HUFF toddles on looking over the latest attack on Medical Marijuana and its impact on low-income folks here, surveys the Right 2 Rest scene in Sacramento after today’s protest and Senate Housing and Transportation Committee vote, scopes out a Thursday Back-to-the-Library Cafe HUFF at 9:30 AM 4-9, considers Armory closing on or around the 15th, and considers new strategies for an independent campaign against police militarization re: the homeless. Report on the Monterey sit-lie protests, Berkeley’s Ambassador-Host homeless beating, and more! All with coffee and crunchables.
Tag Archives: Pot
Lowest Enforcement Priority for Marijuana in Santa Cruz? Don’t Rely on the Measure K Committee
Monday Oct 6th, 2014 11:06 PM
The Measure K Committee, created by voter initiative in 2006 here in Santa Cruz, in Santa Monica, and in Santa Barbara was supposed to be the first step in holding the local PD and similar agencies accountable and moving to end Marijuana Prohibition. I detailed the agenda and some preliminary concerns about the Committee pro-police bias at http://www.indybay.org/
newsitems/2014/10/05/18762458. php . Marijuana enforcement was supposed to become the lowest enforcement priority for adults on private property–whether the marijuana was being used, bought, sold, transported, or simply possessed. The Measure K Committee was supposed to ensure that police were laying off. Instead it’s acting as a rubberstamp.
TICKETS OUTNUMBER COMPLAINTS 8-1 BUT COMMITTEE NOT INTERESTED IN SEEING THE CITATIONS
None of the Committee was interested in actually looking at the statistic around marijuana arrests. Why were the police doing 8 times more ticketing/arresting for marijuana than there were calls for service around that issue? Member Coral Brune couldn’t get a second for her motion to ask to see the actual fifty marijuana citations and arrest reports. Before rubberstamping the summary and conclusions of Assistant to the Assistant City Manager Scott Collins that the SCPD were “in compliance”. In essence they took the SCPD’s word for it.
However, MC 9.84.060(1)(e) actually reads: “Responsibilities of the committee shall include: submitting written reports semi-annually to the Santa Cruz City Council on the implementation of this ordinance, … These reports shall include but not necessarily be limited to: the number of all arrests, citations, property seizures, and prosecutions for marijuana offenses in the city of Santa Cruz; the breakdown of all marijuana arrests and citations by race, age, specific charge, and classification as infraction, misdemeanor, or felony; the percentage of all arrests in the city of Santa Cruz that are for adult marijuana offenses.”
The only provision that was actually followed was the final section which requires the reports to include “any instances of law enforcement activity that the committee believes violated the lowest law enforcement priority policy”–where everyone took the SCPD’s word that that number was zero.
I couldn’t figure out whether most of the Committee members were being cagey, cowardly or just clueless in willfully ignoring the requirements of the law (passed by the voters after being rejected by City Council back in 2006). I suspect that exaggerated respect for and/or apprehension of the police played its usual role.
VICTIMS OF POLICE ABUSE CAN CONTACT THE COMMITTEE IN SIX MONTHS
One member afterwards–the only one who actually stopped to talk with me–actually told me that he didn’t want to examine police records unless he received credible reports of violations. When I told him that as a radio broadcaster I’d received such reports of homeless people being ticketed for marijuana on private property (though admittedly outdoors), he suggested they “come to the next meeting” That would be in six months, I told him. No, he insisted, we meet ever three months. I showed him the minutes of the last meeting–since the Committee meets twice yearly. On several occasions the members don’t bother to show up or City Council members left their seats vacant.
THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY
To his credit, at Coral’s request Collins arranged to have a recording of the meeting–something David Terrazas–head of the Public Safety Committee twice refused to do. Terazzas’s committee excreted one anti-homeless law after another last year.
To his discredit, Collins suggested that getting the police to release the 50 marijuana citations from the last six months would be “burdensome” and “costly” and “time-consuming”. The Committee ignored my testimony that I regularly got such information from the police department–which didn’t seem to bankrupt them or prompt wails of dismay.
HOW MUCH MONEY IS THE SCPD USING FOR MARIJUANA ENFORCEMENT? DON’T ASK!
Other motions presented by Brune were dismissed as “beyond the purview” of the Committee that “might require an opinion of the City Attorney.” These included a request to find out what grants or funding sources the SCPD gets that are used for any kind of marijuana enforcement. This is actually explicitly authorized if not required by MC 9.84.050(2) (e) of Measure K which states: “Responsibilities of the committee shall include…the estimated time and money spent by the city on law enforcement and punishment for adult marijuana offenses.”
