11360, 11366, 11366.5, 11469, et seq., 11485, Vehicle Code section 23222(b), and all other statutes that restrict or prohibit persons 21 years and older and/or qualifying business entities, from all activities approved herein; such that persons 21 years or older, and approved business entities, shall no longer be prohibited from the use, possession, trade, packaging, gifting, sales, distribution, storage, transportation, production, or cultivation of marijuana. All said statutes state, Òexcept as authorized by law,Ó and this section, notwithstanding any contrary statute or provision, provides exceptions.

(2) Marijuana, THC, and CBD explicitly and/or by inference, are removed from Health and Safety Code section 11054.

(3) This act does not control, repeal, modify, or change statutes pertaining to:

(A) Operating a motor vehicle;

(B) Using marijuana or being impaired in the workplace or public nonsmoking areas;

(C) Providing, transferring, use, possession, cultivation, processing, sales, distribution, transporting, or storing on premises of marijuana to or by persons under 21 years of age;

(D) Medical marijuana statutes as set forth in Proposition 215 (H&S11362.5) and its progeny.

(4) Amends statutes that criminalize the use, possession, cultivation, processing, transportation, storage, distribution, gifting and/or selling of marijuana in any form, or method of ingestion by persons 21 years of age or older. Legalizes all such for-profit or non-profit activities by these persons, groups, and approved business entities, and does not subject these persons/entities to search, arrest, prosecution, seizure, asset forfeiture, and/or any criminal or civil penalty or sanction. Adds to each statute referenced above in Health and Safety Code Section 11362.95 (b) (1) (in this Section 1): ÒThis statute and its provisions do not apply to any person 21 years or older, or to qualifying business entities and approved activities in Section 11395.Ó

(5) Qualifying or approved business entities include those operated by individuals 21 years and older, any recognized business entity, farm, processor, packager, broker, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, winery, or on-sale and off-sale wine and beer business. To the extent of appropriate jurisdiction, these commercial enterprises or businesses shall be regulated by, and fees paid to, the state Alcohol Beverage Control or Agricultural Commissioner, just as with farming businesses, and alcohol licenses and sales. However, no such agency or employee shall act to delay, defeat, or limit the number of commercial cultivation licenses, nor charge higher fees than in the alcohol or winery industries, for any activity or provision granted herein. Unless by regulating local alcohol sales, local zoning to regulate, limit, or defeat any activity approved herein, shall not be considered by these agencies and shall have no effect on this industry. The Agricultural Commissioner shall be responsible for true weights and measures.

(6) The adult activities for this class enumerated herein have no victim(s) and are not subject to sanctions nor punishment.

(7) All pending court actions under said amended statutes that conflict with the provisions of this Act shall be dismissed with prejudice.

(8) The state and/or local jurisdictions may regulate the processing, distribution, sales, and outdoor use within 600 feet of a public school, and in residential zones.

(9) Experimentation, development, research, testing, cultivation, sales, or possession of genetically-modified (GMO) marijuana, hemp, and its seeds, shall be banned throughout the state of California.

(c) The People of the State of California hereby declare that this Act expressly prohibits the following:

(1) This Act adopts the definitions of marijuana and THC as they are presently set forth in Health and Safety Code Sections 11018 and 11006.5, but those definitions shall be broadly interpreted to include and allow the species Cannabis Indica, Ruderalis, and Americana, as well as any plant part, form, derivative, interspecies hybrids or cross-breeds, and all non-genetically-modified strains of the Cannabis genus and plant.

(2) Existing taxes and regulations which may be similar and may apply in the grape farming and wine industries, produce and processed agricultural products and brokerage industry, distribution, retail sales, and wholesale transactions of agricultural crops and products shall apply to marijuana, regardless of THC level, using the grape farming and winery industry as an example, so long as the results support these declarations, purposes and goals.

(3) All wholesale and retail products with a final THC level below 0.1 percent shall be authorized for sales as hemp products. All marijuana or hemp products with a THC level of 0.1 percent or above shall be restricted for sales to persons 21 years or older and regulated in a manner similar to wine, so long as the results support these declarations, purposes and goals.

(4) The State of California, and all branches of its government, shall liberally construe the meaning and implementation of this Act to favor and benefit individuals, and qualifying business entities as follows:

(A) No taxes, fees, laws, rules, regulations, local city or county zoning requirements may be adopted or enacted to defeat, deny, or prohibit the purposes of this Act, or to defeat, deny, or prohibit persons 21 years or older, associations, organizations, commercial, agricultural, or industrial businesses from engaging in the activities protected by this Act. Willful violations of this act shall be considered violations of civil rights as they apply to support these activities and which can result in serious civil fines and penalties.

