Sunday, January 25, 2009

Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program Opens in San Joaquin County

Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program Opens in San Joaquin County * Dr.Note is BEST

Passed in 1996, Proposition 215 (the “Compassionate Use Act”) made the medical use of marijuana legal in California. In 2003, Senate Bill 420 was passed as a clarification of Proposition 215 and required the establishment of a statewide medical marijuana identification card and registry program under California Health and Safety Code and California Code of Regulations.

On November 4, 2008, the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors approved implementation of the Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC) Program. The San Joaquin County MMIC Program will open on Monday, January 5, 2009.

Under this State-wide and State-mandated program, San Joaquin County Public Health Services Vital Registration Office will be responsible for processing MMIC applications and issuing identification cards to qualified patients and primary caregivers who are residents of the County.

The Public Health Services Vital Registration Office is located at 1601 E. Hazelton Avenue in Stockton.

Completed applications will be accepted by appointment only. Applicants must submit required documentation, have a digital photograph taken, and pay fees at the time of the appointment. The fee for the card is $71.00 for MediCal recipients and $141.00 for all others.

Appointments may be scheduled by calling the Public Health Services at 468-8600, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.

Patients must meet the following criteria to begin the MMIC application process:

· Residency - must be a resident of San Joaquin County;*

· Proof of identity - must bring proof of identity such as CA driver’s license or CA identification card;*

· Written Documentation of Patient’s Medical Records - a physician licensed in California must complete this form *

which will provide the diagnosis of an eligible medical condition for the patient;

· Photograph - a digital photo of patient and primary caregiver will be taken and will appear on the medical marijuana

identification card;

· Fees - application fees must be paid when an application is submitted.

Application materials can be obtained online or at the Public Health Services-Vital Registration Office in the Public Health Services building in Stockton.

For additional information regarding the State program criteria, visit

*-The Id Card is not something you have to has its ups and downs.

Pro: Verification, Should Prevent Arrest, County Issued


1. Still no State retailers, distributors, caregivers, or collective dispensaries.
2. why get a card from the county when they have no limits or guidelines?
3. Limited to state guidelines
4. Registered in a State-wide system

Additional Resources

Stanislaus one of dozen without a card program

tanislaus one of dozen without a card program

last updated: January 12, 2009 02:39:46 AM

A medical marijuana identification card program will come before the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors sometime in the next few months. It's a program that has been in the works for more than 2½ years.

Stanislaus is one of just 12 of the state's 58 counties that does not already have an identification card program, which is required by state law. The programs issue identification cards to medical marijuana users who ask for them. The cards can then be shown to law enforcement officers when patients are stopped and questioned about possession of the drug.

The cards, like the whole issue of medical marijuana, have been controversial. Two years ago, then-Stanislaus County Supervisor Ray Simon called the program "a huge fraud perpetrated on us by the state of California." Modesto Police Chief Roy Wasden also criticized the program, saying it should go through a formal U.S. Food and Drug Administration trial and be dispensed by prescription through pharmaceutical companies.

Proponents, however, point out that medical marijuana use was approved by the state's voters in 1996 in Proposition 215. The federal government still considers any marijuana use to be illegal, but proponents of Proposition 215 point out that issuing the ID cards violates neither state nor federal law -- and not issuing them would violate state law.

Stanislaus and several other counties delayed issuing the cards while legal challenges played out. Now that the ID cards have cleared legal hurdles, most counties have launched programs. San Joaquin County announced its card program last week.

The Stanislaus ID card program is under review to make sure it complies with state law, said Deputy County Counsel Dean Wright. The program will require the county to acquire camera equipment to take pictures of applicants, along with paperwork to ensure that the applicants have a doctor's recommendation. The information would then be forwarded to Sacramento, where the cards will be issued.

Some of the delay in getting the program before the Board of Supervisors has been caused by the small staff in the California Department of Public Health dedicated to overseeing the program, Wright said.

When it gets on the supervisors' agenda is still in question, because the county is wrestling with midyear budget adjustments, said Cleopathia Moore, associate director of the county Health Services Agency, which will administer the program.

The cards are completely voluntary -- medical marijuana users don't have to get them in order to comply with the state law. The cards in theory will prevent them from being arrested if police officers find them in possession of marijuana.

When the medical ID card program comes before the board, members will be faced with a decision to approve or reject a specific program. Rejecting the idea of an ID program carries a legal risk: Solano County was sued last week by Americans for Safe Access for failing to implement a card program.

Most dispensaries banned

In the meantime, the medical marijuana environment in California and the Northern San Joaquin Valley continues to evolve. Most of the cities in the northern valley have banned marijuana dispensaries. That leaves patients with a doctor's recommendation a choice of either driving to the Bay Area, where there are many dispensaries; seeking the drug in the underground illegal market; or growing their own, which is allowed by law in limited quantities.

