Tag: Medical Marijuana

Jul 25 2012

Flap’s California Morning Collection: July 25, 2012


A medical marijuana dispensary at Venice Beach, California

Good Wednesday morning!

The California Legislature is not in session for a summer recess.

The California Assembly has adjourned until August 6, 2012 and the California State Senate is also in adjournment.

The California Assembly’s Daily File is here and the California State Senate’s here.

On to today’s California headlines:

L.A. City Council deals blow to pot clinics

After years of controversy over medical marijuana, the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday decided to ban every clinic in the city – but left the door open for some to reopen in the future.

The 14-0 decision came after some five hours of debate, including three hours behind closed doors, as well as passionate opposing testimony from medical marijuana advocates and neighbors frustrated by the problems the clinics create.

In a separate vote, the council OK’d a plan to study allowing 182 dispensaries to open in the future, following more extensive analysis by the Planning Department over the next several months.

City Councilman Jose Huizar, a co-author of the ban, said the city has simply been unable to properly control the dispensaries. In Eagle Rock, for example, he said, there are 13 clinics.

“That’s too many for such a small area,” Huizar said. “All we hear are complaints about the number of dispensaries and the problems around them.”

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa plans to sign the measure, his office said Tuesday, and it would take effect 30 days after his signature.

The vote reversed the council’s earlier decisions to allow dispensaries to remain open if they had obtained the proper permits from the city.

California still ranked No. 9 among the world’s economies

As it slowly recovers from its worst recession since the Great Depression, where does California’s economy fit into the global marketplace?

A massive new economic forecast from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. confirms that were California a nation, it would place No. 9 among the globe’s economies, just behind No. 8 Italy and just ahead of Russia.

The data-filled report, to be unveiled today in Los Angeles, pegs California’s economy at just under $2 trillion a year (2011 numbers) and implies that it could move up or down in the rankings, depending on what happens to the volatile European economy. The state once ranked as high as sixth.

California’s economy saw an inflation-adjusted 2 percent growth from 2010 to 2011, while Italy’s grew at just one-fifth of that rate. Among the economies larger than California’s, only China, Germany and Brazil, which leaped into sixth place, had higher rates of growth than the state. But Russia’s economy grew twice as fast as California’s from 2010 to 2011, so it could push California down to 10th place.

Police, protesters clash as tensions roil Anaheim

Simmering tensions in the wake of two deadly police shootings in Anaheim exploded into violence Tuesday night as protesters clashed with police outside City Hall even as officials voted to ask federal authorities to investigate the killings that have rocked the Orange County community.

Protesters hurled rocks, traffic cones and other objects at police clad in riot gear as officers chased people along sidewalks and streets throughout the evening and fired less-than-lethal projectiles into crowds after giving a dispersal order. Sirens wailed as officers formed skirmish lines and police from neighboring law enforcement agencies provided assistance.

Police said that at least five people were arrested on suspicion of assault and resisting arrest, and that a reporter from the Orange County Register was struck by a rock as angry crowds stood face to face with officers in tense standoffs. Fires were started in dumpsters, and at least one storefront had its windows broken as the skirmishes continued into the night.

State duns cities for millions of dollars

California cities are in a high-stakes fight with officials in Sacramento over money that the state says the cities owe as part of the winding down of redevelopment agencies.

County officials, under the state’s direction, have sent letters of demand to cities throughout the state in recent weeks, many for millions of dollars. Several cities, including El Cerrito, refused to pay and sued the state, which is threatening to penalize cities by withholding sales tax revenue that cities rely on to pay for police, parks and other general operating expenses.

Some local officials warn that if the state follows through with its threat, struggling cities could be pushed off the fiscal cliff. Recently, fiscal crises prompted three California cities – Stockton, Mammoth Lakes and San Bernardino – to declare bankruptcy.

“It’s time that we stand up and be counted, and defend our municipal affairs and rights, and push back,” William C. Jones III, mayor of El Cerrito, said at a City Council meeting July 12 after the council voted to sue the state.

Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature abolished redevelopment agencies last year as part of the budget plan to deal with California’s chronic deficits, redirecting billions to local governments for schools, public safety and other services. Some of that money helps the state’s budget by reducing the amount of the general fund that is required to go toward education.

Enjoy your morning and Dan Walters Daily video:’It’s time for Jerry Springer’


Apr 03 2012

Flap’s California Morning Collection: April 3, 2012


Los Angeles Dodger’s Stadium just prior to the start of 2012 Los Angeles Marathon

Good Tuesday morning!

The California Legislature is adjourned for Spring/Easter break and will resume on April 9, 2012.

On to today’s California headlines:

Feds raid Oaksterdam University, founder’s home

Dozens of federal agents on Monday raided the Oakland businesses and apartment of Richard Lee, the state’s most prominent advocate for the legalization and regulation of marijuana, carting away loads of pot and belongings but not revealing the purpose of their investigation.