(B) Adult alcohol manufacturing and use in the winery and beer industries allow for non-commercial home brewing. Any person, association, or collective group not producing more than 12 outdoor flowering plants per adult, or 25 indoor flowering plants per adult, shall be exempt from commercial regulations of the alcohol industry model, excises, fees, and taxes, except for income taxes and sales taxes, if they apply. This act creates and requires statewide standards and preempts and nullifies any conflicting local regulations, while allowing local jurisdictions limited regulation over cultivation in residential zones. However, no local residential regulation shall disallow a maximum total of 12 outdoor or 25 indoor plants per residence in a residential zone.

(C) No regulations, taxes, or fees shall be enacted or imposed for marijuana for qualifying persons and entities, which are more severe or restrictive than those comparable and reasonable in the commercial wine grape farming and winery regulations of the alcohol industry model, including but not limited to, farming, planting, cultivating, irrigating, harvesting, processing, brokering, packaging, processing, storing, selling, distributing, and establishment of retail businesses, cooperatives or collective associations

(5) Regardless of jurisdictional arguments, all state, local, elected, appointed, hired employees, officers, and officials shall refuse to and shall not cooperate with or assist federal, state, or local officials, volunteers, or employees who eradicate marijuana, act for seizure or forfeiture, or defeat any liberally construed purpose of this Act, or to operate under any contract or arrangement to repeal or circumvent this Act directly or indirectly, or to follow or abide by any federal laws or regulations that are in conflict with this Act. Further, no such person acting alone, or with any other person, judicial, legislative or executive body, may contract or agree to cooperate with or assist federal officials, employees, agencies or departments to obtain any revenue, reimbursement, money, property, gain, or advantage by the arrest, prosecution, conviction, or deprivation or seizure of property of anyone acting within the age/qualifying business entity provisions of this Act. This does not apply to federal lands.

(6) Within 30 days of passage of this Act, the offices of both the state Attorney General and the Department of Public Health shall inform the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the United States Attorney General, Congress, Drug Enforcement Agency, and Food and Drug Administration that in 1996 the state of California recognized the current medical use of marijuana in treatment in the United States, and since 1996 has approved a state-regulated physician medical marijuana practice. Physicians have evaluated thousands of patients who have used marijuana with no reported addiction or adverse consequences, and for that reason demands or petitions as is appropriate (see 21 CFR 1308.43, 21 USC 811-812) that marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinols as defined in §21 USC 802(16) be removed from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, 21 USC 800 et seq., where it is currently listed as an addictive drug with no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.

(7) The State of California is ordered to protect and defend all provisions of this Act from any and all challenges or litigation, whether by persons, officials, cities, counties, the state or federal governments.

(8) Any and all commercial advertising for sales, distribution, and use of marijuana, except for medical marijuana and products that contain less than 0.1 percent THC. This provision shall be enforced hereafter by penalties to be set forth by the Legislature.

(d) This Act shall become effective immediately upon passage.

Section 2. Severability

If any of the provisions of this Act, or any part thereof, is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional, the remaining provisions shall not be affected, but shall remain in full force and effect, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

SECTION 3. Conflicting Measures

If this Act is approved by the voters but superseded by law by any other
conflicting ballot measure approved by the voters at the same election, and the
conflicting measures are later held invalid, this Act shall be self-executing and
given the full force of law.

5 Tips For Choosing A Medical Marijuana Dispensary

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Photo: Steve Elliott ~alapoet~
The “medicine wheel” at Ben Reagan’s dispensary, The C.P.C., is used to demonstrate for patients the continuum between saliva and indica varieties of medicinal cannabis.

Co-Founder, The C.P.C.

Choosing alternative medicine such as medical cannabis is a big decision, and one you probably took a long time to make.  Now that you’re here, and whether or not you were previously a cannabis user, there are a few things you should know about dispensaries (also known as collectives) to ensure that you get the quality of life improvement and medical benefits you’re looking for.
Here are five tips to help get you started on your new journey.