Medical marijuana advocates say most patients don't want to grow their own. It takes time and some expertise, as well as a place to grow it, said Aaron Smith, California policy director for the Marijuana Policy Project.

Driving to the Bay Area is also inconvenient if not impossible for some patients, Smith said. Some patients are undergoing chemotherapy and are physically unable to cultivate plants or drive for hours to get marijuana, he said.

Sources will deliver

"Many are going into the black market. It's readily available in the black market, but part of the intent of Prop. 215 was that they not have to go to the black market," Smith said.

"They are pushing the market into the dark corners of society instead of open, licensed and inspected dispensaries."

The Web site of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, another marijuana advocacy group, lists several sources that will deliver marijuana to the Modesto area, but the group doesn't vouch for the reliability of the sources, said Ellen Comp, a board member and volunteer for California NORML.

Doctors are more willing to recommend marijuana to patients since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that it was a First Amendment right of doctors to make recommendations, Smith and Comp said.

In Modesto, a MediCann clinic at 725 18th St. provides patient evaluations and marijuana recommendations. MediCann is a San Francisco-based group with 12 clinics throughout the state dedicated to helping patients with medical marijuana referrals and other alternative medical treatments.

Bee staff writer Tim Moran can be reached at or 578-2349.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Feds Raid Lake Taheo Marijuana Dispensary

Feds Raid Lake Tahoe Marijuana Dispensary

* News

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Anyone remember when we were told private security companies were not involved by the Bush administration?

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Federal agents raided a medical marijuana dispensary in South Lake Tahoe on Thursday.


At about 11 a.m., five agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency — joined by members of the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, the South Lake Tahoe-El Dorado County Narcotics Enforcement Team and the South Lake Tahoe Police — served a federal search warrant on Patient to Patient Collective, located at 2314 Lake Tahoe Boulevard.

Agents seized between five and 10 pounds of processed marijuana and a “small amount” of U.S. currency from the collective, said DEA Special Agent Gordon Taylor.

Police made no arrests on Thursday.

Taylor declined to comment on additional details of the raid, saying Patient to Patient Collective is part of an ongoing investigation.

National Geo Pot Paradise

Monday, January 12, 2009

Marijuana Karma and You

Marijuana Karma and You

BuddhaThe term Karma originates from the religious beliefs of Buddhism and Hinduism.

Excellent marijuana strains originated in these parts of the World. Coincidence?

Marijuana Karma is a term we use to describe the karma we carry with us as a casual cannabis user (or a completely harmless wandering stoner) in this lifetime. This would be a good place to compare marijuana karma to a wandering methadone addict's karma (is there such a thing?). You can begin to visualize a difference here.

When we catch a buzz, get high, or get stoned (see The 3 Levels of High), we carry a generally optimistic, happy, rock-n-roll (the attitude, not necessarily the music), uppity type, deep thinker, silent arrogance. Remember, this is what we think... as we wander around. We are a pleasant people, if we let you speak with us... (insert laugh here)

Those of you who smoke without drinking (alcohol) at the same time will have an easier time understanding this important separation. This is simply because it is the BUZZ from only the marijuana that promotes this karma. Look at your drunk buddies (this is another type of karma that we do not attempt to define here, but it is NOT the same).

Some of you may think this is your mood, but it's deeper than that. This may be where the medicinal use of cannabis for depression comes in?

As we go through our daily activities (high), we carry with us this karma. It is difficult to pick a fight with us at this point, we are becoming more and more easy-going with every 'hit break' we take. We can actually see it in others, but only if we are under the influence - otherwise, they just look "stoned" to us.

The only exception to this Marijuana Karma definition, is that of the stoner who never leaves their home or environment. They have chosen to enjoy their karma in the most private of settings... that of stoner solitude. These retired individuals (of sorts), attain and remain in a constant state of stoned, easy-going bliss. At least that's the case with the individual attempting to retire to such a status, and they like it that way.

National Action Alert: Your Chance to Impact the US Attorney General Confirmation! Dear ASA Supporter,

National Action Alert:
Your Chance to Impact the US Attorney General Confirmation!

Dear ASA Supporter,

It’s here - your first opportunity to be a real part of changing medical cannabis policy. If you ever wanted to take action that could make a difference, now’s your chance!

On January 15th, Senate Judiciary Committee will begin confirmation hearings for President-elect’s nominee for US Attorney General, Eric H. Holder. Obama pledged to end DEA raids on individuals who use or provide medical cannabis in accordance with their state law. The U.S. Attorney General is the cabinet official who can carry out this stance.

Now is the time to act! We need you to help make sure the first discussions with Obama’s Attorney General include questions on medical cannabis.

