jerry brown

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Colorado: Governor Has Advice For Other States About Legalizing Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Four years ago Colorado became one of the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use by adults. Governor John Hickenlooper opposed the law, but voters overwhelmingly approved the measure.

Now the Democratic governor finds that he is the first one other governors call for advice on pot. “You don’t get to choose what your legacy is,” he said.

California Governor Jerry Brown, who opposed his state's measure to legalize recreational marijuana, called Hickenlooper in the weeks before that measure was voted on.

Hickenlooper said he gives the same, specific advice to anyone who calls him. "We didn’t regulate edibles strongly enough at first,” he said in an interview this week at a gathering in Coronado of the Western Governors’ Assn. He referred to a spike in emergency room visits by children who had eaten marijuana products.

“Ingestion of edible products continues to be a major source of marijuana exposures in children and poses a unique problem because no other drug is infused into a palatable and appetizing form,” wrote Dr. Sam Wang, a physician at Children’s Hospital Colorado and the lead author of a report about the increased number of emergency room visits published in July.

California: Adult Use of Marijuana Act Endorsed By North Coast Congressman

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

North Coast Congressman and longtime environmental leader U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) on Wednesday announced his support for the statewide ballot measure known as the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA).

Prior to his election to Congress in November of 2012, Huffman served six years in the California State Assembly and was co-chair of the Legislative Environmental Caucus. He previously served as a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. As a congressman, he serves on the House Committee on Natural Resources.

"The Adult Use of Marijuana Act is a necessary statewide reform that brings a billion-dollar industry out of the shadows and into a regulated market," said Rep. Huffman, whose district spans from the Golden Gate Bridge north to the Oregon border and includes the Emerald Triangle, the three-county region that produces some of America's best domestically grown marijuana.

"The measure takes historic, first-of-its-kind steps to reverse the devastating environmental and water damage that has been done by illegal marijuana grows in our state," Rep. Huffman said. "AUMA is not just good social justice and public health policy. It's forward-thinking environmental reform as well."

California: LA County Democrats Endorse AUMA Marijuana Legalization

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Largest Democratic County Committee in California says ballot measure will “protect children” and “provide critical funding for public health”

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The campaign in support of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) on Wednesday announced the official endorsement of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party (LACDP), the largest Democratic county committee in California and the largest local Democratic Party organization in the nation.

The LACDP represents more than 2.4 million registered Democrats and a population larger than 42 other states in the 88 cities and the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.

“Los Angeles County Democrats support the Adult Use of Marijuana Act because it will end the failed policies of prohibition which have disproportionately harmed communities of color, it will protect California’s children and it will provide critical funding for public health and public safety programs,” said Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair and California Democratic Party Vice Chair Eric C. Bauman.

Supporters of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act say the measure includes strong safeguards for children, businesses and local governments, strict anti-monopoly provisions and the toughest warning label and marketing-to-kids laws in the nation.

U.S.: Thursday Webinar Connects War On Drugs To War On Immigrants

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The Drug Policy Alliance, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and Human Rights Watch invite you to join a free webinar on Thursday, May 12, 2016, at 11 am Pacific / 12 pm Mountain / 1 pm Central / 2 pm Eastern.

The Drug War has increasingly become a war against immigrant communities. Much as the Drug War drives mass incarceration, it is also a major driver of mass deportation. More than a quarter of a million people have been deported from the U.S. after convictions for drug offenses since 2007.

Unfortunately, while drug diversion programs are designed to help drug offenders avoid a criminal conviction and the damaging collateral consequences that can follow, many existing programs often fail both immigrants and citizens. For immigrants, even successful participation in a drug diversion program can result in deportation.

Both citizens and non-citizens are often better served by programs that avoid the criminal justice system altogether, like the nationally recognized LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) program being piloted in cities across the US that diverts individuals charged with certain offenses to treatment before booking.