1.  Store nearest you. 
Some cities like Seattle are one of the most progressive, medical cannabis-friendly cities in the Unites States, having recently gone from 10 to approximately 51 known, licensed dispensaries in a very short time.
If you live in one of the other medical-cannabis friendly cities such as Denver, chances are there is a collective within 10 minutes of you, and a large majority of them have delivery services. Or if you’re really lucky, in California in cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, dispensaries are practically more common than Starbucks.
Of course, continuing legislative flux can have an impact in your state, such as Arizona, where confusing laws have slowed down the approval process for new dispensaries, and unfortunately the attorney general is jockeying to close them down.
Either way, do some research, you have lots of choices ─ some of our favorite resources include WeedmapsPotlocatorTHC List, and CannabisNW.
2. The Experience.
For all of us it’s the “experience” that counts, and with dispensaries this is even more so.
For starters, think about the type of experience you’re seeking. Some collectives taking form in Washington are prone to the California model with heavy security doors, bullet-proof glass and large display jars.
Other dispensaries have lounge areas that, while they remain smoke free, offer a comfortable setting to review medicines, new products, and treatment plans.
Some focus on a groundwork/community model like the Farmers Markets in Seattle and Tacoma, where you can experience a large number of vendors offering more of a “home grown” experience in a market setting.
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Photo: Steve Elliott ~alapoet~
Jeremy Kaufman, left, and Ben Reagan at The C.P.C. dispensary in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood
​Some, like The CPC, the Seattle dispensary I co-founded with my partner Jeremy Kaufman, have opted for a more personal, one-on-one experience that works on educating the customer so as a team, patient and dispensary can customize the medicine and treatment plan for specific conditions.
The CPC caters to folks that have serious pain management issues, sports injuries, back and neck pain, etc., so we’ve set it up more like a doctor’s office with first time consults lasting anywhere from 20-30 minutes at a time.
Folks should also consider the feel of the place, pricing, and even the level of community help. Do they give back?  Are they involved in the policy and regulation fight in their own city or state?
Finally, when you walk into your collective remember you are the one paying for the surroundings. You’re the one deciding what model you like with your collective buying power!
Bottom line, when you walk into a dispensary it should not look and feel like a place where “stoners” hang out.
For a great resource to see what other folks are experiencing and chatting about check out the forum at LegalMarijuanaDispensary.com.
3. Knowledge. 
Do you leave your collective feeling like you do when you leave your doctor’s office?
Are the folks running it more informed than you, and equipped with the knowledge that will enable you to deal with the ailments and illnesses that are impacting your quality of life? Does the dispensary encourage you to ask questions?
When you leave your chosen place do you feel enriched by what you got from there?
You can tell how much interest they have in sharing knowledge by the environment they created for you.
Getting educated about the benefits for your particular condition will make a big difference in the impact this medicine has for you.  For example, when some people start to use medical cannabis, the unwanted experiences (paranoia, feeling uncomfortable, impaired) can easily be averted with a little consultation, knowledge and empathy for the patient.
The good news is that customized medicine can be created, for example in the case of a car accident the patient may suffer from back pain which is muscle-related, and whiplash which is nerve-related.  Blends are created to provide patient with “functionality” during the day and for pain management and sleep at night.
Find a dispensary with knowledgeable folks running the place, and your treatment plan, experience and quality of life will reflect that.
4. Quality of Medicine. 
There are myriads of things that take place during growing of the plant that have a big impact on the quality of medicine.  For example, the potency level (of THC-CBD-THCA); proper flushing (getting all the excess fertilizers out), and finally, curing and manicuring (the look and quality of the medicine).
Many collectives spend a good amount of time with their providers, learning and understanding his methods for growing effective medicine. Many here in the Seattle area have a natural approach and prefer organically grown medicine.
You can always ask about where it comes from and how it was grown.
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Photo: Steve Elliott ~alapoet~
Medicated caramels and a choice bud of “UW Med” strain medical cannabis from The C.P.C. in Seattle
​Moving on from the plant, most new patients don’t realize that edible cannabis medicine, also called medibles, are now a high-quality, highly effective alternative, and can be engineered to fight specific and highly targeted ailments and symptoms
Some medibles (candy, caramels, peanut butter cups, cookies, chocolates) can have a longer duration then combusting. Low tolerance folks will find they only need half a gram or less of cannabis to have an effect
Also, anything that melts in your mouth such as chocolate or caramels will have a sublingual effect allowing you to control how much of an immediate effect you receive.  Naturally, taking smaller bites will have the edible in your mouth longer and will give you a bigger initial brain effect.
For chronic pain management indica strains are used to produce a relaxed, heavy body effect.  And for nerve-related issues such as fibromyalgia, whiplash, sciatica, sativa strains are used to produce a body-based, clear-headed effect.
Additionally, sublinguals such as tinctures and candies are used when fast-acting relief is required, for example onset of a migraine headache. Topicals, such as creamswaxes and ointments reduce inflammation, pain, and ache, and do not produce a body or head “effect.”
Of course, inhalants remain the fastest way to get medicine into the system, and if you’re not familiar, many folks are opting for vaporizing which eliminates the need to combust.
Make sure to always ask if your dispensary offers products that are guaranteed for consistency, equitable strength, efficacy, etc.?
Net-net, pass on dispensaries that do not guarantee their products, or may simply stock their shelves so you have something to buy – beware the fake chocolate almond bar!
5. Commitment to the Community.
 