Another one turned down without a second or a vote was “how much is spent for marijuana arrest and citations?” Another action authorized by the law.
ARRESTING HOMELESS PEOPLE? NOT INTERESTED.
Brune also asked that Collins provide a breakdown of arrests that include marijuana as an additional offense and the number of citations given homeless people in their campers (private property which the SCPD is supposed to give lowest enforcement priority to.
Brune also called for researching the proportion of service calls (i.e. marijuana complaints) to marijuana citations. The latter outnumber the former by a factor of 8 to 1, indicating that the SCPD is doing such citing without a complaint in most of the cases. This was ignored.
A PRIVATE PERSON HAS TO DO WHAT A CITY-FUNDED COMMITTEE REFUSES TO DO
Brune noted she’d filed her own Public Records Act request to get the stats, which I’ll ask her to post publicly so the community can do the job that the Measure K Committee declines to do.
Collins and other Committee members hastily moved to distance themselves from her action–suggesting that any criticism of our armed Drug War Enforcers was just not cricket.
HASSLED IN CONNECTION WITH MARIJUANA ON PRIVATE PROPERTY IF YOU’RE OVER 21?
Please contact me with any instances of harassment for marijuana use, possession, transportation, sales, or purchase on private property. That means on any piece of private property whether open to the public or not, as far as I know. E-mail rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com or call me at 831-423-4833. I will pass on these concerns to the Committee (via Brune) as well as make them public on Free Radio Santa Cruz.
The “Semi-Annual” Report which the Committee approved can be found at http://www.indybay.org/
To read further critical background on the Measure K Committee, follow the links at http://www.indybay.org/
Police find 120 pot plants, cocaine in Scotts Valley home
Santa Cruz Sentinel: 08/05/2012
SCOTTS VALLEY — A 39-year-old man was arrested Friday after officers served a search warrant at his home and discovered about 120 marijuana plants in various stages of development, plus an undisclosed amount of cash and cocaine, police said.
Police obtained a search warrant for the home after receiving information about possible drug sales there, police said.
Matthew Scott Ladage was arrested on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana and possession of cocaine, police said.
Officers provided scant details in a press release Saturday evening. They did not state the location of the home. Sunday, a supervising officer who could discuss the case was not available until 7 p.m., dispatchers said.
Three plead no contest to marijuana cultivation at Watsonville warehouse
by Jessica M. Pasko
Santa Cruz Sentinel 08/02/2012
SANTA CRUZ – Three men pleaded no contest to a felony charge of cultivation of marijuana Thursday, stemming from a large-scale growing operation at a warehouse in Watsonville.
Ryan Tate, Brian Lincoln and John Benton were arrested in March after sheriff’s deputies seized 1,600 pot plants from a Walker Street warehouse. Deputies were tipped off to the operation by Watsonville police about six months before the raid.
Search warrants also were executed at Tate’s home in Salinas and at Lincoln’s home in Seaside. All three men originally were charged with possession of marijuana for sale and cultivation of marijuana.
Tate’s attorney, Ben Rice, said the three men hadn’t intended to run an illegal growing operation and had thought they were in the process of setting up a legal medical marijuana operation. Unfortunately, Rice said, the Sonoma County attorney with whom they spoke gave them incorrect information.
“They thought they’d done it the right way,” Rice said, explaining that Tate and his colleagues had gone through a litany of paperwork in their efforts to establish a legal operation. “I know of at least two instances of that kind of misinformation from out-of-county attorneys.”
Medical marijuana laws and regulations can vary depending on each county and it can be difficult to sort out all of the legal issues, Rice said.
Prosecutor Abel Hung said he couldn’t speculate on what the men’s intention was, but that “the evidence we gathered supported the charges that were filed and what they pleaded to.”
In exchange for their pleas, Tate and Benton will serve 120 days in County Jail, for which Judge Paul Burdick authorized work-release or another form of alternative custody if the Sheriff’s Office deems it appropriate. Lincoln was ordered to serve 90 days in County Jail, and all three men were placed on three years of probation.
Through their attorneys, Benton and Lincoln agreed not to oppose the prosecution’s potential motion for forfeiture of the seized property in civil court. The property includes a scooter and nearly $13,000 seized from Benton, as well as nearly $2,000 cash taken from Lincoln.