The agents targeted Oaksterdam University, the internationally famous school that Lee established to train people in the marijuana industry, a medical cannabis dispensary called Coffeeshop Blue Sky, and three properties being rented by Lee, including his apartment near Lake Merritt.

Feds target one of California’s most famous marijuana advocates

Multiple federal agencies unleashed raids Monday on the home and businesses of one of California’s most famous marijuana advocates, Richard Lee, founder of the renowned cannabis industry trade school known as Oaksterdam University.

Lee, who spent $1.6 million to bankroll Proposition 19, an unsuccessful 2010 measure to legalize marijuana for recreational use, was neither arrested nor charged.

But federal authorities from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Marshals Service swooped in early Monday, targeting five locations, including the school on this city’s Broadway that has trained 15,000 people in marijuana cultivation and careers since opening in 2007.

Other locations raided were Lee’s Oaksterdam Blue Sky marijuana dispensary, his home and two downtown storefronts he leased.

Amid a continuing federal crackdown on medical marijuana businesses in California, Monday’s raids touched a nerve in downtown Oakland, where the Oaksterdam district serves as the activist heart for one of America’s most marijuana-friendly cities. As word of the raids spread, scores of people descended upon the streets outside Oaksterdam to protest the government’s actions.

Affirmative action: Attempt to lift ban rejected

A federal appeals court on Monday rejected an attempt to revive preferential admissions for minorities at the University of California and reaffirmed the legality of Proposition 209, the state’s voter-approved ban on affirmative action.

The suit – filed by 55 UC applicants and an advocacy group called By Any Means Necessary, and supported by Gov. Jerry Brown – argued that the legal rationale for Prop. 209 had been undermined by developments since the initiative passed in 1996.

One development was a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing universities to consider applicants’ race as a factor in promoting campus diversity. The other was a 50 percent drop in admissions of Latinos, African Americans and American Indians at UC in the first year after Prop. 209 passed.

Minority enrollment has risen somewhat since then under UC policies to admit the top 4 percent from each California high school, and to give less weight to applicants’ scores on standardized tests.

Brown also argued against Prop. 209 in court, saying it created unfair barriers by outlawing preferences for minorities and women, while allowing other groups – military veterans, athletes, children of alumni – to seek preferential admissions.

But in a terse 3-0 ruling, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said similar arguments had been addressed and rejected in 1997, when another panel of the court upheld Prop. 209.

The 2003 Supreme Court decision allowed race-based affirmative action in some circumstances, but “it did not hold that such programs are constitutionally required,” Judge Barry Silverman said in the appeals court’s decision. He noted that the high court has granted review of a Texas case that could lead to a nationwide ban on preferential treatment of minorities.

LAPD chief’s controversial impound policy to start in 3 weeks

Despite some opposition and questions about legality, a policy initiated by Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck that allows some unlicensed drivers to avoid a 30-day impound of their cars is expected to roll out in three weeks.

Beck reiterated the terms of the policy during an editorial board meeting with the Daily News Monday, hoping to clarify what he said has been unfair criticism of the program, as well as questions surrounding his motivation to focus on car impounds.

Some groups have said the policy rewards illegal immigration, while others have suggested Beck is seeking favor with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the Latino community, all of which he called untrue.

“The goal of this is to make this a safer city to drive in,” Beck said. “I intend to have no other job after this. When I’m done being the chief of the Police Department, I’m done. Because of that, it’s given me a unique position to do what I believe is right.”

The policy would change the criteria by which an unlicensed diver could avoid a 30-day impound.

A motorist who is pulled over by an LAPD officer for a driving violation must have a valid identification card, which can include an employment or military ID, or a matricula consular card. The motorist also must not have caused an accident, have no prior misdemeanors, and have proof of car insurance.

The driver is still cited for the violation, and his or her car is impounded because there is no driver’s license. But if all four criteria are found, the driver’s car would be released immediately to a licensed driver – a cost of $268.55 that includes towing charges, compared to about $1,400 for the 30 days.

Beck’s decision to change the policy was spurred by an inspector general’s report released two years ago that showed an inconsistency in impound laws. A majority of the vehicles were impounded for 30 days, while the rest were released immediately.

Enjoy your morning and lastly Dan Walters talks about Governor Moonbeam and what he has brought back to the Capitol:


Feb 28 2012

Flap’s California Morning Collection: February 28, 2012


Venice Beach, California

Good Morning!

The California Legislature is in session. Today’s schedule is here.

On to today’s California headlines:

U.S. attorney talks pot dispensary crackdown

The federal Justice Department’s recent crackdown on medicinal marijuana dispensaries is expected to be the topic of heated debate at a Sacramento Press Club luncheon today.

Benjamin Wagner, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California, is scheduled to address the issue today at a luncheon sponsored by the Sacramento Press Club.

