SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
About Contact Subscribe Calendar Publish Print Donate

Drug War News

Contribute by publishing to the newswire or calendar and selecting the topic "Drug War"
Links | Upcoming Events | photoPhoto Gallery

Thursday Jul 16
4PM 10th Anniversary Celebration of WAMM Day
More Events...

Referendum Suspends Ban on Medical Cannabis Cultivation in Santa Cruz County The first successful Santa Cruz County referendum in 13 years has suspended an ordinance adopted by the County Board of Supervisors to ban all commercial cannabis cultivation. The ban was adopted on April 14, and was to go into effect on May 15. Responsible Cultivation Santa Cruz (RCSC) circulated the referendum and after only 21 days filed 11,210 signatures with the county. 7,248 valid signatures are required to qualify the referendum for the ballot.

The ordinance was suspended when the Santa Cruz County Clerk Elections Department confirmed on May 11 that the referendum petitions contained more than the minimum number of signatures. The county has 30 calendar days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, from the date the petition was filed, May 7, to verify the validity of the signatures.

The ordinance would have allowed a patient/caregiver to cultivate only on a space 10 feet by 10 feet, which must be on the property where the patient/caregiver resides.

RCSC board member, D’Angelo "Cricket" Roberto, cites the analysis of CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta: "To make many of the the most effective cannabis-based medicines, large quantities of cannabis plants are required. For example, plant strains rich with CBD (cannabidiol – one of at least 85 active cannabinoids found in cannabis) have low yields. To obtain sufficient cannibidiol for concentrated medical uses, such as balms, tinctures and ingestible oils, requires significantly more space than a 10 by 10 foot plot. This makes collective cultivation necessary, on larger plots, something the Supervisors' ordinance would not allow."

Read More | Responsible Cultivation Santa Cruz

Previous Coverage: Board of Supervisors Approves New Cannabis Prohibitions in Santa Cruz County || Cannabis Patients and Cultivators are Under Attack in Santa Cruz County
On April 13, a group gathered at the Santa Cruz County Courthouse in support of Alix Tichelman, the woman charged with killing a Google executive named Forrest Hayes in 2013. Dozens of pamphlets were handed out in front of the courthouse detailing the case against Alix. Her parents personally thanked the group for their presence. Free Alix! writes: She is being unfairly railroaded into jail for an accident that was not her fault.
Board of Supervisors Approves New Cannabis Prohibitions in Santa Cruz County On March 24, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 before an overflowing room to ban the cultivation of cannabis in all unincorporated territories of the county, with limited exceptions. Personal grows of 10×10 square feet are still permitted, with restrictions. Outdoor cultivation is entirely banned in the 2nd District, represented by Zach Friend, and includes the communities of Aptos, Corralitos, Freedom, and portions of Watsonville.

The vote amended the Santa Cruz County Code by deleting the existing Chapter 7.126, passed on February 11, 2014, in its entirety, and adding a new Chapter 7.126. The new version of the code drastically reduces the legal rights of patients to cultivate and access the wide-range of medicines they depend upon from the cannabis plant.

The February 2014 version of Chapter 7.126 includes "Section 7.126.040 Limited immunity for medical cannabis cultivation business." This section allowed for collective cultivation and distribution for use among its members, which is the model used by the Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance. Collective cultivation allows patients to work together to produce their medicine, just like community vegetable gardens where resources, labor, and harvests are shared.

Read More

Previous Coverage: Cannabis Patients and Cultivators are Under Attack in Santa Cruz County
Santa Cruz County is drafting new regulations for medicinal cannabis patients and providers. These new rules have the potential to turn large numbers of patients and providers into criminals and drastically roll back decades of progress won by cannabis activists. In letters to the Board of Supervisors, medicinal cannabis patients and cultivators are expressing their desire for "more effective, more sensible, and more just solutions" regarding a policy on medicinal cannabis cultivation and distribution.

Cannabis Advocates Alliance (CAA) is a newly formed network concerned about the environmental and community impacts of unregulated cannabis production, but who also know that regulations must not diminish the availability of quality, safe and effective medicinal cannabis.