We mentioned earlier the need to evaluate your dispensary on its commitment to community. This industry is filled with passionate people, many who spend a good amount of time working hard to support the community.
For example, consider this Denver dispensary and its food drive to support the homeless, or this California dispensary that supported a local beach clean-up.
Part of having a Commitment to the Community is providing a positive face to what we do.
Does the place you go to follow common sense simple things, like signage that says “no medicating on site”, discretion in the signage, or is it located where children may be walking by on their way back and forth to school?
Ask the dispensary questions about their commitment to their community.
And be sure to mention what you think they can do better. As we all know, community works better with feedback!
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Photo courtesy Ben Reagan
Ben Reagan, co-founder, The C.P.C.
About the Author

Ben Reagan, co founder of The C.P.C, was inspired to join the industry after seeing the benefits of medical cannabis first-hand with a very close family member.
Ben brings a deep intelligence, vision, and dedication to his craft, and has an insatiable desire to seek out what’s new in the industry.
The C.P.C was co-founded as a means to assist those in our community who are seeking out alternative medicines and treatments under Chapter 69.51A RCW in the state of Washington.

Pot Grows, Yet California Judge Rules It Isn’t A Crop

And the stupidity continues with stupid decisions like this going on. Who knew a plant wasn’t a plant apparently?
It grows in the ground, requires sunshine and water to blossom and earns California growers an estimated $17 billion a year. But don’t call marijuana an agricultural crop in Tulare County.
The Fresno Bee (http://bit.ly/pwDIGg) reports that a judge ruled this week against a medical marijuana-growing collective that wanted to operate on land zoned for agriculture.
Tulare County Counsel Kathleen Bales-Lange says it’s the first time that courts have addressed whether marijuana can be classified as an agricultural crop. California voters legalized pot for medicinal purposes in 1996.
The case began when the county Board of Supervisors sued the Foothill Growers Association, which operated in an agriculture-zoned building.
In a ruling finalized Tuesday, Judge Paul Vortmann said the act of growing a controlled substance is not an agricultural use of property.
(Source) http://www.mercurynews.com

7 cannabis studies that will change everything…

​​ Welcome to Room 420, where your instructor is Mr. Ron Marczyk and your subjects are wellness, disease prevention, self actualization, and chillin’.
Worth Repeating
​By Ron Marczyk, R.N.
Since the 1960s, the major milestones our country has achieved are incredible.
We elected an African-American president, women’s issues have made tremendous progress, and gays and lesbians can marry.
But cannabis is still illegal…?  Not for long! 
As the tsunami of hard empirical positive medical cannabis research builds, it meets the inevitable changing younger demographics of our country, and with the need for new cannabis- based jobs and new tax revenue.
The cannabis legalization tipping point is close at hand!
“Cannabis is the people’s medicine” and has overwhelming public support.
Let’s knock this last domino over!
And to that end…
I would like to highlight several 2011 research papers that discuss the most current findings regarding medical cannabis treatment and disease prevention.

The following medical papers focus on:
• Cancer and colon cancer prevention,
• Inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, Crohn’s disease
• Vomiting from chemotherapy
• Osteoporosis
• Traumatic brain injury
• Heart disease /Heart attack
The concept of the endocannabinoid system was outlined a mere 14 years ago, and looks how far we have come!
Today “phytocannabinoid therapeutics” is the newest, fastest growing field in medical research.
As this medical cannabis evidence-based tsunami approaches, its main therapeutic action appears to restoring homeostasis to multiple body systems.
The action by which phytocannabinoids heal is by reestablishing the proper immune set points within CB 1/2 receptors in both brain and body.
Perhaps the root of many human illnesses is an anandamide deficiency, which, when corrected and rebalanced by THC intake, produces homeostasis.
Whatever anandamide does in the body, phytocannabinoids mimic. My prediction is that phytocannabinoids will ultimately be found to be an vital to human health.
Phytocannabinoids mimic the same actions of Anandamide in the brain and body, which maintain homeostasis, maintaining wellness and disease prevention!    

