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Friday, September 23, 2011
As medical marijuana patients poured out of the courtroom, another group pounded the pavement, as protests errupted for a second straight week as The People of the State of California VS. Joe Byron and Joe Grumbine unfolds.
The People vs. Joe, one of whom is a Long Beach business owner, the other an Executive Director of the non-profit group The Human Solution, is Los Angeles County’s DA Steve Cooley’s Flagship Case in his efforts to silence the two community leaders with his premise that “All Sales Are Illegal.”
Unfortunately, it’s working on Judge Charles Sheldon (who has a record of sentencing 3-strikes cases to the fullest, even on non-violent cases), as prosecutors got their way today in their motion to suppress the same rights the will of the people voted awarded people like Byron and Grumbine fifteen years ago.
“The law is clear, but Judge Sheldon, citing no reasons, is not allowing the defendents to exericise their rights to an Affirmative Defense, which the voters have clearly voted on,” reiterates Allison Margolin, one of the attorneys for one of the Joes.
This could be bad news for patients and dispensaries, providers and caregivers, and anyone who believes in the fundamental right to choose from the form of medicine, natural or synthetic, a patient finds to be most effective.
Kamala Harris inched her way to victory over Cooley largely due to the efficacy of the Americans for Safe Access ‘Not Cooley’ campaign in last year’s California Attorney General’s race because of this very issue.
The same population that could’ve turned Prop 19, which would’ve made California the first state to create regulations for marijuana use by adults, from a loss to a victory but did not, are the same group of people that didn’t want Steve Cooley making his “ALL Sales Are Illegal” perspective a state-wide stance.
Now that Cooley has set his sights on a target closer to the Los Angeles DA’s radar, the ‘Cooley’s Not Cool’ hat is back, as Joe and Joe both lost their right to their Affirmative Defense as medical marijuana patients directing a collective.
Most Federal medical marijuana cases do not allow patient’s rights to be shown to the jury, and this form of information censorship and manipulation tactics is being replicated in Cooley’s current case against the two men who had dotted all I’s and crossed all T’s while providing medical marijuana to qualified medical cannabis patients.
Even the rules they were following will not be allowed to be introduced to the Jury, once the trial begins. Long Beach’s current Congressman is even a Co-sponsor of the Truth in Trials Act, to ensure that the truth be a part of a blind Justice System.
While our Congressman, who recently endorsed the “Regulate Marijuana Like Wine” Initiative, to be a Co-sponsor on a bill that ensures transparency in medical cannabis cases, are we to assume that there is a clear need for such transparancy?
We don’t have to assume any longer, now that the lies to build the laws are being dismantled one by one, as right-leaning groups like the RAND Corporation are even publishing studies to prove than medical cannabis dispensaries make areas more safe because crime goes down, not up, like our ‘leaders’ would like us to believe.
Even elected officials in Long Beach, like Councilmembers DeLong, O’Donnell, and Schipske, who were buying the lie and perpetuating it tenfold, throwing the entire permitting process back several steps (as if their process wasn’t already flawed enough).
It’s not that Justice in Blind, however, it’s that for the prosecution to win this case, they need the Jury to be.
Unfortunately for the lead prosecutor in the case, Jodi Castano, who has admitted to not fully understanding the Endogenous Cannabinoid Signaling System (eCBss), which regulates the human body systems that keep us all alive, and doesn’t want the Jury to understand it either.
In fact, she is quoted as saying, “I’ve never even heard of it,” underscoring a larger problem.
Unless local Long Beach residents have been living under a rock these past few years, the jury pool will fully understand that this is a medical marijuana case, and they may follow Montana residents, where Jury Nullification has come up, and where Missoula couldn’t even seat a jury.
If they understand science and have access to a smart-phone or computer, and if they live in Long Beach, they most likely understand marijuana IS a medicine also, even if they know even less than Castano about the eCBss, who is prosecuting a case that is the clearest representation of wasteful spending as California reaches a second recession and resources become more scarce.
Many innocent people every day are victims of violent crimes, and many of those crimes go unsolved. Perhaps our law enforcement and court systems could be less controlled by politics, which is the driving force behind the perpetually-flawed perspective the war-mongering in the War on Drugs provides.
Long Beach is even in the process of providing permits for the same thing Joe Byron and Joe Grumbine are being accused of doing.