Santa Cruz County is proposing to ban all commercial cannabis cultivation located in Residential Agriculture (RA) and Special Use (SU) zoned parcels, and only allow commercial cultivation in Commercial Agriculture (CA) and Agriculture (A) zoned parcels. In effect, this would make the vast majority of cannabis gardens in Santa Cruz County a "criminal matter". This rule, in particular, is problematic as it does not provide cannabis cultivators a clear, accessible path towards compliance.

CAA is requesting that local patients be given a greater voice in re-drafting the County cannabis ordinances, that the County draft clearer and more environmentally-friendly paths to compliance for patient-cultivators, and that in re-drafting the existing ordinances the County preserve the minimal diversity of choice required for patients to have proper access to quality cannabis medicine.

imc_pdf.gifRead More | Cannabis Advocates Alliance | imc_calendar.gifJan 21: CAA meeting | imc_calendar.gifJan 27: Board of Supervisors meeting
420 at UCSC: A Public Demonstration in Support of Cannabis Thousands of people, though not as many as in previous years, returned to Porter Meadow at UC Santa Cruz on April 20, 2014 (also Easter Sunday) to celebrate 420, the unorganized annual counterculture holiday. All these people have at least one thing in common; a love for smoking cannabis.

Similar to 420 in 2012 and 2013 at UCSC, many people preferred to be under the forest canopy bordering the meadow. In addition to smoking cannabis and socializing, people enjoyed live marching bands as well as music bumping from speakers under the trees, slacklining, hula hooping, and taking pictures with friends.

As in previous years, UC police officers surveilled the celebration, and men in orange vests documented attendees with video and still cameras.

imc_photo.gifRead more with Photos

Previous coverage of 420 at UC Santa Cruz: 2007: A Portrait: 420 at UC Santa Cruz || 2008: Thousands of Students Celebrate 420 in Porter Meadow at UCSC || 2009: Four Twenty at UC Santa Cruz imc_photo.gif (Photos) || 2010: Gatherings on 4/20, International Day of Marijuana Celebration || 2011: 420 Cannabis Celebration at UC Santa Cruz || 2012: Thousands Celebrate Cannabis at Annual 420 Festival at UCSC || 2013: Four Twenty 2013 in Porter Meadow at UC Santa Cruz
Steve Pleich writes: There has been much discussion over the last several months concerning the wisdom of having a fully functional Needle Exchange Program in our community. Many have expressed doubts about the public health benefits of such a program, but a clear-eyed and dispassionate analysis of those benefits has been subsumed by an overriding public safety concern.
Are Public Safety "Activists" Planning to Shame Drug Addicts and Needle Users? Public safety "activists" in Santa Cruz recently began planning a protest against those they believe are creating hypodermic needle waste in outdoor and natural areas locally. One individual has suggested shaming clients outside of the county's needle exchange, where drug users may obtain clean needles when they turn in used ones. When proposing a possible protest in the Facebook group "Needle Free Zone - Santa Cruz County," Chris Brown suggested, "What about taking pictures of those going in and out and posting them to a web site in an effort to shame them? I admit it seems rather creepy and low but????"

Some members of Needle Free Zone Santa Cruz County say they are still angry that in March, members of Take Back Santa Cruz "softened" down a protest march that went from from Harvey West to City Hall. The protest was originally to include a stop by the Homeless Services Center (HSC), which Samantha Olden said was supported by Ken "Skindog" Collins.

The idea to stop at the HSC was scrapped. Olden said the protest was, "softened up into the event that took place." Other individuals expressed anger and frustration regarding their own efforts. Kim Gardner said, "obviously pictures and data and speaking at meetings aren't changing anything." "People NEED to get their needle bubble popped," Meriah Campbell said. "Cleaning isn't working," Janell Whiting said.

Read More
10-Year Anniversary of the WAMM Raid Valerie Leveroni Corral writes: "10 years ago at the break of dawn, awakened by the stomp of heavy booted agents, WAMM was raided by 30 DEA agents. Mike and I were taken into custody; chainsaw wielding agents cut the entire garden down, WAMM members blocked the gate, locking agents behind, and WAMM members and supporters bargaining for our release. What followed changed the course of medical marijuana, circumventing the government’s strategy to eliminate patient service organizations, legal under California state law. Santa Cruz City and County enjoined WAMM members in a lawsuit that resulted in a settlement, allowing WAMM to continue our service as the only collective sanctioned by the federal government. With deep gratitude, I thank our attorneys who labored diligently for patient rights to access medicine and for our freedom.