California Medical Association Announces Support For Adult Use of Marijuana Act

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The California Medical Association (CMA) – representing more than 41,000 physician members statewide -- on Monday announced its formal endorsement of the ballot measure known as the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

Consistent with the organization’s historic White Paper of 2011 urging legalization and regulation of cannabis to allow for greater clinical research, oversight, accountability and quality control, CMA has endorsed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act so:

· First, the impacts of marijuana in California can be monitored, researched, tightly regulated and, where necessary, mitigated to protect the public health and

· Second, improper diversion by non-symptomatic patients into California’s medical marijuana system can be reduced.

"In addition, CMA does not as a matter of policy encourage the use of marijuana and discourages smoking," the group announced. "But, ultimately, its members believe that the most effective way to protect the public health is to tightly control, track and regulate marijuana and to comprehensively research and educate the public on its health impacts, not through ineffective prohibition."

California: San Diego Rushes To Write Medical Marijuana Cultivation Rules

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A new California law is spurring San Diego, for the first time, to regulate and allow cultivation of medical marijuana within city limits.

A memo issued by Deputy City Attorney Shannon Thomas last week describes ways the city could regulate the growing of medicinal cannabis, including zoning regulations or simply allowing cultivation in all areas zoned for agriculture, reports David Garrick at the Los Angeles Times.

The city might impose a "temporary" moratorium on cultivation while exploring new regulations, according to the memo.

California's new Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act aims to "legitimize" the nearly 20-year-old industry; state voters first approved the use of medical marijuana back in 1996. The new law also gets regulations in place in anticipation of Californians approving recreational use of marijuana in November.

The law requires mandatory product testing and gives reluctant cities new reasons to allow dispensaries and cultivation by allowing them in on the money action, collecting fees and levying taxes.

The law also says cities with no regulations in place by March 1 will permanently cede authority of medical marijuana cultivation to the state -- but the author claims that deadline was erroneously included.

California: CCIA Thanks Gov. Brown For Signing Medical Marijuana Regulations

NateBradleyExecutiveDirectorCaliforniaCannabisIndustryAssociation[NCIA]

After almost 20 years without statewide regulations, California Governor Jerry Brown on Friday signed historic legislation creating a legal framework for medical cannabis.

"This is an important first step that will allow California's cannabis industry to come out of the shadows and into the light," said California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) executive director Nate Bradley. "California will now be able to take it’s rightful place as the center of investment and innovation in the cannabis economy.

"Governor Brown and his colleagues in the legislature have just given the green light to let California’s cannabis industry become the thriving, tax-paying, job-creating industry it was always destined to become," Bradley said.

California has is the largest legal cannabis market in the US. -- representing $1.3 billion in annual sales and nearly half the legal U.S. market, according to Bradley. "The signing of the Medical Marijuana Regulation & Safety Act (MMRSA) is an important milestone, nearly 20 years in the making," Bradley said.

"Today’s signing represents the most significant victory for the industry since Washington and Colorado legalized recreational use in 2012," Bradley said on Friday.

"That said, we believe parts of the bills need fixing," Bradley said. "We will pursue clean up legislation -- and take part in the rulemaking process -- to address these issues.

California: Governor Brown Signs Medical Cannabis Regulation Bill

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Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act Will Establish State-Level Regulation in California

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Governor Jerry Brown on Friday signed the trio of bills known as the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act that will establish regulation of commercial medical cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, and transportation, as well as create a state-level licensing system in California for the first time since the medical cannabis program was enacted in 1996.

The bills establish a new agency within the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, which will oversee the system and work with other agencies that will be involved in licensing key areas of activity, such as cultivation and testing. The bureau will develop detailed rules by January 2017, and businesses will begin to apply for state licenses in January 2018, at which point the current system of collectives and cooperatives will be phased out. Medical marijuana businesses will need to obtain local approval to continue operating.

The California Legislature passed Assembly Bills 243 and 266 and Senate Bill 643 on September 11th, with overwhelming support in both the Assembly and the Senate.

“Governor Brown’s approval of the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act ushers in a new era in California,’” said Assemblymember Rob Bonta, the lead sponsor of AB 266. “Patients will have more assurances that their products are safe.

California: Gov. Brown Vetoes New Hash Crimes Bill

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday vetoed a bill which would have created new penalties for making hash oil with flammable chemicals like butane. Brown said the state already has enough laws, and a prison overcrowding problem, and doesn't need to make the problem worse.

