On June 5th, after a federal judge cleared the way, Blackwater Worldwide, the 'World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army', opened a large training facility in San Diego, just three blocks from the border that separates California and Mexico. Blackwater is setting its sights on the so-called "war on drugs" and recently opened its own private CIA, called "Total Intelligence Solutions," marketing "CIA-type services" to Fortune 500 companies. On Wednesday, June 11th
, local groups in San Diego are organizing a major protest outside the Blackwater facility at 7685 Siempre Viva Road in Otay Mesa.
Armed with bazookas, instruments and colorful posters, residents of Santa Cruz will show their support on Tuesday, June 10th
at 3:30pm in favor of a pending city resolution requesting that all US military aid to Colombia be re-directed to domestic drug prevention and rehabilitation programs, which have been shown to be more effective in the “war on drugs.” Bert Muhly of Tres Americas will speak on the issue, as well as Sandra Alvarez, long time Colombia activist and Ph.D candidate at the University of California Santa Cruz.
On May 22nd in Los Angeles, the California Court of Appeals ruled that
the state limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation
that were established under state law SB 420 are unconstitutional. In the case People v. Patrick Kelly, the court overturned the defendant's conviction for possessing 12 ounces of dried marijuana, saying that the prosecutor had improperly argued that
the defendant was guilty because he possessed more than the 8-ounce
limit established in Health & Safety Code Section 11362.77 and did not
have a doctor's recommendation that authorized more. The court wrote, ""The prosecutor's argument
was improper... because the CUA [Compassionate Use Act] can only be amended
with voters' approval."
Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) and a small bi-partisan coalition of Members of Congress introduced H.R. 5842, the Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act in April. The legislation will help protect individuals who use or provide medical cannabis in accordance with their state law.
Donna Deiss Yovino writes
, "At Santa Cruz parking lot A on West Cliff Drive, on Friday May 9, 2008, Sgt. C LeMoss twisted and broke the right humurus arm bone of a 60 year old disabled woman for entering her RV and attempting to close the door."
On April 29th, California's Assembly Committee on Public Safety
passed A.B. 2743. The bill, authored by Assembly Member Lori Saldaña
(D-San Diego) and spearheaded by the Marijuana Policy Project, or MPP, would direct state and local law
enforcement officers to not assist in federal raids on medical
marijuana patients and providers. The bill will now continue on to the appropriations committee.
A state medical marijuana employment rights bill is under consideration by California's state Assembly. AB 2279 would protect the rights of hundreds of thousands of medical marijuana
patients in California from employment discrimination. The bill would reverse a January California Supreme Court decision in Ross v. RagingWire, which said that an employer may fire someone solely
because they use medical marijuana outside the workplace. Assemblyman Mark Leno said, "AB 2279 is merely an affirmation of the intent of the
voters and the legislature that medical marijuana patents need not be
unemployed to benefit from their medicine."