"To this day we serve patient needs engaging a social model of patient care through building community. As a patient based organization, we respond to need by caring for each other from within what might otherwise be a marginalized population. We provide space for members, grow all of our organic medicine, and make all of our products. Instead we are mighty, even providing care for our members as they face death."

Read More | imc_photo.gifFirst Harvest of 2012 for Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM)

Previous Coverage: Defiant Santa Cruz Distributes Medical Marijuana || WAMM March for Medical Marijuana || Medical Marijuana, Hemp and Music Festival || WAMM Collective Wins Prestigious Award, Survives Wildfire || WAMM Remains Vigilant While Settling Case Against Feds || World Premiere Screening of WAMM Documentary
Thousands Celebrate Cannabis at Annual 420 Festival at UCSC On Friday, April 20th, thousands of people descended upon Porter Meadow at UC Santa Cruz for Four Twenty (420), a counterculture holiday observed in cities throughout the world, where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis.

Cannabis is recognized as medicine by the state of California, 17 other states in the USA, Washington DC, and a growing number of people and governments all over the world.

Four Twenty in Porter Meadow at UCSC is an unorganized annual tradition. Last year, rain caused people to seek shelter under the forest canopy. This year, it was the hot sun which drove people to the shade provided by the trees.

imc_photo.gifRead more and view photos

Previous coverage of 420 at UC Santa Cruz: 2007: A Portrait: 420 at UC Santa Cruz || 2008: Thousands of Students Celebrate 420 in Porter Meadow at UCSC || 2009: Four Twenty at UC Santa Cruz imc_photo.gif (Photos) || 2010: Gatherings on 4/20, International Day of Marijuana Celebration || 2011: 420 Cannabis Celebration at UC Santa Cruz
DEA and IRS Raid Oaksterdam University in Oakland On April 2nd, law enforcement agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the U.S. Marshals Service raided the home and businesses of licensed medical cannabis provider and activist Richard Lee in Oakland. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) put out a call for patients and advocates to go to Oaksterdam University in downtown Oakland to protest the raids and support the victims. At least two people were arrested in the street while the raid continued, including Jose Gutierrez, a correspondent for KPFA.

Of the raid, Richard Lee wrote, "President Obama promised at the beginning of his administration to respect state medical marijuana laws. He has broken this promise time and time again -- and the consequences have been devastating. This was a senseless act of intimidation. But I've been an activist far too long to become intimidated -- and with the majority of Americans and common sense on our side, I know this is a fight we can win. With our government trillions in debt, why is our government using taxpayer dollars to come after me, Oaksterdam, and the thousands of patients who need medical marijuana just to get through the day? Tell President Obama and the DEA: Enough is enough. Keep your campaign promise, and stop the raids on the medical cannabis industry!" Richard Lee has since announced that he will be stepping away from Oaksterdam University as he expects the U.S. government to continue with their attacks against him by pursuing federal criminal charges.

photo Read More: 1 | 2 | 3

See Also: Oaksterdam Raided. Can you hear me now? || An Open Letter to the cowards that raided Oaksterdam (and Tainted too) || Day of Anger: SF Advocates Protest Federal Marijuana Raids || Letter To Obama: End The Assault On Medical Marijuana || Local, State Officials Decry Federal Attacks on Medical Marijuana || Raid’s toll too high: Feds crack down on legal business as gunman kills 7

Previous Coverage: Medical Cannabis-Related Ballot Initiatives in Berkeley and Oakland || 4/12/05: Oakland City Council Public Safety Committee Reflects on Medical Cannabis || Community Gathers to Defend Hope Net from DEA Agents || DEA Raids Eight Bay Area Locations || Patients and Supporters Rally for Sanctuary City in Berkeley || DEA Targets East Bay Supplier of Edible Medical Cannabis Products
Hundreds Protest Drug War & Mass Incarceration Hundreds of people turned out at San Francisco City Hall on Friday, June 17th, to participate in the "Communities Rising to End the Drug War and Mass Incarceration" rally and march to protest the 40 year "war on drugs" and continued criminalization of the poor, the addicted and communities of color.

