Tamar Todd

California's Golden Opportunity to Finally Legalize Marijuana Is Coming in November

If you care about protecting the environment, if you care about raising revenue for the state, if you care about protecting young people, if you care about communities harmed by our past drug policies, if you care about racial justice, then you should care about the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). This was the theme repeated again and again at the kick-off event for the campaign to legalize marijuana in California yesterday as they celebrated the submission of over 600,000 signatures to county officials around California, more than enough to ensure that AUMA will be on the ballot this November.

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War on Drugs Targets and Devastates Pregnant Women

The prosecution of pregnant women for drug use represents the unhappy convergence of the war on drugs and the war on reproductive rights.

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California Supreme Court Could Make Game-Changing Decision on Marijuana Policy

This past week California took a giant leap forward towards fixing the confusion that currently exists in the state over medical marijuana when the California Supreme Court granted review in two controversial medical marijuana cases:  Pack v. City of Long Beach and City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patient's Health and Wellness Ctr.  The Pack decision held that some local regulations governing medical marijuana dispensaries may be preempted by federal law and the Riverside decision held that localities could legally ban dispensaries altogether.  Both have been used by localities to justify suspending local medical marijuana ordinances and instituting further moratoria or outright bans.  Both cases have generated considerable fear and instability among medical marijuana providers and led to decreased access to medicine by patients.  And both court decisions have now been vacated pending the California Supreme Court’s review. 

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California Supreme Court Rules Unanimously Against Compassionate Care

California's State Supreme Court has voted unanimously to limit the ability of patients to obtain medical marijuana by narrowly defining who is a legitimate caregiver under California's Compassionate Use Act. As a result of the Court's November 24 opinion in People v. Mentch, many ill and dying patients who are unable to grow their own medicine will no longer be able to rely on individuals who assist patients with cultivation and administration of medical marijuana. Under the new ruling, these individuals are now more vulnerable to arrest and prosecution under California law. This places the burden on California's cooperatives and collectives to supply most of the medical marijuana needed in California by patients who are unable to cultivate their own.

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