The State of Things in Cali

Well fellow “Med-Heads”, here is my run down of what has been going on recently in California with the Medical Marijuana (MMJ) Movement. Although an estimated 200,000 people now have their recommendations for the use of medical marijuana in California, many are reluctant to, “come out of the closet”. The continuing raids against California MMJ clubs and dispensaries, including most recently the UMCC, a long standing Club in Los Angeles, have many that use marijuana to relieve their suffering, scared and silent. The word in the West is, “We Will Continue the Fight, Until They Get it Right”.

Although possession and cultivation is illegal at the federal level, in 1996 California passed the “420” bill (yes, the State Bill 420), allowing the medical use, possession and cultivation of MMJ to those that qualify. Regardless of this law, there has been harassment, and the continued arrests of patients and care givers by both the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as well as local law enforcement officers (LEO).

Photo by Bigmouth
Photo by Bigmouth

Clubs, Co-op’s and Care givers providing MMJ have opened up in almost every county in the “Sunshine State” with the city of San Francisco leading the way. San Francisco, where at least 37 clubs operate, has put a moratorium on new MMJ clubs while it comes up with regulations.

It seems everyone is in limbo waiting for a decision in the Raich vs. Ashcroft Supreme Court case that is expected to come in June later this year.

Some MMJ providers are welcome as they set up shop in the cities and counties around California. Others have been met with harsh resistance. Reports of facilities having fights, robberies, vandalism, including urination, and of the smoking of marijuana in the streets nearby to facilities, have some counties fighting to ban clubs and care givers in their cities outright. Clubs range from those that are very compassionate and professional with a medical atmosphere, to some that seem more like “street dealers” that are just taking advantage of loopholes in the laws. Nevertheless, Medical Marijuana has never been more of a hot topic in the Golden State.

What is the quality of the meds you ask? Some of California’s Finest! With so much medical grade marijuana bud floating around, even the street dealers are stepping up to the plate with lower prices and better quality. Most MMJ clubs sell “Top Shelf ” high-grade meds at $45-$75USD for 3.5 grams. Many sell quantities of _ oz and up, with a small discount for buying higher quantities (prices vary).

Some offer free samples, lounge areas with reading material, delivery services and more. Others give food, water, snacks and donations to those in need. How much MMJ can you get at once? Most stick to county guidelines; usually a _ lb or _ lb is the most you can purchase at once. Hash, oils, kif and edibles are also available in different potencies, and some clubs sell clones of hard to get strains at $10-$20USD.

California has always been a hotbed for Hemp activism, and this spring’s events have been all about Medical MJ. April kicked off with the NORML convention in San Francisco at the Cathedral Hills Hotel. According to NORML’s new executive director Allen St. Pierre, “This year’s conference marks NORML’s return to the Bay area”. The annual NORML conference is the gathering place for medical cannabis patients, cannabis consumers and concerned citizens. In Sacramento, many supporters also got involved in the cause over an early April weekend.

The event had a decent turnout and featured venders, anti propaganda education & info, MMJ Clubs giving out free grams of herb, and a “Smoke Out” in the State’s capital.

Many medical, as well as recreational users, organizations, and clubs are gearing up for the yearly California 420 celebrations. This should be a banner year for the movement! With activism in full swing this year, we will stand up and be heard!!! That’s the “State of things in Cali”…until next time…

Let ’em hear you!!!… Bigmouth

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