Ron Deziel sent this out in a group email: I figure its a pretty poeerful statement:
Congratulations, Ed Rosenthal, for taking on the Presidency of AMMA. I hope that phantom organization can materialize under your skillful hand into a robust organization in fact, on paper, and in the defense of our existing medical marijuana system (before M.M.R.S.A.).
Lord knows, California’s Prop. 215, and the system set up by SB 420, are dreadfully under-appreciated by people who find no or little difficulty in obtaining the requisite “Doctor’s Note.” The ease of obtaining a medical card is not an indicator of system abuse. No. Quite the opposite. The undersung features of Prop. 215 are, first, that doctors can approve the patient as having condition(s) treatable with marijuana. The conditions range the gamut from simple to life-ending. Prop. 215 does not require that the patient’s illness be “serious.” The ease of obtaining medical marijuana through a dispensary or personal cultivation is the second undersung feature of our existing system.
It is prudent to remind ourselves what our blessings are: personal cultivation, right to choose any doctor for cannabis advice & treatment, and the doctor’s perfectly free to approve a cannabis remedy. It is imperative that the MMJ community realize that M.M.R.S.A, the Medical Marijuana Regulation & Safety Act of 2015/16, hijacks Prop. 215. There is no language in Prop. 215 that allows the legislature to change its terms or reduce the rights to marijuana that the sovereign people granted to themselves through passing this ballot initiative. That’s what is crucial about Prop. 215. These rights of personal cultivation, privacy in choice of doctor, and safe and affordable access cannot be abrogated by the legislature, yet that is exactly what happened.
M.M.R.S.A. re-writes the entire Health Code regulations pertaining to medical marijuana. Ignoring the Propositional Status of units of the code, M.M.R.S.A. treats its changes as merely code changes while it affirms Prop. 215 and SB 420. The legislature has the authority to enhance and broaden the mission of Prop. 215, but not to dismantle it. M.M.R.S.A. does that.
The Doctor’s Note,” for example, will change. It must be issued by one’s Primary Care Physician. If your medical plan’s doctors do not issue such recommendations, you have to bear the expense privately of having more than one PCP. The terms of the Note will now say that the medical condition is a “serious” one. This is a usurpation of power because Prop. 215 did not specify a serious ailment.
Just a final cause for concern: M.M.R.S.A. gives terms and conditions under which personal grows have state legality. However, the legislation also gives local governments (city and county and special districts) the right to change or modify or even ban any benefits the legislation grants. What had previously been a right to cultivate under Prop. 215 becomes a revocable privilege to grow under M.M.R.S.A..
For all of these objections, it is premature to give in to M.M.R.S.A. It doesn’t go into effect until 2018. It is still contestable in court. M.M.R.S.A. hijacked Prop. 215. It is still contestable in court precisely because the legislature, acting on Lt.Governor Gavin Nuisance’s so-called Blue Ribbon Commission, overstepped its authority. Prop. 215 did not contain language allowing the legislature to restrict its terms. M.M.R.S.A. is moving medical marijuana therapy from the wholistic plant to a pharmaceutical derivative. Prop. 215 does not say that cannabis use must follow an AU.M.A. or AmPharmA mode of delivery. Prop. 215 says marijuana plant and everything from it is covered.
M.M.R.S.A. court fights have yet to begin. Sean Parker’s AUMA gives M.M.R.S.A. the blessing of Initiative status, thus under-cutting any objections to it. You get so much more than legalization when you vote for Parker’s CRT-AUMA, Control, Regulate, Tax the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. You get M.M.R.S.A. confirmation, too.
Money-wise, you get ripped off. Of the hundreds of millions in tax revenues that A.U.M.A. expects to generate from marijuana and marijuana-related products, not a penny goes to the General Fund! Nothing to fund our great state institutions, such as the Cal State universities, and the community colleges. Nothing for rural hospitals, or roads, or other infrastructure. Hundreds of Millions of dollars annually — and all it goes to a giant slush fund (“contracts”) controlled personally by the Governor. Every penny generated by AUMA goes first for its own administration, then for its own law enforcement (to include equipment and training), then for penal & judicial program expenditures that are already paid for by existing federal grants, then for land remediation of past illegal abuses that are not connected to us and should not be our responsibility. Oh yeah, another vague provision about pouring funds into neighborhoods at high risk of having black market drugs.
Don’t be fooled. A.U.M.A. is about legalizing M.M.R.S.A. as much as marijuana, and dropping the distinction between medical and recreational. “It’s all marijuana,” and it’s all handled by A.U.M.A.’s Bureau of Marijuana Control.
A.U.M.A. is also about seizing the personally-held rights under Prop. 215 and changing them into legislatively-granted liberties that can be revoked or restricted by the legislature or other bodies.
A.U.M.A. is repressive legislation. It uses the word “strict” seven times in reference to its terms and their enforcement. Since it legalizes only for people over 21, it leaves a great body of people who will find the black market easier to access than the medical marijuana side due to the harsh new rules for obtaining a doctor’s note. Because both medical and recreational usage will be taxed, these will be add-on expenses to a basically expensive transaction. Black market might be well cheaper than the legal. A.U.M.A. legalizes, but in an way that obliges people under 21 years of age to find their pot illegally. Perhaps this is why so much is made of A.U.M.A.’s provision to fund drug-diversion programs, and law enforcement training in M.M.R.S.A. and A.U.M.A.
Don’t be fooled. Even if A.U.M.A. is the only legalization initiative on the November ballot doesn’t mean we have to vote for it. We don’t need legalization so desperately that we should vote for it in a lousy bill riddled with corruption for insiders and repression for unsuspecting outsiders.
Marijuana is easy to access now, because people have the right to see a doctor of their choice, he is free to approve marijuana from a vast panoply of conditions, and you can go legally to a nearby not-for-profit dispensary to buy medicine in a safe and affordable environment. If you think you are healthy, so shouldn’t have to pretend in order to get marijuana, consider that the pot you get is really effective. When you take it, you notice it, and that’s why you take it. Accessing this drug experience through a medical portal is not ironic. This is the proper way to go about it because marijuana is, in every way, a drug. As safe as it is, a passing interview with the medical professional who approved you for it is not too much to ask. It is the periodic reality check from which everyone benefits, (another one is to tally up how much you spend monthly or yearly on marijuana).
The rush for legalization should not tempt us to abandon the medical marijuana system/not-for-profit dispensaries and all the other rights and benefits we now hold. A.U.M.A. dangles its provisions in front of us, but behind its back allows legislative change or removal. Prop. 215 gives us rights, M.M.R.S.A. hijacks them, Now A.U.M.A offers legalization of pot, and the price we have to pay is acceptance of M.M.R.S.A. which comes embedded in A.U.M.A. We have to kiss goodbye all chances of seeing any of that hundreds of million of dollars in annual revenues. None of that goes to the General Fund. All of it goes to funds controlled by A.U.M.A.’s “Marijuana Control Board,” and all state boards and commissions are controlled by the Governor.
The existing system works! Prop. 215 works! Don’t let the legislature take away your rights through M.R.R.S.A.