Cannabinoid Uses.jpg
Graphic: TRENDS In Pharmacological Sciences
Pharmacological actions of non-psychotropic cannabinoids (with the indication of the proposed mechanisms of action). Abbreviations: D 9 -THC, D 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol; D 8 -THC, D 8 -tetrahydrocannabinol; CBN, cannabinol; CBD, cannabidiol; D 9 -THCV, D 9 -tetrahydrocannabivarin; CBC, cannabichromene; CBG, cannabigerol; D 9 -THCA, D 9 -tetrahydrocannabinolic acid; CBDA, cannabidiolic acid; TRPV1, transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1; PPARg, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor g; ROS, reactive oxygen species; 5-HT1A, 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor subtype 1A; FAAH, fatty acid amide hydrolase. (+), direct or indirect activation; “, increase; #, decrease.
It’s All About THC
THC is unique, in that it is only found in one plant on earth.
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Photo: Rhinoseeds
Power Flower strain
​ The female cannabis plant is a THC-resin factory. THC, which makes up the plant’s resin, has the important job of collecting pollen from the male plant for fertilization. No THC-laced resin, no seed production.  Additionally, this resin tastes very bad to herbivores, which leave it alone, and it also offers superior UV protection to the plant at high altitudes.
A cannabis sativa flower coated with trichomes, which contain more THC than any other part of the plant
The cannabis plant has only two functions: to make THC and seeds.
THC is the most abundant “phytocannabinoid” within the cannabis plant.
All other THC-like substances in the plant are THC intermediate metabolites being assembled by the plant on their way to becoming THC.
Once the plant is cut down and dies, the THC degrades into cannabindiol.  Cannabinol (CBN) is the primary product of THC degradation, and there is usually little of it in a fresh plant. CBN content increases as THC degrades in storage, and with exposure to light and air, and it is only mildly psychoactive.
Why would just this one plant, and the phytocannabinoids it produces control not one, but two dedicated molecular receptors for phytocannabinoids, with more predicted to still be discovered?
Did evolution intend for them to be naturally consumed for proper body function? As any other plant-derived antioxidant?
How THC talks to the brain and immune system
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Graphic: How Stuff Works
​All healing, cancer fighting and aging in your body is controlled by the immune system.
Phytocannabinoids appear to control the activity level of the immune system up or down, so that it doesn’t attack its host or respond too weakly to cellular dysfunction. Whenever you hear the term “anti-inflammatory activity,” think “cannabis immune system control.”
CB1 cannabigenic receptors are the majority of receptor type in the synaptic clef. THC-activated CB1 brain receptors directly link up and control the microglial cells in the brain; the microglia is the specialized white blood cells that make up the brain’s dedicated immune system.
Cannabidiol is degraded THC. It activates CB2 receptors mostly in the body. In both cases, THC controls both immune systems (brain and body), in one form or another. It seems that CB1 brain receptors link up to CB2 body receptors, which in turn control many autoimmune diseases.
The word used to describe this cannabis brain/body link up is Psychoneuroimmunology.
Mind = neurotransmitter = immune system communication system, or in this case
Cannabinergic Psychoneuroimmunology” — cannabinoid-induced immune system healing.
Cannabis consciousness repairs your immune system: never underestimate the power of a bong hit!
#1:   “The Endocannabinoid System and Cancer: Therapeutic Implication” 
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Photo: WhyProhibition.ca
​Findings: Delta 9 THC as a treatment for breast, prostate, brain and bone cancer
“This review updates the relationship between the endocannabinoid system and anti-tumor actions (inhibition of cell proliferation and migration, induction of apoptosis, reduction of tumor growth) of the cannabinoids in different types of cancer.”
“The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for cancer, as identified in clinical trials, is also discussed. Identification of safe and effective treatments to manage and improve cancer therapy is critical to improve quality of life and reduce unnecessary suffering in cancer patients.”
“In this regard, cannabis-like, compounds offer therapeutic potential for the treatment of breast, prostate and bone cancer in patients. Further basic research on anti-cancer properties of cannabinoids as well as clinical trials of cannabinoid therapeutic efficacy in breast, prostate and bone cancer is therefore warranted.”
“The available literature suggests that the endocannabinoid system may be targeted to suppress the evolution and progression of breast, prostate and bone cancer as well as the accompanying pain syndromes. Although this review focuses on these three types of cancer, activation of the endocannabinoid signaling system produces anti-cancer effects in other types of cancer including skin, brain gliomas and lung.”
“Interestingly, cannabis trials in population based studies failed to show any evidence for increased risk of respiratory symptoms/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or lung cancer (Tashkin, 2005) associated with smoking cannabis.”