Tate, however, did not agree to oppose any motion for forfeiture that the prosecution may seek involving a vehicle and $28,000 cash seized from him.
Tate had put thousands of dollars of his own money into trying to get the operation off the ground, Rice said.
SoMa becoming free-trade zone for pot dispensaries
SF Chronicle, Monday, July 2, 2012
Neighborhood groups have been complaining about the pot club boom South of Market for years. But now that recently approved marijuana dispensaries are starting to open, the critics can point to the map and make the case that there should be a law against “clustering.”
Across from The Chronicle at Fifth and Mission streets, workers are putting the finishing touches on a dispensary at 952 Mission, set to open in July. And in April, the City Planning Commission approved another club just around the corner at Sixth and Jessie, about half a block away.
The hearing prompted debate, but until the storefronts open, it is hard to visualize the problem.
“If there were a number of Starbucks opening on the same block, or banks, I would still be here” objecting, said Daniel Hurtado, executive director of the Central Market Community Benefit District. “There’s literally another one around the corner. What’s the need?”
Unfortunately, regulating pot clubs is not a popular position. Then-Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi pushed through regulations in 2005 that kept dispensaries from opening, unregulated, all over the city.
Unfortunately, what seemed like reasonable restrictions at the time have basically turned the South of Market district into a pot free-trade area. The idea was that a dispensary could not be placed within 1,000 feet of a school for students younger than 18 and that it had to be zoned for commercial use.
SoMa, with its condos, apartments and single men and women, fits the profile perfectly. A rectangle, from Fourth Street to 10th Street three blocks wide, is nearly all wide open. When the two new clubs open this summer, seven dispensaries will be between Fourth and 10th streets.
The irony, of course, is that everyone from Mayor Ed Lee to neighborhood activists has been trying to get new businesses to move into the area around troubled Sixth Street. But creating a San Francisco version of pot-friendly Amsterdam was not what they had in mind.
Shootout, arrest at illegal marijuana farm near Mount Madonna County Park
By Stephen BaxterSanta Cruz Sentinel: 06/28/2012
MOUNT MADONNA – A man was shot in the arm and later arrested during a raid of an illegal marijuana grow near Mount Madonna County Park on Thursday.
Deputies searched for a second suspect Thursday afternoon but did not find him, said Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jose Cardoza.
They planned to finish the search for the outstanding suspect at sundown Thursday.
The illegal marijuana grow was in a remote area about an hour’s hike southeast of Hecker Pass Road outside the park, said Cardoza. Authorities did not know whether the outstanding suspect had a gun, but two rifles were found near the grow.
“Because it’s such a remote area we don’t believe he’s a threat to public safety,” Cardoza said of the suspect who fled.
About 6 a.m. Thursday, nine Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies and California Fish and Game wardens in a marijuana eradication team started a hike to the marijuana grow above Bodfish Creek.
They arrived and found two men. About 11:45 a.m. deputies fired several shots at them. It was unclear if the suspects fired back, Cardoza said.
One suspect was wounded; both fled.
About 12:30 p.m., Santa Cruz County 911 dispatchers received a call from a Spanish speaking man who said he was shot in the arm. He wanted medical help.
He talked to authorities by cellphone as law enforcement agents tried to find him from the air.
A Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s SWAT team coincidentally had been training in the area, Cardoza said. The man surrendered to them about 2:30 p.m. just off Whitehurst and Hecker Pass Road in Santa Clara County, according to dispatches.
They treated his injury – which authorities said was not life-threatening – and he was taken to a hospital.
The man was arrested on suspicion of illegal marijuana cultivation and faces potential weapons charges, Cardoza said. His name and age have not been released.
“It’s a dangerous operation that these suspects take part in,” Cardoza said of illegal marijuana grows.
Deputies have not yet estimated the size of the grow.
Cardoza said deputies have probed other pot gardens in Southern Santa Clara County near Santa Cruz County in recent years. The marijuana eradication team typically identifies the grows in March and April and raids them during summer harvests.
“It’s not uncommon for them to grow thousands of plants,” Cardoza said. Deputies “pull them out by hand, root and all.”
Thursday afternoon, a few dozen heavily armed deputies from both counties set up a perimeter in the forest south of Mount Madonna County Park. The 3,688-acre park marks the county line between Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties.
