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Sebastopol Resolution

Medical Marijuana Resolution

October 16, 2002 (draft)

Whereas in November 1996 Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996,
was passed into law by California voters allowing Californians to use
marijuana as medicine, and Sonoma County voters supported the initiative by
a vote of over 70%; and

Whereas Article 3, Section 3.5 of the California Constitution prevents
administrative agencies in the state from not enforcing the state law
allowing the medical use of marijuana, and the cultivation thereof for such
purposes, despite federal laws and regulations to the contrary; and

Whereas in September 2002 the California Supreme Court in the Mower decision
declared medical marijuana should be treated as any other prescription drug;

Whereas on March 17, 1999, the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of
Medicine (IOM) concluded, "there are some limited circumstances in which we
recommend smoking marijuana for medical uses"; and the report released that
day was the result of two years of research that was funded by the White
House drug policy office, which comprised meta-analysis of all existing data
on marijuana's therapeutic uses; and

Whereas organizations that have endorsed medical access to marijuana include
the AIDS Action Council, American Academy of Family Physicians, American
Public Health Association, California Lymphoma Foundation of America,
National Nurses Society on Addictions, the New England Journal of Medicine,
and many others; and

Whereas the Sonoma County Medical Association has a memorandum of
understanding with the district attorney for verifying patient approvals
(Peer Review), and over 330 patients have been verified; and

Whereas marijuana as treatment is a doctor/patient decision and the DEA is
not qualified to determine medical treatment; and

Whereas the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department, the District Attorney, the
Public Health Department, and the Sonoma County Medical Association, along
with Sonoma Alliance for Medical Marijuana have since 1996 worked toward
implementing the law to work compassionately for patients and their
providers; and

Whereas in May 2001, Sonoma County District Attorney J. Michael Mullins and
the Sonoma County Police Chief's Association adopted medical marijuana
guidelines based on DEA yield studies entitling patients or their caregivers
to cultivate an area of 100 square feet of plant canopy, with up to 99
plants per patient, and cultivate up to 3 pounds per year; and the Sonoma
Guidelines allow cooperative gardens to cultivate for multiple patients; and
the DEA said they would honor the Sonoma Guidelines; and

Whereas, in direct contravention of California laws' spirit and intent cases
found by the Sheriff's Department to be in compliance with the Guidelines
were then turned over to and prosecuted by the DEA, and information shared
between the Sheriff's Department and the DEA lead to raids on Sonoma County
gardens that were in compliance; and

Whereas the DEA raided several California dispensaries that were fully
supported by local governments and law enforcement agencies who were irate
that the DEA conducted the raids with total disregard for their support; and

Whereas many patients are too frail to endure an investigation and
prosecution that costs many thousands of dollars, numerous court
appearances, and untold psychological stress that further aggravates their
illnesses and their ability to cope; and

Whereas the New England Journal of Medicine stated the federal government's
campaign against medical marijuana "is misguided and inhumane"; and

Whereas California's Attorney General Bill Lockyer has described raids
against medical marijuana providers "punitive expeditions" and questioned
the ethical basis of the raids; and has petitioned US Attorney General John
Ashcroft to come to an accommodation allowing California to uphold the
Compassionate Use Act; and

Whereas Governor Gray Davis stated his intention to support Attorney General
Lockyer's petition; and

Whereas HR 2592 - States Rights to Medical Marijuana Act which would
reschedule marijuana from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 and allow states to
administer their medical marijuana laws is pending in the US House of
Representatives; and is co-sponsored by Representatives Lynn Woolsey, Mike
Thompson, and 25 other Representatives; and

Whereas 73% of Americans support the rights of patients to have access to
medical marijuana when approved by a physician, and less formal online CNN
polls show over 80% of respondents oppose DEA raids on California medical
marijuana providers.  Now, therefore, be it resolved that:

1. The Sebastopol City Council supports the use of medical marijuana and
finds that the Sonoma County Guidelines are consistent with the interests of
the public health, safety, and welfare of our citizens as it provides for a
county-wide enforcement policy in which physician-approved patients may
lawfully obtain and use medical marijuana in accordance with the
Compassionate Use Act of 1996.