“Moreover, synthetic cannabinoids (Delta 9 THC) and the endocannabinoid system play a role in inhibiting cancer cell proliferation and angiogenesis, reducing tumor growth and metastases and inducing apoptosis ( self destruction for cancer cells) in all three types of cancers reviewed here.
“These observations raise the possibility that a dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system may promote cancer, by fostering physiological conditions that allow cancer cells to proliferate, migrate and grow.”
IMPORTANT: This is a very intriguing observation. What is being implied here is that some people may be suffering from an anandamide deficiency! Just as a diabetic is insulin deficiencient and must supplement their body with insulin, in this case THC is the vital medicine needed to replace low levels of anandamide.
These observations also raise the exciting possibility that enhancing cannabinoid tone (code for THC locking into the CB1 receptor) through cannabinoid based pharmacotherapies may attenuate these harmful processes to produce anti-cancer effects in humans.
Bottom line:  Smoking marijuana prevents cancer body-wide.
#2:  “Update on the Endocannabinoid System as an Anticancer Target” 
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Graphic: Americans for Safe Access
​Findings: antitumor effects, cancer prevention
“Recent studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) could offer an attractive antitumor target. Numerous findings suggest the involvement of this system (constituted mainly by cannabinoid receptors, endogenous compounds and the enzymes for their synthesis and degradation) in cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo.”
“This review covers literature from the past decade which highlights the potential of targeting the ECS for cancer treatment. In particular, the levels of endocannabinoids and the expression of their receptors in several types of cancer are discussed, along with the signaling pathways involved in the endocannabinoid antitumor effects.”
“Furthermore, targeting the ECS with agents that activate cannabinoid receptors (This means THC) or inhibitors of endogenous degrading systems such as fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitors may have relevant therapeutic impact on tumor growth. Additional studies into the downstream consequences of endocannabinoid treatment are required and may illuminate other potential therapeutic targets.”
#3:  “Cannabinoids and the gut: new developments and emerging concepts”
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Photo: Top News
​Findings: THC and inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis, colon cancer, vomiting/chemotherapy
“Disorders of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract have been treated with herbal and plant-based remedies for centuries. Prominent amongst these therapeutics are preparations derived from the marijuana plant Cannabis.  Cannabis has been used to treat a variety of GI conditions that range from enteric infections and inflammatory conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to disorders of motility, emesis and abdominal pain.”
“Cannabis has been used to treat gastrointestinal (GI) conditions that range from enteric infections and inflammatory conditions to disorders of motility, emesis and abdominal pain.”
“The mechanistic basis of these treatments emerged after the discovery of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol as the major constituent of Cannabis. Further progress was made when the receptors for Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol were identified as part of an endocannabinoid system, that consists of specific cannabinoid receptors.”
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Sites of action of cannabinoids in the enteric nervous system. CB2 receptors indicated with the marijuana leaf.
​  “Anatomical, physiological and pharmacological studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system is widely distributed throughout the gut, with regional variation and organ-specific actions.” (CB2 receptors are embedded within the lining of the intestines in large numbers.)
“They are involved in the regulation of food intake, nausea and emesis, gastric secretion and gastro protection, GI motility, ion transport, visceral sensation, intestinal inflammation and cell proliferation in the gut.”
“As we have shown, the endocannabinoid system is widely distributed throughout the gut, with regional variation and specific regional or organ-specific actions.”
“CB2 receptors are involved in the regulation of food intake, nausea and emesis, gastric secretion and gastro protection, GI motility, ion transport, visceral sensation, intestinal inflammation and cell proliferation (cancer)”
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How THC/cannabidiol activates the CB1/2 receptors to shut down colon cancer by signaling cancer cells to self-destruct
​ “Preclinical models have shown that modifying the endocannabinoid system can have beneficial effects…. Pharmacological agents that act on these targets have been shown in preclinical models to have therapeutic potential.” [THC is the Pharmacological agent mentioned.]
Colorectal Cancer Prevention Model