The Golden State has seen a rise in explosions and fires caused by the extraction of cannabis concentrates using volatile solvents like butane, reports David Downs at East Bay Express. But it's already against the law to make butane hash oil (BHO) in Cali. Arson and criminal negligence are also already crimes there.

Assembly Bill 849, from East Bay Assemblymember Susan Bonilla, would have created a new crime carrying prison sentences of up to six years for BHO blasters who hurt others. The bill passed the California Assembly -- unanimously! -- on August 31.

But Gov. Brown vetoed AB 849 and eight others for good measure, blasting reationary, "get tough" laws that result in prison overcrowding but don't do a damn thing to improve public safety.

"Each of this bills creates a new crime -- usually by finding a novel way to characterize and criminalize conduct that is already proscribed," Brown said. "This multiplication and particularization of criminal behavior creates increasing complexity without commensurate benefit.

California: Legislature Passes Medical Marijuana Regulations; Governor Expected To Sign

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The California Legislature on Friday passed a series of bills that would establish comprehensive regulation and licensing of medical cannabis, in a multi-tiered licensing system being praised by some organizations, while other activists are calling the proposed rules "convoluted" and even "treacherous."

Assembly Bills 243 and 266 as well as Senate Bill 643 were all approved and will delegate regulation of commercial medical cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, transportation, and distribution to various state agencies as well as create a state-level licensing system for the first time in the history of the state’s medical cannabis program. Governor Jerry Brown is widely expected to sign all three pieces of legislation.

"I am pleased that the California legislature has taken an important step by passing a comprehensive regulatory framework to improve patient care, provide greater certainty for the industry and protect our environment," said Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland). "In Congress, I intend to continue working toward federal government policies that respect state marijuana laws.

"The federal government should not come between patients and their medicine," Rep. Lee said. "That is why I have introduced the States Medical Marijuana Property Rights Protection Act (H.R. 262) and am a proud cosponsor of other legislation including the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act (H.R. 1013), Respect State Marijuana Laws Act (H.R. 1940) and the Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act (H.R. 2076)."

California: Lawmakers Announce Deal On Medical Marijuana Regulation

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

California's long experiment in unfettered capitalism in the medical marijuana industry looks to be coming to an end. The California Legislature has reached an agreement to create a "regulatory framework" for medicinal cannabis.

Lawmakers said late on Thursday they've reached a deal on regulate and license medical marijuana, report Christopher Cadelago and Alexei Koseff at The Sacramento Bee.

"The California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) is delighted that the California legislature has reached an agreement to create a regulatory framework for medical cannabis," the organization announced in a Friday morning email. "We have not yet reviewed the final language, but we are hopeful about the agreement -- and look forward to working with the state to establish a regulatory structure."

The regulations for California's billion-dollar medicinal cannabis industry will be contained in three bills that have gotten the approval of both chambers of the Legislature and the office of Governor Jerry Brown, according to Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), one of the authors.

Bonta said his measure, along with the others, will be released on Friday, and would require state and local licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries. It would create a Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation to oversee licensing and regulatory affairs, involving the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Department of Public Health.

California: Gov. Jerry Brown Says Little, Does Lots On Medical Marijuana Regulation

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

California voters legalized medical marijuana via Prop 19 back in 1996, but in the almost two decades that have followed, state politicians have either criticized the state's cannabis trade or ignored it.

But with the Legislature now crafting rules to govern the medicinal cannabis industry, Governor Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown looks to be the most powerful man in the state when it comes to that industry's future, reports Chris Roberts at SF Weekly.

Back when Gov. Brown was mayor of Oakland, that city became the first in the state (closely followed by San Francisco) to regulate the nascent medical marijuana trade. That city crafted its rules back in 2004, but the rule-making process had become deadlocked, with nobody able to agree on the number of dispensaries allowed in the city -- until Mayor Brown entered the room.

There would be four dispensaries, Brown said, and then rattled off what would become Oakland's precedent-setting dispensary ordinance, before abruptly exiting the meeting.