2. The Sebastopol City Council supports HR 2592, "The States Right To
Medical Marijuana Act," and will work with state and federal governments "to
implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of
marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana" (See H&S Section

3. Until such time as the federal government demonstrates a good-faith
intention to implement such a plan,
Sebastopol police and narcotics officers
shall not share information with or otherwise assist the DEA on any
marijuana case that could have a medical marijuana defense.

4.  The Council opposes DEA raids on medical marijuana and will petition
President George W. Bush and Attorney General Ashcroft to end the raids, and
will lobby Governor Gray Davis and Attorney General Bill Lockyer, and other
state officials to follow their constitutional duty to uphold state law.

November 20, 2002

Dear Folks,

Sebastopol City Council showed compassion and understanding on Tuesday November 19th, when they passed a resolution in support of medical marijuana. Mayor Sam Spooner, and Councilmen Larry Robinson and Craig Litwin, were eloquent in their support for the resolution, showing courage by standing by their beliefs, and being willing to take the political heat they may experience as a result of their support. This is the first city in Sonoma County to adopt a provision of non-compliance with the DEA on medical marijuana cases that are within the Sonoma County Guidelines. The resolution was drafted by SAMM. DEA raids on medical marijuana patients and providers prompted us to get whatever help we can from sympathetic officials to protect patients from federal prosecution.

A patient in state or county court can use a medical defense, in federal court they cannot. There is no such thing as a fair trial in federal court when the jury is not allowed to hear medical testimony. Without that testimony it's going be a guilty verdict every time. Also, federal cases are far more expensive. In local courts a trial may cost $25,000, in federal court it could cost up to $250,000. Disabled patients on a small, fixed incomes don't have a chance to put on a proper defense. The personal, emotional, and physical costs of a patient going through this extraordinarily difficult process can be devastating, with the loss of everything they ever worked for. Families break apart under the enormous pressure. The act of turning a case over to the DEA is like pronouncing guilt on a patient before they ever get to court. As compassionate people we cannot allow that to happen to the most defenseless among us.

The three things we asked for in the resolution are:

THAT the Sebastopol City Council supports the use of medical marijuana by authorized patients and finds the “Sonoma County Medical Marijuana Guidelines” are consistent with the interests of public health, safety, and welfare, providing for a county-wide enforcement policy in which physician-approved patients may lawfully obtain and use medical marijuana in accordance with the “Compassionate Use Act of 1996;” and

THAT the Sebastopol City Council supports HR 2592, the “States Right To Medical Marijuana Act,” and pledges to work with state and federal entities to affect the passage of this legislation into law; and, finally,

THAT, until such time as the federal government demonstrates a good-faith intention “to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana” (See H&S Section 11362.5[1]C), the Sebastopol City Council urges City police and narcotics officers to refrain from sharing information with, or otherwise assisting, the DEA on any medical marijuana case that is within the Sonoma County Guidelines.

The Santa Rosa City Council is also considering a medical marijuana resolution proposed by Mayor Mike Martini, a long-time supporter of medical marijuana. They met Tuesday November 19th to vote on the same resolution draft that SAMM submitted to the Sebastopol City Council. Santa Rosa Chief of Police Michael Dunbaugh and City Attorney Brian Farrell objected to the provision regarding non-cooperation with the DEA on medical marijuana cases. It looked for a moment like the Council was going to pass the resolution without that provision until Vice-mayor Sharon Wright and Councilwoman Noreen Evans spoke up in favor of leaving the provision in. Because of the disagreement, the Council deferred the vote until Tuesday December 3rd giving the Council, law enforcement, and SAMM a chance to work out language that all could support. The provision of non-cooperation with the DEA is the key provision in the resolution. We will work as hard to see that it stays in the resolution. We feel we have very strong support from some of the Council Members.


Court dates are subject to last minute changes. If you plan to attend call the contact person for updates. The address for the federal court (which is in the federal building) is 450 Golden Gate Ave. (at Larkin), San Francisco.

