Sonoma County Prepares for Pot Cards

Sonoma County Prepares for Pot Cards
Posted by CN Staff on August 15, 2005 at 08:41:56 PT
By Bob Norberg, The Press Democrat
Source: Press Democrat
California -- A program to distribute state medical marijuana cards to qualifying Sonoma County residents is expected to be in place by mid-October, according to public health officials.The cards will shield holders from arrest for marijuana possession by state and local law enforcement officers. But how many people will sign up, knowing that they still could be subject to arrest by federal authorities, is unknown, said Dr. Leigh Hall, deputy health officer for Sonoma County.
"We don't really know," Hall said. "It is a voluntary program .. . so it will depend on what identification is needed at dispensing sites, how scared people are by the legal stuff going on. But we are gearing up, we will hire extra people."Doc Knapp, spokesman for the Sonoma Alliance for Medical Marijuana, an advocacy group, said there are about 3,000 medical marijuana users in Sonoma County."Half the people will jump through the hoops and say we want to do this," Knapp said. "The other half won't for a variety of reasons, either rebellion or more importantly they are elected officials or high-paid executives and they don't want to get on a list and threaten their career."Using, growing and dispensing of marijuana is allowed under Proposition 215, which was passed by California voters in 1996. It allows people to obtain and use marijuana with the recommendation of a physician.Under a program adopted after the initiative passed, Sonoma County residents could apply for a special permit. Their eligibility was verified by the Sonoma County Medical Association and honored by local law enforcement.The county allows qualified users to keep three pounds of marijuana and up to 25 plants in a 100-square-foot garden.Under a state law that took effect last year, medical marijuana users and caregivers will be able to get state-issued identification cards that give them immunity from arrest by local and state law enforcement officers.But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled for a second time in June that the federal ban on marijuana supersedes state laws allowing medical use.Although it didn't overturn California's medical marijuana law, the ruling left open the possibility that medical marijuana users could be arrested by federal law enforcement officers.The decision prompted state officials to temporarily halt the marijuana card program. It has since been restarted, with participants being warned about the conflict between state and federal law.The cards, which already are available in Mendocino, Del Norte and Amador counties, have pictures, identification numbers and expiration dates.If cardholders are stopped, police can check a database that will verify the information."If you possess a valid SB420 card (named for Senate Bill 420), it is a bar to arrest," Knapp said. "Even if the cop has a bad attitude, the cop can't arrest you, and that is valuable. For patients and caregivers, the most important thing is not to get arrested, because then you have jail, you have to get lawyers, it is costly."Hall said that under the state program, residents will be able to bring identification and information from a doctor that they are being cared for and have a condition or disease that is eligible for medical marijuana treatment.Local health workers will verify the information and send it to the state, which will issue the card, Hall said.Hall said the program will be presented to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors in mid-September and should be in operation in mid-October.Note: Health officials say program to identify, shield medical users to be in place by mid-October.Source: Press Democrat, The (CA)Author: Bob Norberg, The Press DemocratPublished: Monday, August 15, 2005Copyright: 2005 The Press DemocratContact: letters pressdemo.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:SAMM Resumes Medical Marijuana Program Passes Ordinance Limiting Pot Growing
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Comment #14 posted by ekim on August 16, 2005 at 08:24:45 PT
Aug 20 05 Seattle Hempfest
Aug 17 05 Eaton Rapids Sunrise Rotary 07:00 AM Howard Wooldridge Eaton Rapids Michigan USA 
 Wake up Howard! It's time to meet with members of the Eaton Rapids Sunrise Rotary for breakfast and discussion of issues related to the failure of drug prohibition. Topics to be covered are sure to include the racial bias and failure of mandatory minimum sentencing, how the war on drugs continues the cycle of violence and destruction and creates its next generation of victims and how the United States' drug policies have failed and that to save lives, lower the rate of addiction and conserve tax dollars, drug prohibition must be ended. Aug 17 05 South Lansing-Holt Rotary 12:00 PM Howard Wooldridge Lansing Michigan USA 
 Board Member Howard Wooldridge is a welcomed guest for lunch and discussion of drug prohibition issues with members of the South Lansing-Holt Rotary. Howard will be discussing his cross country trip to end America's failed war on drugs as well as addressing specific issues that relate to the Lansing area of Michigan. Aug 20 05 Seattle Hempfest 10:00 AM Seattle Washington USA 
 Executive Director Jack Cole, with the assistance of LEAP members Matt McCally, Jim Doherty, James Peete and Jim Byron will attend this year's Seattle Hempfest. This year's theme for Hempfest is Education, and who better to educate others about America's failed war on drugs than Jack Cole, one of the nation's leading experts on drug prohibition issues. Mr. Cole will be talking about a variety of issues ranging from the medical and recreational use of marijuana to racially biased mandatory minimum sentences. Location: Myrtle Edwards Park, Pier 70. Visit for more information.