Cannabiols via CB1 and possibly CB2 receptor activation, have been shown to exert apoptotic actions in several colorectal cancer cell lines.
See the illustration at left for how THC/cannabidiol activates the CB1/2 receptors to shut down colon cancer by signaling cancer cells to self-destruct.
#4:   “Gut feelings about the endocannabinoid system”
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Graphic: CMR Journal
Schematic illustration of the functional roles of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the gastrointestinal tract. The ECS regulates four major functional elements in the gut: motility, secretion, inflammation, and sensation in health and disease. Major components of the ECS that have been defined in each of these functional roles are shown: CB1 and CB2 receptors, anandamide (AEA), fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), and the endocannabinoid membrane transporter (EMT). For motility, the CB2 receptors only appear to be active under pathophysiological conditions and are shown italicized.
​ Findings: Stemming from the centuries-old and well known effects of Cannabis on intestinal motility and secretion, research on the role of the endocannabinoid system in gut function and dysfunction has received ever increasing attention since the discovery of the cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands, the endocannabinoids.
In this article, some of the most recent developments in this field are discussed, with particular emphasis on new data, most of which are published in Neurogastroenterology & Motility, on the potential tonic endocannabinoid control of intestinal motility, the function of cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptors in gastric function, visceral pain, inflammation and sepsis, the emerging role of cannabinoid type-2 (CB2) receptors in the gut, and the pharmacology of endocannabinoid-related molecules and plant cannabinoids not necessarily acting via cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors.
These novel data highlight the multi-faceted aspects of endocannabinoid function in the GI tract, support the feasibility of the future therapeutic exploitation of this signaling system for the treatment of GI disorders, and leave space for some intriguing new hypotheses on the role of endocannabinoids in the gut.
#5: “Cannabinoids and the skeleton: from marijuana to reversal of bone loss”
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Graphic: Medicinal Cannabis
​Findings: CB2 receptors maintain bone remodeling balance, thus protecting the skeleton against age-related bone loss.
The active component of marijuana, Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, activates the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, thus mimicking the action of endogenous cannabinoids.
CB1 is predominantly neuronal and mediates the cannabinoid psychotropic effects. CB2 is predominantly expressed in peripheral tissues, mainly in pathological conditions. So far the main endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, have been found in bone at ‘brain’ levels.
The CB1 receptor is present mainly in skeletal sympathetic nerve terminals, thus regulating the adrenergic tonic restrain of bone formation. CB2 is expressed in osteoblasts and osteoclasts, stimulates bone formation, and inhibits bone resorption.
Because low bone mass is the only spontaneous phenotype so far reported in CB2 mutant mice, it appears that the main physiologic involvement of CB2 is associated with maintaining bone remodeling at balance, thus protecting the skeleton against age-related bone loss.
Indeed, in humans, polymorphisms in CNR2, the gene encoding CB2, are strongly associated with postmenopausal osteoporosis. Preclinical studies have shown that a synthetic CB2-specific agonist rescues ovariectomy-induced bone loss.
Taken together, the reports on cannabinoid receptors in mice and humans pave the way for the development of 1) diagnostic measures to identify osteoporosis-susceptible polymorphisms in CNR2, and 2) cannabinoid drugs to combat osteoporosis.
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Graphic: Fit Body Bootcamp
​​Findings: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) represents the leading cause of death in young individuals.
FINDING:  THC activation of the CB1 receptor is the same as the action of anaidemide on CB1 This article discusses how anandamide increases in the brain after injury, so THC may have the potential to become a front line emergency medicine in the future.
“There is a large body of evidence showing that eCB are markedly increased in response to pathogenic traumatic head injury events.”
“This fact, as well as numerous studies on experimental models of brain toxicity, neuroinflammation and trauma supports the notion that the eCB are part of the brain’s compensatory or repair mechanisms.”
These are mediated via CB receptors signalling pathways that are linked to neuronal survival and repair. The levels of 2-AG, the most highly abundant eCB, are significantly elevated after TBI and when administered to TBI mice, 2-AG decreases brain edema, inflammation and infarct volume and improves clinical recovery.( So would THC.)
This review is focused on the role the eCB system plays as a self-neuroprotective mechanism and its potential as a basis for the development of novel therapeutic modality for the treatment of CNS pathologies with special emphasis on TBI.
Bottom line:  For proof see U.S government 2003 patent
#7:  “Acute administration of cannabidiol in vivo suppresses ischaemia-induced cardiac arrhythmias and reduces infarct size when given at reperfusion”
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Graphic: Cannabis N.I.
Not only is CBD cardioprotective — it is also an anti-epileptic, sedative, anxiolytic, antipsychotic, antioxidant, neuroprotectant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-emetic, and anti-tumorant.
​ Findings:  Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid, with anti-apoptotic, (the process of programmed cell death) anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and has recently been shown to exert a tissue sparing effect during chronic myocardial ischaemia and reperfusion (I/R).
However, it is not known whether CBD is cardioprotective in the acute phase of I/R injury and the present studies tested this hypothesis.
EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: Male Sprague-Dawley rats received either vehicle or CBD (10 or 50 microg kg(-1) i.v.) 10 min before 30 min coronary artery occlusion or CBD (50 microg kg(-1) i.v.) 10 min before reperfusion (2 h). The appearance of ventricular arrhythmias during the ischaemic and immediate post-reperfusion periods were recorded and the hearts excised for infarct size determination and assessment of mast cell degranulation. Arterial blood was withdrawn at the end of the reperfusion period to assess platelet aggregation in response to collagen.
KEY RESULTS: “CBD reduced both the total number of ischaemia-induced arrhythmias and infarct size when administered prior to ischaemia, an effect that was dose-dependent. Infarct size was also reduced when CBD was given prior to reperfusion. CBD (50 microg kg(-1) i.v.) given prior to ischaemia, but not at reperfusion, attenuated collagen-induced platelet aggregation compared with control, but had no effect on ischaemia-induced mast cell degranulation.”
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: “This study demonstrates that CBD is cardioprotective in the acute phase of I/R by both reducing ventricular arrhythmias and attenuating infarct size. The anti-arrhythmic effect, but not the tissue sparing effect, may be mediated through an inhibitory effect on platelet activation.”
Remember to exercise your ganja rights! Every day is a Ganja day!

