A measure that would finally bring regulation to the wild, wild west that is the California medical marijuana industry passed last Thursday in the state assembly. During a time of high tensions and federal raids on state sanctioned medical marijuana collectives the passing of this bill shows just how essential medical marijuana is to California. Assembly Bill 2312, sponsored by Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), looks to regulate the medical marijuana industry within California with a new system of checks and balances, including the formation of a “Cannabis Commission” within state government.
The Bill was created in response to the Obama Administration’s federal crackdown against state and locally sanctioned medical marijuana collectives. While these dispensaries were operating within State law they are still as “illegal dug traffickers” in the eyes of the DEA and Department of Justice. Despite President Obama’s claim that he “…can’t nullify congressional law…”, Attorney General Eric Holder recognized that Obama can simply remove marijuana from it’s Schedule I status, increasing access to marijuana and recognizing it’s medicinal potential.
While the main claim for raiding these medical marijuana collectives is that they are breaking both state and federal law, this is not always the case. Oaksterdam University was recently raided with no reason given for the Investigation. The popular San Francisco collective The Vapor Room is in danger of closing due to threatening letters sent to their Landlord by federal officials. Even the largest collective in the world, Harborside Health Center, is currently bracing itself for a tsunami of federal aggression. Besides the IRS’s claim of Harborside owing 2.4 million dollars in back taxes due to tax code 280E, they are currently feeling the pressure of federal raids since the attack on Oaksterdam University. In a recent release in the collective’s monthly newsletter, Harborside’s Co-Founder Steve DeAngelo recognized the very real threat of a federal raid on the collective and how patients & supporters can appropriately respond to best help defend the collective and spread the word.
Despite the federal government’s refusal to recognize marijuana’s medicinal properties and the people’s cries for legalization, stoners are finding ways to stand up to the man and fight for their right to get high safely!