The protest then marched to the state and federal buildings nearby. Working and poor people struggling with addiction fill the prisons and jails of the US. This country has the dubious distinction of having the largest per capita incarcerated population in the world. Protesters called for drug policy reform that would emphasize rehabilitation versus the current policy based on punitive measures. They also demanded human rights for prisoners isolated in the notorious Pelican Bay Prison in Northern California.

photo Photos: 1 | 2 | SF Bay View coverage | DrugPolicyReform.org
iCal feed From the Calendar:
browse articlesarticlebrowse photosphoto
browse videosvideobrowse audioaudio
Pathways Report: Policy Options for Regulating Marijuana in California Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy
Thursday Jul 23rd 3:13 PM
California Regulatory Bills on Medical Cannabis Americans for Safe Access (1 comment)
Friday Jul 17th 4:16 PM
EASTWEST: Bay Area Analysis, Revolt, History, and Subversion EASTWEST (5 comments)
Wednesday Jul 15th 2:42 AM
Medical Cannabis Advocates Oppose AB 266 Bonta Shona Gochenaur
Tuesday Jul 14th 2:31 PM
Supervisors Leopold and Friend Propose Cannabis Cultivation Choices Committee Bradley Allen (1 comment)
Saturday Jul 11th 1:13 AM
The Cannabis Connection S. Green
Friday Jul 10th 12:12 PM
Support AB 258 in California: Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act Americans for Safe Access
Monday Jun 15th 10:54 AM
Referendum Suspends Santa Cruz County Ban on Medical Cannabis Cultivation via Responsible Cultivation Santa Cruz
Monday May 18th 3:18 PM
Expert Panel Releases Initial Marijuana Policy Report, Announces Public Phase ACLU of Northern California
Thursday Mar 26th 5:07 PM
New Cannabis Prohibitions in Santa Cruz County Bradley Allen (4 comments)
Wednesday Mar 25th 2:52 AM
Cannabis in California: Legalization Update via ReformCA
Friday Mar 6th 5:15 PM
Santa Cruz: Demonstration at Santa Cruz County Superior Court for Alix Tichelman Stop all witch hunts! (21 comments)
Monday Feb 23rd 11:40 AM
More Local News...
Dr. Carl Hart at Drug Policy Alliance Conference in NOLA WTUL News & Views
Wednesday May 6th 8:15 AM
NJ Gov. Christie Claims Cannabis Legalization is "Blood Money" Clown Award Goes to Christie!
Wednesday Mar 25th 7:29 PM
WTUL News & Views Interviews Kevin Caldwell of Common Sense NOLA WTUL News and Views
Monday Mar 9th 7:27 AM
Cherán K’eri: Political parties are dead to us in this town El Enemigo Común
Thursday Feb 12th 3:07 PM
43 Students That Do Not Want to Disappear El Enemigo Común
Thursday Jan 29th 7:19 PM
43 estudiantes que no quieren desaparecer El Enemigo Común
Thursday Jan 29th 7:16 PM
SOA Graduate Takes Control of Security in Michoacán, Mexico El Enemigo Común (4 comments)
Friday Jan 23rd 12:44 PM
WTUL News & Views WTUL News & Views
Monday Dec 15th 7:18 AM
Cannabis Farmers In Lebanon Join Fight Against ISIS John Vibes, The Anti Media
Sunday Nov 2nd 1:05 AM
Louisiana Defenders Collective Interview from WTUL News and Views WTUL News and Views
Wednesday Jun 25th 7:22 AM
More Global News...
Proposed Vallejo Ordinance to Close All Cannabis Dispensaries repost (6 comments)
Sunday Mar 15th 11:12 AM
NJ Bill to Legalize Cannabis, Gov. Christie Threatens Veto Green Lantern
Wednesday Feb 25th 2:11 AM
No Oppressive Rules at Santa Cruz Sanctuary Village Steve Conover (9 comments)
Thursday Nov 6th 7:55 AM
Hey Tea Party-Republicans: The Founders Are Not Your Guys Ano (1 comment)
Tuesday Jan 21st 8:59 AM
Federal Prohibition Against Legalized Medical Cannabis Enables Robbery, Kidnapping Another Angry Patient (1 comment)
Tuesday Jan 21st 7:37 AM
Hypocrites Are Making Laws! Cris Ericson
Sunday Mar 10th 4:42 PM
Open Newswire...
feed