Medicinal marijuana growers and dispensaries have been hit with raids, property seizures and criminal charges since the Justice Department signaled a push to pursue enforcement of federal drug laws even in states where medicinal marijuana is legal.

Wagner and California’s other U.S. Attorneys have argued that California’s voter-approved law legalizing the use, cultivation and possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes has been “hijacked by profiteers.” Supporters of the state’s 16-year-old medical marijuana law say the move is putting dispensaries out of business and undermining the voter-approved Proposition 215.

And, we all know where the Feds can go and look for bogus medical marijuana shops, now don’t we? For a refresher, look at the photo above.

Jerry Brown’s proposed budget counts on too much revenue, analyst says

Gov. Jerry Brown is counting on $6.5 billion too much for his proposed budget, even with Facebook’s stock sale on the horizon, according to a new economic review by the state’s fiscal analyst.

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office has taken a more pessimistic view of capital gains in California through June 2013, though it acknowledges in its new report that predicting those totals is “notoriously difficult.”

California’s heavy reliance on volatile capital gains income has been a significant reason the state has found it so difficult to budget in recent years.

The analyst’s latest revenue estimate is not far from its November forecast, when it pegged California’s deficit at nearly $13 billion.

But the latest report is noteworthy because updated data has not changed its position that Brown is too optimistic in his budget.

John and Ken return to KFI, meet with black delegation

A representative of the Los Angeles Urban League and other African-Americans met Monday with KFI officials and talk show hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, who resumed their afternoon shock-talk show after two weeks of suspension. The time off was billed by the station as a response to a quip on the show, right after Whitney Houston died, that likened the black singer to a “crack ho.

Aerospace leader says state should try to keep firms from fleeing

California is at risk of losing aerospace companies to other states if it doesn’t become more business friendly, said Stuart Witt, chief executive of the Mojave Air & Space Port.

Speaking at the Next-Generation Suborbital Research Conference, a commercial space conference in Palo Alto, Witt said that California politicians need to do more so that other states don’t lure the emerging commercial space industry away from the Southland.

Just last August, aerospace giant Northrop Grumman Corp. moved its corporate headquarters from Century City to Falls Church, Va. The company joined an exodus of military companies — including Lockheed Martin Corp., Science Applications International Corp. and Computer Sciences Corp. — that have abandoned Southern California since the mid-1990s.

In Mojave, several commercial space ventures, such as Scaled Composites and XCOR Aerospace Inc., are developing spacecraft to lift paying customers into outer space.

“Virginia, Maryland, Texas, Florida, New Mexico, Colorado and other states, with the support of their governors, legislators and business communities, are visiting aerospace businesses at the Mojave Air & Space Port in an effort to recruit them and their highly skilled jobs to their states,” Witt said.

He brought up British billionaire Richard Branson’s commercial space venture Virgin Galactic as an example. The company builds and tests its spacecraft in Mojave, but its headquarters are in New Mexico, where former Gov. Bill Richardson helped secure state loans to build a $209-million space port.

California prisons clearing out

Images of California’s overcrowded prisons are so striking that the U.S. Supreme Court included two photographs of the problem in last year’s landmark opinion that forced the state to address the issue.

On Friday, state corrections leaders will announce they have made an important step toward their goal to ease overcrowding, finally getting rid of the last of thousands of bunks that were crammed into day rooms, gymnasiums and other spaces to hold inmates.

In a news conference scheduled to be held at the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, corrections chief Matthew Cate and other officials are scheduled to announce the end of what the department itself calls “iconic images of (the) overcrowding crisis.”

“As of the very end of last week, there were no more inmates currently sleeping in them,” corrections spokesman Jeffrey Callison said Monday.

The use of what the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation calls “nontraditional beds” peaked at just under 20,000 in 2007, Callison said.

Their use stemmed from the prison system at one point holding twice as many inmates as the 80,000 it was designed to house.

Enjoy your morning!


Aug 31 2011

California Governor Jerry Brown Signs Medical Marijuana Dispensary Legislation


At Venice Beach, California

The medical marijuana folks are pretty aggressive at Venice Beach where I run every week. Now, the City of Los Angeles will be able to set definite rules.

Gov. Jerry Brown stepped in the middle of a dispute over the proliferation of medical marijuana dispensaries, signing a law Wednesday that gives Los Angeles and other cities clear authority to restrict their location and operation.

Brown signed AB 1300, which was introduced by Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield (D-Woodland Hills) after several pot shops filed lawsuits challenging Los Angeles’ authority to regulate them.

The measure, supported by the Los Angeles city attorney, authorizes local government to adopt ordinances regulating the location and operation of the dispensaries and to file civil or criminal claims against violators.

The entire medical marijuana industry is a joke anyway since I doubt THAT MANY people have glaucoma or cancer. The penalties for personal possession are now an infraction, punishable with a $100 fine and no court appearance.

Marijuana is just about legal in California, as long as, you don’t sell it next to a church or school.