"He said, 'Here's what you need to do,' -- and then he left the room," said Dale Sky Jones, chairwoman of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform, a group pushing to legalize recreational marijuana on California's 2016 ballot.

California: Gov. Brown Brokering Deal On Medical Marijuana Regulations

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

California Governor Jerry Brown's office is working on the framework for medical marijuana regulations in California in a session-closing move that could end nearly two decades of court battles in the Golden State.

With the Legislature scheduled to adjourn next week, the Governor's office is said to be emphasizing the details of a compromise measure on medicinal cannabis, report Christopher Cadelago and Jeremy B. White at The Sacramento Bee. The legislation could impact the push to put a recreational marijuana legalization initiative on the 2016 ballot.

Gov. Brown's office isn't commenting, but lawmakers and stakeholders have confirmed that his administration has stepped in to help develop a bill. Legislative leaders last week stripped the contents of several medical marijuana measures and linked them with boilerplate language, giving Brown's aides a chance to start all over.

"The Governor's Office has been very heavily involved," said Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova), who wrote one of the medical marijuana bills. "They've brought forward some different views on how to structure it, which I think people are pretty comfortable with."

"I'm feeling like we're a week out and we have wide (support for acting) ... trying to bring this thing home," Cooley said.

California: Governor Signs Bill Ending Transplant Discrimination Against Marijuana Patients

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California Governor Jerry Brown on Monday signed AB 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act. AB 258 prohibits discrimination against medical marijuana patients in the organ transplant process, unless a doctor has determined that medicinal cannabis use is clinically significant to the transplant process.

Medical cannabis patients in California have been routinely removed from the organ transplant waiting list if they test positive for cannabis use – even legal doctor-recommended medical marijuana. AB 258 was authored by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) and sponsored by Americans for Safe Access (ASA).

“AB 258’s passage is the result of ASA’s membership tirelessly working for over two years,” said Don Duncan, ASA’s California director. “In California, legal medical cannabis patients will never again face a choice between their doctor-recommended medicine and a life-saving organ transplant.

"Governor Brown deserves credit for protecting medical cannabis patients from this harmful discriminatory practice that has no basis in medical research,” Duncan said.

On June 15, more than 200 patients and advocates participated in the ASA California Citizen Lobby Day, which focused on educating lawmakers about AB 258 and other medical cannabis legislation. During the lobby day ASA began a postcard campaign to encourage Governor Brown to support AB 258.

California: Legislature Moves To End Transplant Discrimination Against Medical Marijuana Patients

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Bill Headed To Governor Jerry Brown's Desk

The California Senate on Monday approved AB 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act, by an overwhelming margin of 33-1. AB 258 prohibits discrimination against medical cannabis patients in the organ transplant process, unless a doctor has determined that medical cannabis use is clinically significant to the transplant process.

Medical cannabis patients in California are routinely removed from the organ transplant waiting list if they test positive for cannabis use – even legal doctor-recommended medical cannabis. AB 258 was authored by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) and sponsored by Americans for Safe Access (ASA).

“AB 258 is about fundamental fairness and compassion,” said Don Duncan, ASA’s California director. “Legal medical cannabis patients should never face a choice between their doctor-recommended medicine and a life-saving organ transplant.

"AB 258 will help the law catch up with science, which has shown that medical cannabis patients are just as likely to benefit from an organ transplant as other patients,” Duncan said.

On June 15, more than 200 patients and advocates participated in the ASA California Citizen Lobby Day, which focused on educating lawmakers about AB 258 and other medical cannabis legislation. During the lobby day, ASA began a postcard campaign to encourage Governor Jerry Brown to support AB 258.

California: Gubernatorial Candidate Gavin Newsom Supports Marijuana Legalization

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom is preparing for a 2016 gubernatorial campaign, and if an expected ballot measure to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana meets his criteria, he will endorse it and effectively become the public face of the campaign, betting his political future on the popularity of cannabis in the Golden State.

Newsom, a Democrat, is the highest-ranking official in California to support recreational legalization, reports Seema Mehta at The Los Angeles Times.