trouble in paradise…?

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Humboldt County signA Look Inside The Emerald Triangle

By Kim Pacilio

With medical marijuana legal in 16 states and counting, there is little doubt that legalized medical marijuana will soon become the norm all across the United States.  And there is no better example in the entire United States of how successful and profitable medical marijuana can be then in a tiny area in Northwestern California known as the Emerald Triangle.  Tucked away in beautiful Northern California, between the Pacific Coast and the Redwood forest, the Emerald Triangle has risen to prominence in recent years and has become infamous for having some of the highest quality medical marijuana in the world.

The Emerald Triangle consists of three notorious California counties Humboldt, Mendicino and Trinity.  With a population of just 225,000 spread sparsely across this beautiful woody hills Northern California landscape, it is almost impossible to imagine that this small area of the country is one of the best areas to grow marijuana in the Northern Hemisphere.  While there aren’t many plants that will flourish in this hilly, tucked away Northern California landscape, the cool winds and the fertile soil make it an ideal place for growing cannabis.

Since the middle of the 1960’s the infamous Emerald Triangle has become a ground zero of sorts for people looking to make a comfortable living in the cannabis growing industry.  Even though growing marijuana is still illegal at the Federal level, California’s friendly medical marijuana laws enable citizens all over the Emerald Triangle to make a small fortune growing and selling marijuana.  The Marijuana trade has even become so lucrative that in most areas in the Emerald Triangle one half to 2/3 of their entire economy is based off marijuana.  With this kind of volume comes enormous profits, not to mention enormous scrutiny.

Dank Marijuana NuggetWith over 1 billion dollars funneling into the Emerald Triangle every year, it is little wonder why the government has begun to take a second and third look at the impact of medical marijuana and the legalization of pot altogether.  With the United States government in complete fiscal crisis, the $40 billion dollar a year marijuana industry could bring substantial revenue back to the government.  Legalizing marijuana would not only bring substantial tax revenue back to the state, but the government would also save an additional $13 billion a year by simply not enforcing marijuana prohibition.

Taking out marijuana from the Emerald Triangle economy would be a devastating blow not only to the local residents who rely on the growing and selling of weed to support themselves, but also to the local and state governments who rely heavily on their tax revenue.  And with new medical marijuana dispensary’s popping up all across California every day, the medical cannabis industry has become a large and integral part in California’s diverse economy.

While many Emerald Triangle citizens walk a fine line between growing marijuana legally and triggering a legal crackdown from the federal government and DEA, many Emerald Triangle growers are undeterred.  In an area still reeling from the decades long decline of the timber and manufacturing industries, marijuana has become a mainstay in the Northern California economy and a lifesaver for many Emerald Triangle residents.

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