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Comment #13 posted by ekim on August 16, 2005 at 08:18:42 PT
did you see that Norma Sapp from OKnorml is driving and helping Howard Wooldridge of Leap make his coast to coast horse riding trip from LA to NYC. I met Norma when they passed this way last week. She said that she wished more reformers would help them as she has had little help from our community. as to Dana i hope that NYC comes out for Norma and Howard and Misty and Sam the two horses that are doing a stand up job.
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Comment #12 posted by Dankhank on August 16, 2005 at 07:04:41 PT
I met and worked with Dana on the 1999 MMM and met him again at the Shadow convention in Philadelphia in 2000. Crusty curmudgeon is the best way I can describe him. That's OK, though, he's been at it for a loooooong time.I seem to be the same way, sometimes ...It will be interesting to see and hear him again ...
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Comment #11 posted by The GCW on August 15, 2005 at 20:36:41 PT
good eye, that is good.
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Comment #10 posted by ekim on August 15, 2005 at 19:13:45 PT
anniversary of the opening of Woodstock
I'm telling you it's been a 60s kind of day. It's the anniversary of the opening of Woodstock in 1969 so I've been humming the song all morning. Now I hear Dana Beal, the Yippie's Yippie, a founder of the political movement and still at the helm from their office in NYC will be on the Mike Malloy Show on Air America Radio tonight at 10:30pm. Listen here online for Dana's take on Yippies, Ibogaine, Marc Emery and the World wide movement.
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Comment #9 posted by mayan on August 15, 2005 at 18:22:31 PT
"If you possess a valid SB420 card (named for Senate Bill 420), it is a bar to arrest," Knapp said.Is it just coincidental that the Senate Bill is #420? Either way it's incredible!THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...WTC7 collapse foreknowledge on FDNY tapes: Did They Know? Silverstein, WTC 7, and the 9/11 Demolition: Intelligence: Al-Qaeda a U.S. Covert Operation:, September 11, 2005: March for Truth in NYC:
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Comment #8 posted by The GCW on August 15, 2005 at 14:27:37 PT
Next for Our culture!
One consideration for activist...There are many letters pouring into Canada.NOW, Let's also send a note to American newspapers as a news tip, ABOUT THE EMERY ISSUE.Cannadian papers are printing multiple stories on this issue; American editors almost don't know anyting;Let's change that and get some of America's papers in on the action; REASONABLE PEOPLE DO NOT SUPPORT CAGING EMERY FOR LIFE FOR SELLING GOD GIVEN PLANT SEEDS; and they can protest only if they know!!!I've sent some news tips out and it may have helped get a good story in the Denver Post's Sunday edition, although I've not yet seen it... I have reason to believe another paper will print something...THCUThis whole issue may bring the planet closer to God.That is the reason for cannabis to begin with.!&!!!Cannabis helps Us feel closer to God; Emery and His people have helped Me to come to grips with that truth.I love Marc and I want to help Him receive the blessings of the Spirit of truth coming from Us.Let Us not take the work Marc has done for granted.The real fight isn't between George Bush and Marc Emery; the real fight is between those 2 different spirits (VERY BIBLICAL).Marc Emery's Spirit of truth and George Bush's spirit of error.The best Spirits of Christ God Our Father against the worst spirits in all realms that exist in George Bush.This is not a physical war and it is not over the sea.It is in heaven on earth; RIGHT HERE.Christ StanThe Green Collar Worker 
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Comment #7 posted by The GCW on August 15, 2005 at 13:41:54 PT
E_Johnson, good explaination.
There is less and less support to cage sick humans for using a God given plant.And it gets smaller and smaller every day.HERE IS A NEW POLL RESULTfrom Cannada.999Canada: A Sovereignty Issue?The poll conducted by The Strategic Counsel for The Globe and Mail and CTV found that 58 per cent of Canadians oppose the extradition of Mr. Emery. CONT. wall is goin' down!It may even explode in their faces.
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Comment #6 posted by global_warming on August 15, 2005 at 13:37:32 PT
Nicely Said
EJ, but the question of the horseflop, you left untouched.The minions of greed will quickly gobble up the faint crumbs, from the sick and dieing.Surely you do not imagine some world, where give and take, will allow this madness to continue into another century.I thought an idea, where all compassionate people, could plant some "special" flower in the front yard, gently, quietly, proclaiming their trust in the goodness of this world.Like those white crosses that Cindy uses, our dissatisfaction can be actuated.Sometimes, this mad and crazy world, presses so hard on my soul, add my old age, my memories of my follies, and all these "regulations", confirm, that our world has been hijacked, by a small group of power hungry manipulators.Is there any way that this "war on drugs" can be ended?What is on the table?My first thoughts on this question, were illuminated by EJ's last post.Imagine: All the sick and Dieing, converging on DC, those with Medical Marijuana cards lighted a marijuana cigarette together.I realize that many of these human beings are frail and very sensitive to travel and strangers.I would contribute, towards a first class ride to DC, for the sick and dieing. Maybe it is politics and maybe that (strange) place where you die are more closely related, dieing with such a cause may may find you seeing many faces, that share your dillema.Might it be possible, on that day, in that last march, not only the sick and dieing will come to this gathering, but many afflictions will be seen and better understood.Will the rubber bullets fly on that day?Will the many true supporters form a wall to protect those most sick?Are we ready for the end of this war on people who use drugs?When does a drug become medicine?gw
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Comment #5 posted by E_Johnson on August 15, 2005 at 12:17:55 PT
Max, this is not a realistic fear
"It failed, however, to address what for a lot of people would be the most important question by far: by what method or policy will they assure cardholders that their information (their status as a cardholder) will not be obtained by federal authorities? How, EXACTLY, will they prevent that?"What prevented the feds from going after the two thousand patients registered in the LACRC patient records after the DEA took down the LACRC?Nothing at all prevented them from doing that, except one thing:No federal prosecutor in this country would be willing to send two thousand individual sick people with medical marijuana possession or cultivation cases through the federal court system, each assigned with its own federal courtroom and each with its own federal judge.And no federal judge would look at such a case with anything but contempt for the people who brought it to his court.The federal court system would EXPLODE. They barely have the capacity for their existing caseload as it is.And then let's talk about the media firestorm that would burst into flames as one after another patient was interviewed on CNN, Fox and every other news outlet in the country.Some of these patients are MAJOR celebrities. This has been kept very quiet by some very discrete medical marijuana providers, but it is true.Many other patients are either respected professionals or retired respected professionals.If the DEA made the mistake of using state ID card information to launch a mass legal attack on patients, it would blow in their faces so badly, they would never forget it.It would end completely to our advantage.Right now I'd say we're in a stalemate. They know darn well our press is too good to mess with. That's why they're bothering to make excuses to the public now when they raid clubs. That's why they went after Marc.The DEA knows if they hold any more guns on any more sick people, they will spend the last bit of political capital they still own.
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Comment #4 posted by global_warming on August 15, 2005 at 11:52:11 PT
Speaking of Cancer
Somewhere it was said, it is darkest just before the dawn.
 Perjury, Obstruction of Justice
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Comment #3 posted by Dankhank on August 15, 2005 at 11:38:24 PT
Lte to CNN
Cancer is so hard to combat. Why are doctors unwilling to consider Cannabis. The anectodal evidence of 5000 years of human use coupled with the copius number of studies available for perusal begs the question.No proft in it for the Pharmas, and hysterical prohibition in our society are responsible for unknown pain and misery in suffering humans........ I have done better, but I did it fast :-)
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Comment #2 posted by Dankhank on August 15, 2005 at 11:29:09 PT
On CNN now ...
Cancer stories, let's send a few well crafted short emails to: Livefrom cnn.comabout Cannabis and Cancer ...
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Comment #1 posted by Max Flowers on August 15, 2005 at 09:23:32 PT
What's the plan to keep it fed-proof?
This article is of particular interest to me as a resident of Sonoma County. It failed, however, to address what for a lot of people would be the most important question by far: by what method or policy will they assure cardholders that their information (their status as a cardholder) will not be obtained by federal authorities? How, EXACTLY, will they prevent that? Since the DEA/DOJ as well as a lot of state/local law enforcement obviously believe the horseflop about federal law "trumping" state law, what will stop the feds from simply going to the county administration with a demand for the identities of cardholders and saying "sorry but federal law trumps state law, hand over the information"? Will county officials really be able to stand up to the feds in that situation, assert their state sovereignty, and refuse to give them the info? I'd love to think so, but something tells me some key person would fold under the pressure.
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