They used ATVs, K-9s and a helicopter in the search. California Highway Patrol officers also participated in the search.
As law enforcement agents staged near a ranger station, the quiet, hot park remained open to joggers, dog walkers, horseback riders and other visitors.
Kevin Campbell, who works at Mount Madonna School, was jogging in the park. He was not surprised that authorities found a marijuana plantation in the woods.
“The biggest thing for me is that they leave their trash,” Campbell said. Campfire cooking also could lead to wildfires, he said.
“It’s mostly the trash, the fire danger and the dudes with guns in the woods. That’s unacceptable,” Campbell said.
California State Senate Rejects Lower Penalty For Drug Possession
June 1, 2012
State senators have rejected a bid to make California the 14th state to end felony penalties for those convicted of possessing small amounts of drugs for personal use.
Sen. Mark Leno, a Democrat from San Francisco, proposed reducing drug possession to a misdemeanor.
Those convicted would have served up to a year in county jail instead of the three-year maximum sentence under current law.
Leno argued that SB1506 would save counties and the state millions of dollars annually and help reduce jail crowding.
Just 11 Democratic senators supported the bill Thursday. Twenty-four senators of both political parties were opposed, and several other Democrats did not cast votes.
Sen. Ted Gaines, a Republican from Roseville, noted that law enforcement groups are opposed. He calls drug possession a gateway to other crimes.
Santa Cruz Patients Collective suddenly shuts its doors
Jason HoppinSanta Cruz Sentinel: 05/31/2012
SANTA CRUZ – The number of Santa Cruz medical marijuana dispensaries was halved last weekend when the Santa Cruz Patients Collective suddenly closed its doors.
No reasons were given for the closure, and owner Ken Sampson could not be reached to comment. Speculation on why it closed ran the gamut from Sampson simply tiring of running the business to the landlord growing concerned about a recent federal crackdown on the state’s cannabis industry.
“His heart was in the right place,” said Ben Rice, a local attorney who works with medical marijuana clubs. “He was one of the first guys to really insist on the quality of the medicine. He was very determined to make sure the patients were not getting an adulterated product.”
If the crackdown, which has directly and indirectly claimed numerous dispensaries statewide, contributed to the collective’s closure, it could be the second one to shut it doors after California’s four U.S. attorneys joined forces to enforce federal prohibitions of the marijuana trade.
Earlier, Live Oak’s Crème de Canna closed, partly due to legal uncertainties that emerged after the federal enforcement effort began. One of those uncertainties has to do with building owners where dispensaries are housed, with the federal government warning some landlords that they could lose their buildings.
Marijuana advocates also say dozens of Californians involved in providing medical marijuana are now facing federal charges.
At the Patients Collective, formerly located at 115 Limekiln St., a lone remaining sign refers patients to Santa Cruz’ only other permitted pot club. Numerous other clubs operate outside city limits.
“If their patients want to come over here, they’re welcome,” said Calvin Maynor, who works at the Greenway Compassionate Relief in Santa Cruz, located blocks from the Patients Collective.
Open since 2006, the collective quickly won over skeptical neighbors in the Harvey West area.
“He turned all those people around,” Rice said.
Santa Cruz planner Mike Ferry said the city has never received complaints about Sampson’s operation. But how the city fills the now-vacant permit – potentially extremely valuable, even amid the federal crackdown – appears to be an open question.
Ferry, who has not been contacted by Sampson, said the business would have to stay dark for six months before a permit is reissued. But he did not know how the city would choose a second licensee if more than one potential operator stepped forward.
“That’s an interesting question,” Ferry said.
California voters not hot for legalizing pot
May 31, 2012
LOS ANGELES – Legalizing marijuana is gaining traction in many places but apparently not in California, the state where the idea first took root.
Half of California voters surveyed say they oppose broad legalization, while 46 support it, according to a University of Southern California Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll (http://lat.ms/MZfhMp ) released Thursday. The survey found opinions have not measurably changed since 2010, when California voters defeated Proposition 19 that would have allowed recreational use of the drug.
A national Gallup poll recently showed support for legalizing pot had reached an all-time high of 50 percent. Behind such momentum, marijuana advocates have succeeded in getting initiatives qualified for the upcoming November ballot in Colorado and Washington.
The USC/LA Times poll found California voters overwhelmingly support doctor-recommended use of marijuana for the severely ill, with about 80 percent in favor of medical marijuana for the terminally ill and severely disabled.