It just takes two short but critical phone calls to Judiciary Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) (202) 224-7703, and ranking Republican Member Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) (202) 224-5225). Call both offices and say:

"Hi, my name is ___________ and I am calling about the Attorney General confirmation hearings. President-elect Obama said numerous times during his campaign that DEA raids on individuals legally qualified to use medical cannabis in their states are a waste of resources and that he would end that policy. 72 million Americans live in the 13 states with medical cannabis laws. Please ask Eric Holder if he will uphold Obama's promise and end DEA raids on legal medical cannabis patients."

Because the federal government has refused to act, states have taken the lead in protecting patients who use medical cannabis. However, for 8 years the Bush Administration, the US Department of Jusice (DOJ), and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) have aggressively targeted, raided, arrested, and prosecuted individuals who comply with state medical cannabis laws. In court, defendants are not allowed to present this as evidence for their defense, or even to mention that such state laws exist. As a result, many innocent people are serving time in federal prisons, and many more are waiting for their sentence.

We demand change NOW. Stand up for them by joining our effort!

Once you’ve made the call, send a letter to increase the pressure even more!

Change will not be handed to us. If we want it we have to demand it, and now is the best opportunity this country has ever had. Thank you for being a part of it.


George Pappas
Field Coordinator
Americans for Safe Access

Friday, January 9, 2009

Solano County sued over pot ID cards Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Solano County sued over pot ID cards

Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

(01-05) 16:03 PST FAIRFIELD --

A medical-marijuana advocacy group sued Solano County on Monday for its failure to issue identification cards to users of medicinal cannabis as required by state law.

The lawsuit, filed in Solano County Superior Court, said the county is among several in California that have failed to give out the cards, which protect their holders from arrest by state or local police for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

"Solano County cannot simply flout its obligation under the law," Joe Elford, an attorney for Americans for Safe Access, said in a statement.

The group sent letters to Solano County in August and October urging it to comply with the 2003 law requiring the marijuana ID card program, Elford said.

In July, a state court of appeal upheld California's medical marijuana law enacted in 1996, rejecting arguments by San Diego and San Bernardino counties that allowing patients to use the drug with their doctor's approval condoned violations of federal narcotics laws.

Of California's 58 counties, 51 comply with the ID card program, Elford said.

Jo Ann Parker, deputy Solano County counsel, said the county had not yet been served with the suit. But she noted that the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to discuss the ID card program in closed session Jan. 13.

E-mail Henry K. Lee at

This article appeared on page B - 2 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Monday, January 5, 2009

Medical Marijuana Lawsuit Filed to Force Implementation of ID Card Program

For Immediate Release: January 5th, 2009

Medical Marijuana Lawsuit Filed to Force Implementation of ID Card Program

Advocates accuse Solano County of violating state law and denying protections for patients
Vallejo, CA -- Medical marijuana patient advocacy organization Americans for Safe Access (ASA) filed a lawsuit today against Solano County for failing to implement the state-mandated identification card program. State legislation adopted in 2003 mandated that all counties in California implement an identification card program meant to assist law enforcement and provide greater protections for medical marijuana patients and their caregivers. However, despite legislation and a landmark decision in July 2008 from the California Fourth District Court of Appeal, affirming the validity of that requirement, several counties including Solano have still failed to comply.

"Solano County cannot simply flaunt its obligation under the law," said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel for ASA, the organization that also helped litigate the landmark case, San Diego County v. State of California. "This lawsuit is aimed at forcing counties like Solano to fully implement state law and to stop denying medical marijuana patients their legal rights and protections." Today's action follows letters sent in August and October of 2008 to officials from Solano and other counties indicating a resolve to file a lawsuit unless compliance with the law was imminent. In addition to the letter sent to Solano County officials, letters were sent to 15 other counties that have failed to implement the state ID card program.

On October 16, 2008, the California Supreme Court refused to review San Diego County v. State of California, making clear the obligations of counties under the state's medical marijuana law. Since 2003, forty of California's 58 counties have implemented the medical marijuana ID card program. As a result of the letters and the new court mandate, 11 additional counties (Alpine, Fresno, Kings, Mariposa, Modoc, Nevada, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Siskiyou, Stanislaus, and Ventura) have come into compliance or have pledged to do so.

According to the 2003 state law, California medical marijuana patients and their caregivers may obtain ID cards from the state, administered by each of the state's counties, that are supposed to provide protection from arrest and prosecution. However, because of an unwillingness by many counties to implement the program, thousands of patients are placed at unnecessary risk. Local officials have used federal law to deny patients' rights under state law, but the July 2008 landmark decision made clear that federal law does not preempt the state's medical marijuana law.

For further information:
Lawsuit filed today against Solano County:
California Court of Appeals ruling from July 31, 2008: