Archive for americans for safe access

Jovan Jackson’s Conviction Overturned in San Diego – Dispensaries Have the Right to Operate

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2012 by highboldtage

A big win for ASA in San Diego

Joe Elford

California’s 4th District Court of Appeal overturned the conviction of San Diego medical cannabis provider Jovan Jackson today. The decision in People v. Jackson recognizes the right of medical cannabis dispensaries to exist and provide medicine to patient-members.  The decision further clarifies that members can participate in the association though financial contributions (sales) alone. This is an important milestone, because until now, some law enforcement and law makers all have refused to acknowledge that patients can organize cooperative and collective associations that sell medical marijuana. Today’s decision may have far-reaching implications for local and state implementation and regulation of medical marijuana.


Jovan Jackson was first arrested for providing medical cannabis in the City of San Diego in 2008. He was prosecuted for cannabis possession and sales and acquitted by the jury. San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, a steadfast opponent of medical cannabis, retried him on the same charges in 2009. In that case, Superior Court Judge Howard Shore denied Mr. Jackson the right to use California’s medical cannabis laws as a defense in court. Judge Shore referred to medical cannabis as “dope” and called state medical cannabis laws a “sham” during the trial.

Americans for Safe Access (ASA) took Mr. Jackson’s appeal last year, because we knew this case was important for the future of safe access in California. Medical cannabis opponents have argued steadfastly that every member of a patients’ association must physically participate in the cultivation of plants and that no member can buy medicine. ASA disagreed, and this was just the case to settle the issue. Relying heavily on People v. Colvin, a prior appellate decision in the California’s 2nd District, the court ruled that

“Jackson was only required to produce evidence which would create a reasonable doubt as to whether the defense provided by the [Medical Marijuana Program Act] had been established… the collective or cooperative association required by the act need not include active participation by all members in the cultivation process but may be limited to financial support by way of marijuana purchases from the organization. Thus, contrary to the trial court’s ruling, the large membership of Jackson’s collective, very few of whom participated in the actual cultivation process, did not, as a matter of law, prevent Jackson from presenting an MMPA defense.”

The California Attorney General may decide to appeal the Jackson decision, and ASA will be ready to fight this case all the way to the state Supreme Court. Regardless of what comes next in court, patients should hope lawmakers are listening to court today. California votes called on state officials to “to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana” when they approved Proposition 215 in 1996. State lawmakers tried to further clarify the issue when the adopted the Medical Marijuana Program Act in 2003. That bill explicitly allowed collective and cooperative associations and provided for reimbursements for medicine.  It is past time for prosecutors like Ms. Dumanis, local law makers, and state representatives to stop stall and start regulating.


Demand Your Rights to Safe Access in Eureka – Deregulate Marijuana – Let the Dispensary Ban Sunset

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2012 by highboldtage

shortlink here:
The “emergency” ban on medical marijuana dispensaries is about to sunset in early November.  Call every member of the city council and DEMAND that the ban on dispensaries be allowed to sunset, and thereafter that medical marijuana dispensaries be allowed to be licensed in the city like any other legal business without discrimination.
The city council in Los Angeles was FORCED to rescind its ban on dispensaries just this week  because the people down there got ORGANIZED AND GATHERED 40,000 SIGNATURES TO RESCIND THE BAN.
Stand up for your rights!
Besides allowing legal and safe access to needed medicine, deregulation of the medical marijuana business here in Eureka will quickly fill half a dozen empty storefronts and industrial buildings and will provide good employment for 50 or 60 people.
Call every city council person – they all represent you – and demand that they do the right thing for mmj patients and the economic health of Eureka!
Remind them that if they do nothing – and let the dispensary ban sunset – that the Feds can do nothing to them.  They cannot be prosecuted by the Feds for something they haven’t done.
Remind them that they cannot discriminate against legal dispensary businesses – to do so is to invite expensive antidiscrimination lawsuits that WILL  BE LOST just like so many recent lawsuits against the city!
When you contact your city council person be civil, but be firm!
Marian Brady (707) 441-4169
Linda Atkins (707) 441-4168
Mike Newman (707) 441-4170
Melinda Ciarabellini  (707)  441-4167
Lance Madsen (707) 441-4171
have a peaceful day,
please forward
link here:  or

PEACEFUL Medicinal Rights Rallies in 4 California Cities TOMORROW!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2009 by highboldtage

LOS ANGELES – October 20, 2009 – Medical cannabis patients and their

advocates are holding rallies and conducting actions in Los Angeles, San

Francisco, San Diego and Riverside, California, on Thursday, October 22,

2009. Patients are responding to local elected officials and rogue law

enforcement for impeding regulations and violating patients’ rights.

Patients are also working with Congressional offices to move the issue

further forward on the federal level.

They will be thanking President Obama for the recent memo to California

Attorney General Jerry Brown and others, that includes language which has

helped reduce fear of DEA raids and federal prosecution of patients from

the US Department of Justice. While patient advocates applaud this memo

many feel it falls short and changes little in California.

“President Obama’s memo is welcome and a reasonable first step but

patients and providers need much stronger protection and clear language

under federal law,” states Shona Gochenaur, Executive Director of Axis of

Love San Francisco, a medical cannabis patient advocacy and social

services organization serving San Francisco. Patient advocates in San

Francisco will call on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for a review of the pros

and cons HR 2835, the Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act –

Search Results – THOMAS (Library of Congress). Gochenaur states,

“We have to keep up this momentum.”

In Los Angeles, District Attorney Steve Cooley and City Attorney Carmen

Trutanich are calling all medical cannabis dispensaries “100% illegal” and

have promised busts. “Patients feel threatened in a new way in Los

Angeles,” states Degé Coutee, director of Patient Advocacy Network, a

medical cannabis patient advocacy and educational organization serving

Greater Los Angeles. “They [Cooley and Trutanich] are recreating reefer

madness and are out of step with the will of the people. We want

acceptable rules not raids. Los Angeles has created a dangerous situation

and patients want to let our officials know we that,” continues Coutee.

Day of Action List of Events and Contacts:
Los Angeles – Degé Coutee (contact info above)
Rally at Los Angeles City Hall – 200 N. Main St. Entrance, Downtown LA –
2:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

San Francisco – Shona Gochenaur (415) 240- 5247
Rally at Congressional Office of Nancy Pelosi – 90 7th Street, San
Francisco, 94103 – Noon to 1 p.m.

San Diego – Kim McCue or Wendy Christakes (619)
Rally at CA Narcotic Officers Assoc. Awards Ceremony – Double Tree Hotel –
7450 Hazard Center Drive – 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Riverside – Ryan Michaels (760) 707-7661
Rally at Riverside County Courthouse – Corner of 10th and Main Streets,
Riverside Civic Center – 5 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.


Garden Grove Loses Pot Argument: No Federal Preemption

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2009 by highboldtage

Landmark Case, California

For Immediate Release: June 17th, 2009
Medical Marijuana Group Gets $139,000 in Attorneys Fees for Landmark Case
Garden Grove spends a quarter of a million dollars, loses federal preemption argument

Oakland, CA — The national medical marijuana advocacy organization Americans for Safe Access (ASA) was paid yesterday by the City of Garden Grove $139,000 in attorneys fees for a settlement agreement in a landmark medical marijuana case. The fees awarded to ASA are in addition to more than $100,000 that Garden Grove spent fighting the state’s medical marijuana law, likely totaling more than a quarter of a million dollars. The case City of Garden Grove v. Superior Court involved the wrongful seizure of medical marijuana from Garden Grove patient Felix Kha, and resulted in a landmark decision rejecting the city’s argument that state law was preempted by federal law. Instead, California’s Fourth Appellate District ruled that, “it is not the job of the local police to enforce the federal drug laws.”

“It’s unfortunate that the City of Garden Grove felt it necessary to challenge the rights of patients in California by spending more than a quarter of a million dollars to refuse to return medical marijuana worth approximately two hundred dollars,” said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with Americans for Safe Access. “Nevertheless, this should force local officials to better uphold medical marijuana patients’ rights under the law.” The 41-page landmark decision was appealed by Garden Grove, but was instead upheld after a denial of review by the California Supreme Court in November 2007 and, most recently, by the U.S. Supreme Court in December 2008.

The Kha case was the result of a wrongful seizure of medical marijuana by local police in June 2005. Kha was pulled over by the Garden Grove Police Department and cited for possession of marijuana, despite presenting officers with the proper documentation. The marijuana charge against Kha was subsequently dismissed, with the Superior Court of Orange County issuing an order to return Kha’s wrongfully seized 8 grams of medical marijuana. The police, backed by the City of Garden Grove, refused to return Kha’s medicine and the city appealed. While the case was before the appellate court, the California Attorney General filed a “friend of the court” brief on behalf of Kha’s right to possess his medicine. This, in turn, prompted several statewide law enforcement associations to file briefs in support of Garden Grove, challenging the state’s medical marijuana law.

“Medical marijuana advocates are hailing this landmark decision and today’s settlement for attorneys fees as a huge victory that underscores law enforcement’s obligation to uphold state law,” continued Elford. “Better adherence to state medical marijuana laws by local police will result in fewer needless arrests and seizures, and will allow for better implementation of those laws not only in California, but in all medical marijuana states.”

Further information:
Attorneys fees settlement agreement & check: http://www.americansforsafeaccess.or…Settlement.pdf
Landmark decision by California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal:…veDecision.pdf
Felix Kha’s return of property case:

ASA – Americans for Safe Access Employment Opportunity

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 26, 2009 by highboldtage

Field Coordinator, Oakland, CA

May 26th, 2009
Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic uses and research. ASA works in partnership with state, local and national legislators to overcome barriers and create policies that improve access to cannabis for patients and researchers. We have more than 30,000 active members with chapters and affiliates in more than 40 states.

ASA provides legal training for and medical information to patients, attorneys, health and medical professionals and policymakers throughout the United States. We also organize media support for court cases, rapid response to law enforcement raids, and capacity-building for advocates. Our successful lobbying, media and legal campaigns have resulted in important court precedents, new sentencing standards, and more compassionate community guidelines

The mission of Americans for Safe Access is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic uses and research.

Position: Field Coordinator

The field coordinator is responsible for building and maintaining ASA’s field of organizers, and for maintaining communication between the field, ASA staff and ASA campaigns. The position is supervised and accountable to the Chief of Staff. This is a full-time, salaried position, based out of our Oakland, CA headquarters.

Specific Tasks and Responsibilities:

Build the Field (35%)

1. Recruit new volunteer organizers and manage their development
2. Reach out to field organizers from other organizations and to other key allies
3. Schedule and staff tabling outreach at public events and conferences
4. Follow up with new contacts from public events and conferences
5. Conduct web and email outreach
6. Collect new contacts through internet, personal, and chapter-based outreach
7. Add new emails to email lists regularly

Maintain the Field (35%)

1. Maintain regular communication with key organizers & chapter leaders including convening monthly organizer conference calls
2. Provide information, guidance, assistance, and training to local leadership
3. Maintain project and program-based materials and distribute to organizers
4. Maintain relationships with field organizers from other organizations with other key allies
5. Maintain internet responsibilities including updating the website, managing listserves and discussion forums, and utilizing social networking tools
6. Send monthly action packet to organizers
7. Coordinate regular trainings
8. Visit chapters and affiliates as needed
9. Maintain clear records of organizers, including updating contact information and tracking communication and activities

Integrate & Innovate (Liaison with campaigns, field & staff) (30%)

1. Advise and participate in strategic planning with chapter leaders and key organizers
2. Liaison with staff through regular meetings
3. Set up constituent meetings on legislation
4. Coordinate grassroots actions based on current programs, projects and campaigns
5. Organize court support for medical marijuana defendants
6. Write campaign materials, activist alerts, updates, and letters to organizers
7. Create and maintain political materials for national and state-based outreach
8. Write regular reports of grassroots activity for distribution to staff and the public
9. Post to blog and discussion forums regularly

Experience and Qualifications:

• Minimum 2-5 years experience in grassroots organizing;
• Political campaign and/or lobbying experience preferred;
• Commitment to the mission and goals of Americans for Safe Access;
• Computer literate, and comfortable with acquiring new skills;
• Exceptional time management and prioritization skills; calm under pressure;
• Flexible at setting (and re-setting) priorities and managing multiple projects;
• Exceptional communication, organizational and diplomacy skills with strong written communication skills;
• Sense of humor, high ethical professional standards, and multi-cultural perspective;
• Works well in team environment;
• Flexible schedule, including availability to work occasional evenings and weekends, and to travel periodically throughout the state and nationally;
• Dedicated to working closely and cooperatively in a community-based organization with diverse staff, volunteers, and community members.

Please submit a cover letter and resume to

No phone calls or faxes please.
We are an equal opportunity employer. People of color and women are strongly encouraged to apply.

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