Humboldt NORML Monthly Meeting Notes


  Meeting Agenda 2/23/2017

LAST MEETING RECAP

-PROP 64 Passes, Good or Bad?

-Cal NORML’s Post-64 Reform Agenda

(1) Expand areas where marijuana can be used for medical and adult use, particularly when vaporized.

(2) Protect cannabis users from discrimination in employment, housing, parental and medical rights.

(3) Forbid local bans on deliveries of cannabis from licensed providers to qualified individuals.

(4) Increase tax breaks for qualified medical marijuana patients.

(5) Encourage and protect licensing of small businesses, nonprofits and agricultural cooperatives with financial and regulatory incentives, and discourage monopolization and ownership concentration by large-scale corporate and big-money interests.

(6) Ban local taxes on donations of medical marijuana.

(7) Require the collection of demographic data on applicants and licensees.

(8) Protect the confidentiality of license applications in order to protect privacy and public safety.

(9) Remove cannabis from the state list of controlled substances.

(10) Decriminalize possession of more than one ounce of marijuana.

-Tax and Fee Changes for Medical Marijuana Patients upon Prop. 64 Passage

-Action Alert-NORML Chapters sign on to Trump/ Pence Letter for Cannabis Clarifications

-NORML on Panel for Humboldt Unity Conference for Action at Humboldt State University

-Humboldt County Commercial Cannabis Activity Permit Application Deadline Dec. 31

-DEA named CBD hemp oil a Schedule I Drug

-Humboldt County Cup vs Ferndale Concerns (1st Major Contested Case for Public Consumption in California, Prop 64 era)

-Humboldt County Cup Moves to the Mateel,

UPDATES SINCE LAST MEETING

-National Academy of Sciences Releases Report on the Health Effects of Cannabis

The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a comprehensive report today acknowledging that “conclusive or substantial evidence” exists for cannabis’ efficacy in patients suffering from chronic pain, and sharply criticized longstanding federal regulatory barriers to marijuana research – in particular “the classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance” under federal law.

The report marks the first time since 1999 that the National Academy of Sciences has addressed issues surrounding marijuana and health. Authors reviewed over 10,000 scientific abstracts in their preparation of the new report.

-Trump Administration to Study Marijuana and Driving

The U.S. government will conduct a study investigating “marijuana as a causal factor in traffic crashes” under legislation President Obama signed into law last month.

As part of the review, the Department of Transportation will look at methods for detecting marijuana-impaired driving, including ways to differentiate the cause of driving impairment between alcohol and cannabis.

The department is directed to issue a report within one year making recommendations on a possible impairment standard for driving under the influence of marijuana, similar to the 0.08% blood alcohol content limit that is used to legally define intoxication in U.S. states.

-Study finds nearly 2/3 of police officers support marijuana legalization

The nationally representative survey of law enforcement found that 32 percent of police officers said marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational use, 37 percent said it should be legal for medical use only and 30 percent said that marijuana should not be legal at all.

-Obama to commute hundreds of federal drug sentences in final grants of clemency

-Congressional Cannabis Caucus Is Formed

Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Don Young (R-AK) have formed the first Congressional Cannabis Caucus to promote sensible cannabis policy reform and to ease the tension between federal and state cannabis laws.

-White House Press Secretary Hints Federal Marijuana Crackdown

Sean Spicer said that the Trump administration may engage in “greater” efforts to enforce federal anti-marijuana laws in jurisdictions that have legalized and regulated its adult use.

“there’s a big difference between that and recreational marijuana. I think that when you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging people.”

-NORML’s Response to Opioid Addiction Correlation to Cannabis/ Marijuana

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch in 2016 who admits cannabis is not a gateway drug: “When you look at someone that, for example, has a heroin problem, it very often started with a prescription drug problem. Something totally legal. Something in every medicine cabinet. Something you can have prescribed to you in good faith by a doctor,”

1) “States with medical cannabis laws had a 24.8% lower mean annual opioid overdose mortality rate compared with states without medical cannabis laws,” reported a team of investigators from the University of Pennsylvania, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine.

2) Chronic pain patients with legal access to medicinal cannabis significantly decrease their use of opioids, according to data published in The Journal of Pain. Investigators at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor conducted a retrospective survey of 244 chronic pain patients.

3) A study published in Health Affairs examined data from Medicare Part D from 2010 to 2013 and found that states that legalized medical marijuana — which is sometimes recommended for symptoms like chronic pain, anxiety or depression — saw declines in the number of Medicare prescriptions for drugs used to treat those conditions and a dip in spending by Medicare Part D, which covers the cost on prescription medications.

4) Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health analyzed federal crash data in 18 states over the period from 1999 to 2013. States that passed a medical marijuana law during this period saw a reduction in opioid involvement in fatal car accidents, relative to states without such a law. The reduction was greatest among drivers aged 21 to 40, the age group most likely to use medical marijuana where it’s available.

NEW DISCUSSION TOPICS

-Humboldt NORML appoints new Treasurer, Communications Director and Outreach Coordinators.

-Action Plan

  • Make a new concerted effort to help build Humboldt NORML as an integral part of our cannabis community representation. Humboldt NORML will continue to listen and speak on behalf of the cannabis community’s concerns with a goal of helping to make recommendations with city, county, state and federal government organizations that are affiliated with cannabis policy making. The Communications Director will be taking the lead in coordination with Outreach Coordinators and community volunteers to further our presence.

-Audience

  • Concerns were raised about lack of a development friendly environment for a regulated and growing cannabis industry. Many people would like to help social and economic issues through a regulated cannabis industry. Humboldt needs our local governments to help create a more conducive atmosphere for commercial locations. Many will be force to stay in a less regulated market that will have a negative impact for local government tax revenues as well as the social welfare of families in the cannabis community who are trying to survive.
  • Warnings to cannabis entrepreneurs marketing products with names similar to popular brand name trademarked products such as “Girl Scout Cookies” “Skittles” “Sun Kiss” “Dabbacino” “Cannabis Cup” and more.
  •  Bottleneck situation is going on with the Humboldt County Planning Department as they have been flooded with about 2,300 applications and many of which are incomplete to make the registration deadline. Audience member stated they are use to processing about 25 land use permits a year and would take about 50 years to complete the current list. Humboldt NORML has not validated this information.
  • Americans for Safe Access spearheaded an effort to remove nonfactual cannabis related data from government websites.
  • Department of Transportation studies on cannabis/ marijuana driving impairment should be modeled after alcohol with simple field sobriety tests with another possible analysis to be discovered if they fail. Humboldt NORML will make this a priority recommendation to California NORML and National NORML.
  • Discussed Congressman Jared Huffmans town hall meeting and seems to be in favor of state rights although corporate interests are the main problem people have with the top of the Democratic Party. Green Party members were present and informed us that the Green Party does not take corporate campaign contributions and therefore have no conflicts of interest.
  • A consultant present at the meeting informed us that many people are concerned with 1) Gun rights for cannabis businesses and farms 2) Clarity on the laws pertaining to children on a farm or property where cannabis is cultivated, processed, manufactured and/ or transported. Humboldt NORML will make this a top priority issue and work in coordination with California NORML to help clarify this issue.

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