The San Francisco Bay Area was the only region in the state where a majority — 55 percent — favors legalization. That compares with 41 percent in Southern California.
Those against marijuana use were more adamant in their position, with 42 percent feeling “strongly” about it compared with 33 percent for proponents.
Twenty-eight percent of Republicans and 50 percent of Democrats polled liked the idea of marijuana legalization. Sixty-eight percent of Independents favor it.
Age also was a factor. Fifty-eight percent of those in their late teens and 20s support legal recreational use while just 28 percent of those older than 64 approve general use.
While California allows medical marijuana, it leaves the regulation of dispensaries where the drug is dispersed to local communities. In some places, the proliferation of dispensaries has angered citizens and prompted federal authorities to shut down some. The U.S. government does not allow legal use of medical marijuana.
The poll numbers suggest Californians are concerned about implementation of the Compassionate Use Act, the medical marijuana law passed by voters in 1996, according to Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC.
“They like the idea of providing marijuana for medical use, but they’re worried that the law is being abused,” he said.
Dale Gieringer, coordinator of the state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said California needs to better regulate medical pot distribution before the public will embrace general use.
“Voters are hesitant to liberalize the marijuana laws any further until the chaos of the current system is worked out,” he said.
The statewide telephone poll of 1,002 registered voters was conducted May 17-21. The margin of error is 3.5 percentage points.
Marijuana and Autism Survey – NORML and UF4A Collaboration
by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director
The Connection Magazine “News From The Net” – May 26, 2012
Over the last five years there
have been numerous media reports
about the anecdotal use of cannabis
to help autistic children. Two brave
women, one on the east coast the other
the west, have been at the forefront of
this effort to help scientifically explain
why cannabis appears to be so helpful.
Marie Myung-Ok Lee wrote about her
experience in Rhode Island, a state with
medical cannabis laws, in 2009. Soon
after, inspired by Marie’s writings,
Mieko Perez Hester and her son had
a similarly positive experience with
treating his autism in California. Mieko,
soon after going public about their ex-
perience, was invited onto ABC’s Good
The reply from parents around the
country to these charter members of the
NORML Women Alliance experience
as parents using cannabis as a therapy
for their autistic children has been
overwhelming and inspired the need
to perform proper scientific research
to possibly develop cannabinoid-based
treatments for autism in both children
To help accomplish this Mieko es-
tablished The Unconventional Founda-
tion for Autism (UF4A), which is asking
the NORML community of hundreds
of thousands of cannabis consumers
and patients to help with a scientific
The NORML community has
joined UF4A in this remarkable journey
and fight, and has offered to help solicit
feedback through the survey.
Target: Persons on the autism
spectrum currently using or interested
in using cannabis as a safe and effective
medication to treat autism.
With more than 1 in 88 children
affected, autism is the fastest growing
developmental disability in the United
States. Currently, there is no medical
detection or cure for autism; however,
there are pharmaceutical and therapeutic
treatments that have proven to be effec-
tive in treating the condition. Among
the safest and most remarkable is the
therapeutic use of medical cannabis.
Amidst a highly controversial
setting, one California mother is shar-
ing her autistic son’s triumphant and
life-saving journey with the world.
Single mother of three, Mieko Hester
Perez was watching her young son,
Joey, succumb to various combinations
of 13 different prescription drugs that
ravaged his body and internal organs.
Joey weighed only 46 pounds, and was
in a battle for his life. (Read more:
In 2009, The Unconventional
Foundation for Autism (UF4A) was
formed. UF4A is lighting a path in hopes
that others may benefit from alternative
therapies that may be available to other
families on the Autism Spectrum. Mieko
helped create a survey to help solidify
and amplify her results and the level of
help the Foundation can provide.
At UF4A, we believe providing
the most accurate information to medi-
cal professionals for research purposes
will pave the way for clinical trials for
We seek to solidify and further the
fundamental understanding we have in
regards to the effectiveness of cannabis
alleviating symptoms along the Autism
Spectrum. The information collected
in the survey will be used to further
guide families, new patients, doctors
and lawmakers in making informed and
proper decisions for themselves and our
SURVEY LINK: If this survey
applicable to you or a loved one, we
invite you or them to fill out the form
UF4A Treatment of Persons on the
Spectrum with Cannabis. To fill out
the survey, go to https://spreadsheets.