Twelve charges of sales occurred by undercover officers and informants who obtained legal medical cannabis recommendation by physicians, and then went into the medical marijuana dispensary to get the medicine their doctors deemed worthy of introduction to their own body’s marijuana system it makes.
Sounds like normal medical cannabis dispensing center (MCDC) protocol: a qualified patient comes in, gets what they were unable to grow for themselves, and pay for it.
As a matter of fact, it sounds like America to me too. Not that a California MCDC can earn a profit, but I do notice that health care delivery in America is for profit.
Health care insurance is for profit, the medicine is for profit, health care delivery is for profit (which is why 50 millions Americans don’t even have it), and even marijuana in a pill, Marinol, is FOR PROFIT!
Joe Byron and Joe Grumbine were operating a MCDC, and for those that found it too difficult to even go to a safe access point like their dispensary, they would set up and teach patients how to grow their own.
The whole plant is also much more effective than a synthetic, isolated, pathetic attempt to replicate the safe and natural substance in the first place. So natural in fact, we make it ourselves naturally.
One such natural body chemical, called Anandamide, Sanskrit for ‘Bliss’, is like Delta-9 THC, which is the psychoactive property. It only becomes psychoactive when THCA is heated up and turns into Delta 9.
Our body also has receptors that link with the cannabis plant’s properties that bind to each other like a key in a lock, many keys and many locks really, as our body’s cannabis system is responsible for maintaining homeostasis and regulating every other body system we have.
So it’s rather important that elected officials and appointed persons understand what they are trying to regulate, let alone restrict, which is what will happen if Cooley’s case is made by manipulation, omission, and censorship.
If Castano is forced to finish fighting Cooley’s War, more than one Braggart Soldier will ride away, taking marijuana prohibition with them, going quietly into their watermark, swept away by mandate.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
The report by the nonprofit RAND Corp. reviewed crime reports for the 10 days prior to and the 10 days after city officials shuttered the clinics last summer after a new ordinance went into effect. The analysis revealed that crime increased about 60 percent within three blocks of a closed dispensary compared to the same parameters for those that remained open.
“If medical marijuana dispensaries are causing crime, then there should be a drop in crime when they close,” said Mireille Jacobson, a RAND senior economist and the study’s lead author. “Individual dispensaries may attract crime or create a neighborhood nuisance, but we found no evidence that medical marijuana dispensaries in general cause crime to rise.”
Crime was among the concerns that prompted the City Council to pass the ordinance that put strict guidelines on the pot clinics and forced many of them to close. Law enforcement authorities have long argued collectives attract crime because they often handle large amounts of cash and thieves can resell marijuana.
Two workers at different dispensaries were killed during robberies in June 2010.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca went one step further last September when he said nearly all dispensaries operate as criminal enterprises, a claim that infuriated medical marijuana supporters who have said law enforcement officials have resorted to scare tactics to advance their agenda.
“They have perpetuated this myth that there is more crime associated with collectives,” said James Shaw of the Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, an advocacy group for medicinal marijuana users. “This council should be emboldened to revise the ordinance so it’s not so draconian to the patients and their associations.”
Researchers looked at crime reports for 600 dispensaries in Los Angeles County — 170 that remained open and 430 ordered to close. They found that the further away from the clinics the less crime there was: within six blocks of a closed dispensary crime rose by 25 percent and by 10 blocks there was no perceptible change in crime.
The study said some of the factor for the increase may be because the storefronts had security cameras and guards, there was less foot traffic and fewer police patrols.
The city attorney’s office called the study “deeply flawed.”
“It relies exclusively upon faulty assumptions, conjecture, irrelevant data, untested measurement and incomplete results. The conclusions are therefore highly suspect and unreliable,” the city attorney’s office said in a statement.
Councilman Ed Reyes called the report an “eye-opener” but said it was limited in its findings because it was conducted over a short period of time.
“I think the study needs to continue because it’s a snapshot,” Reyes said. “It verifies how complex this issue is.”
Legal challenges still remain over whether city officials have the right to close dispensaries since state law allows medical marijuana collectives. Marijuana is still illegal under federal law.
A judge in December ruled certain portions of the city ordinance were unconstitutional. Council members amended the ordinance but a lottery that would allow 100 collectives to remain open has yet to be conducted.
Source: The Washington Post