Mike Foley, patient. Monday December 2nd, 2:30 PM. Federal Building, San Francisco, 19th floor. Judge Chesney. Mike has been forced to make a deal to plead guilty to cultivation of 95 plants. One of the things about this that makes me so angry is that they used Robyn's case against him, saying if he didn't agree then they would prosecute her. Mike has been a really valuable friend to ASA, and to the MMJ community at large for many years. He wants people to come to his hearing, especially visible patients, and later to his sentencing where he will be allowed to argue downward departure and have some patients testify. PLEASE, if you can, come to Mike's hearing- he is feeling very discouraged and needs to know that people care about him. Mike and Robyn have been at nearly every hearing in SF supporting other patients/defendants. Contact: Robyn Few (707) 632-6031.

Ed Bierling, patient and caregiver. Wednesday, December 4th, 9:30 AM, Federal Building San Francisco, 15th Floor. Ed was cultivating 173 plants for two patients. He is Peer Reviewed and was in compliance with the Sonoma County Guidelines. In March the DEA raided his home seizing the plants. He was arrested in May and is charged with cultivation of more than 100 plants, an alleged crime that could get him 5 years in prison. The effect of this is devastating on his health and family, he has a wife and two small children. In addition to attending the court date, Ed's family can use lots of support. They have already paid his attorney a lot of money and they are struggling to come up with rest of the money needed for his defense. Call Ed at 707 586-6631 for updated information.

Dan Nelson, patient and caregiver. Wednesday December 4th, 9:30 AM. Federal Building, San Francisco, 15th Floor. DEA agents with federal warrants, raided AIKO Compassion Center in Santa Rosa, seized 83 plants, and 2 pounds of marijuana. AIKO served around 300 Sonoma County medical marijuana patients. DEA also raided Nelson's home, seized 3 plants, less that I oz. marijuana, and impounded his wife's car. Dan's physician approval was verified by the Sonoma County Medical Association's Peer Review process. He is facing felony cultivation charges. Dan was within the County Guidelines for cooperative gardens. Call Kumari for info: (707) 823-9644.

Robert Schmitt, patient and caregiver. Wednesday December 4th, 2:15 PM. We do not know his wishes for support in court, and we do not have a contact person. If anyone does know about this, please let us know.

Keith Alden, patient and caregiver. Thursday December 19th, 2:00 PM. Federal building, San Francisco, 19th Floor, Judge Jenkins. On November 12, Keith Alden, a valid California medical marijuana patient, was found guilty on two felony charges: cultivation of marijuana and for maintaining a site for cultivation of marijuana. The jury was not allowed to hear any medical testimony, which was crucial to his defense. They could not reach a unanimous decision on the number of plants (e.g. over 1000, over 100, or less than 100). If the judge decides it's more than 1000 plants, Keith could be facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years to life imprisonment. Judge Jenkins sentenced Keith to 5 years probation in his previous case and we are hoping for leniency this time as well. Support in the courtroom is very important at this sentencing hearing. Please attend if at all possible. Letters can be sent to him at: FDC Keith Alden, 96424-011, 5675 8th St., Camp Parks, Dublin, CA 94568. Contact: Ken Norton (707) 527-5987.


SAMM Public Meeting. Tuesday, Dec. 3rd, 6:30 - 8:00 PM, Sebastopol Library (corner of High Street and Bodega Hwy). Sonoma Alliance for Medical Marijuana hosts a public meeting regarding the status of medical marijuana in Sonoma County. Sebastopol passes resolution in support of medical marijuana and the Santa Rosa City Council has indicated they may pass a resolution written by SAMM in support of medical marijuana. Attorneys, Nicole De Fever and Omar Figueroa, will present a "Know Your Rights" training. There have been many cases where patients have cooperated too fully with the police only to find they complicated their cases severely. You have the rights to remain silent and to not consent to a search, use them. SAMM members will stay after the meeting to meet with you personally. Wheelchair accessible. Info: (707) 522-0292.

Thanks for your support,

Doc Knapp and Mary Pat Jacobs, Spokespersons
Sonoma Alliance for Medical Marijuana
PO Box 216
Sebastopol, CA 95473
(707) 522-0292


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