Although legalization will almost certainly be popular with liberal and young voters, some political analysts believe his support for legalization could present a challenge.

"He could motivate large numbers of young people who aren't regular voters to turn out for him," said director Dan Schnur, of the University of Southern California's Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics. "But taking a leadership role on this could make older swing voters nervous, even if they agree with him on the issue. It's a potentially risky play."

Voters in California legalized medical marijuana in 1996 but in 2010 voted against recreational use, 53.5 percent to 46.5 percent. Since then, polling has shown that public support for legalizing pot has grown, reaching 53 percent in a March survey by the Public Policy Institute of California — a record high in that organization's surveys.

California: Prop 47 Takes Significant Step Towards Ending Mass Incarceration and War On Drugs

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Passage of Proposition 47 Will Spare Thousands From Unnecessary Time Behind Bars and Save Billions of Taxpayer Dollars

DPA: Overwhelming Support Sends Powerful National Message

California voters on Tuesday took a significant step toward ending mass incarceration and the War On Drugs by approving Proposition 47. On the heels of reforming the state’s “three strikes” law in the 2012 election, Californians overwhelmingly voted to change six low-level, nonviolent offenses – including simple drug possession – from felonies to misdemeanors.

“The overwhelming support for this reform sends a powerful message nationally, demonstrating that voters are not just ready but eager to reduce prison populations in ways that can enhance public safety,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA).

“This is a win for everyone in California,” said Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Stephen Downing (Ret.), a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). “We’ll save millions keeping nonviolent drug offenders out of state prison, and those resources will be redirected toward public education, victim services, and mental health treatment programs that actually address the problems of addiction.”

California: Gov. Jerry Brown Opposes Marijuana Legalization, Says 'We Need To Stay Alert'

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

California Governor Jerry Brown said on Sunday that he isn't convinced this marijuana legalization business is such a good idea, because folks need to "stay alert."

"The problem with anything, a certain amount is OK," "Moonbeam" Brown said on NBC's "Meet The Press," reports The Huffington Post. "But there is a tendency to go to extremes.

"And all of a sudden, if there's advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation?" Brown asked. (Our answer is a hell of a lot of them, Governor.)

"The world's pretty dangerous, pretty competitive," Brown said. "I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together."

A recent poll showed that a majority of Californians support marijuana legalization.

The Governor noted that California already allows medical marijuana, but said he isn't sold on the idea of recreational legalization until he sees how that works out for Colorado and Washington. "I'd really like those two states to show us how it's going to work," he said.

California: Attorney General Says Marijuana Legalization Could Mean 'Hundreds of Millions'

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A California ballot initiative to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana got a positive review from state Attorney General Kamala Harris, who last week released a summary saying legalization could save the state "hundreds of millions of dollars."

Harris's summary of the Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act (MCLR) explained that it would legalize under California law the use, cultivation, possession, transportation, storage and sale of cannabis, reports Robin Wilkey at The Huffington Post.

"Reduced costs in the low hundreds of millions of dollars annually to state and local governments related to enforcing certain marijuana-related offenses, handling the related criminal cases in the court system, and incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders," the fiscal analysis reads. "Potential net additional tax revenues in the low hundreds of millions of dollars annually related to the production and sale of marijuana, a portion of which is required to be spent on education, health care, public safety, drug abuse education and treatment, and the regulation of commercial marijuana activities."

California: Governor Brown Signs Bill Legalizing Hemp Farming Under State Law

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed SB 566, the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act, legalizing hemp farming under state law.

Introduced by state Senator Mark Leno earlier this year, SB 566 ensures that California is prepared to begin registering hemp farmers once the federal government gives states the green light, according to hemp advocacy organization Vote Hemp and the Hemp Industries Association (HIA), an industry trade group.

The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act will establish a framework for farming the oilseed and fiber varieties of the plant, which are used in a myriad of everyday consumer products, including food, body care, clothing, paper, auto parts, composites, building materials, and biofuels.

Enforcement and oversight of hemp production would be handled in cooperation with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and country agricultural commissioners, as is done with other farm crops.

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