What is the SF State Legalization Task Force?
San Francisco needs to prepare for the legalization of adult use cannabis now, as there is mounting evidence legalization will happen as early as the 2016 election. There is need for updates in the regulations about Medical Cannabis Dispensaries and guaranteeing access throughout the City. We led the state in medical access and we should lead in devising a template of regulations for adult use in urban environments.
San Francisco sits at the physical and cultural intersection of the world’s most notable cannabis growing community estimated to have as many as 35,000 small farms and cultivating sites, the “Emerald Triangle” and the largest consumer base, the LA basin. To many who visit, SF is already considered the Amsterdam of California, if not the country. After legalization in 2016 or 2018, many tourists will seek out the new cannabis society when they get off the plane at SFO. Will San Francisco be prepared? Will we see far enough into the future to set intelligent policy? How do we go about it in this current political climate?
The Taskforce will outline and get feedback, support and criticism for strategies to meet the challenge of planning for California cannabis legalization expected on the ballot in 2016.
In a post legalization environment, businesses of every imaginable type will include cannabis in their offerings; restaurants serving chocolate/cannabis cake, the evolution of the green brownie, a “Bud and Breakfast” or therapeutic massage with cannabis oil, cannabis tourism modeled after now famous wine country tours. Will San Francisco become a “hub” for cannabis related businesses as we are for tech?
The Taskforce will provide a safe and politically transparent place to start this conversation. The cannabis community is primarily made up of medical patients who are served extremely well by our regulated system of dispensaries and delivery services. Expecting those dispensaries to serve the adult use market is naive; we only need to look to Colorado to see what demand will appear.
Our elected officials are asking for direction from the citizens of this great city as they enter the policy making stage for adult use cannabis. If we fail to pro-actively “tax and regulate,” policy avoidance will stimulate an expansion of the black market where, needless to say, we don’t want cannabis products to be sold to the public. We need to educate, research, discuss, and recommend policy. We need to get ahead of this one Trillion Dollar economy, the evolving industry which drives it, and find a way to serve and respect all.
Many of you know me from my role in the successful effort to create the Entertainment Commission, the first of its kind in the country, but most don’t know me as a medical cannabis patient. Entertainment has evolved tremendously and given the size of the industry operates harmoniously in most situations. We can have a cannabis industry San Francisco can be proud to count as one of its leading economic drivers and today I hope to move the conversation to find agreement with your office in participation in the solution. – Terrance Alan
– Donald Abrams, M.D., Robert DuPont, M.D., Rob Kampia, Tim Lynch (Cato Institute)
An article from the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis
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Matt Kumin is a civil rights attorney with a 40-year history working on civil rights issues throughout the country. Based in San Francisco, Matt joined the fight against the War on Drugs through his work with Tony Serra and Randy Daar in 1996 and initially counseled the few “medical cannabis clubs” in SF about their legal rights.
Over the past 10 years, Matt also worked to protect patients by suing cities and counties such as the City of Los Angeles, Sonoma County, and the City of Vallejo, which denied reasonable access to medical cannabis patients.
As the first president of the California Association of Cooperatives and co-founder of that organization in the late 1980’s, Matt was uniquely qualified to help organize consumer cooperatives for patients who wanted to organize associations pursuant to SB 420, beginning in 2004. That strategy was later ratified by the California Attorney General in 2008. Matt set up scores of cooperatives since 2004.
When the U.S. Department of Justice cracked down on the industry in California in 2011, he organized and joined with six other attorneys to sue the United States Attorneys in California.
He works with his colleagues throughout the United States to reform our drug laws and policies, to reform the criminal justice system, and to re-allocate scarce resources, currently wasted on criminalizing drugs, for education and treatment. Concurrently with his work as a litigator, Matt has developed a lobbying and educational practice designed to help elected officials and regulators enact appropriate regulations in their jurisdictions.
In 1992, Terrance Alan became an inadvertent cannabis activist after more than 150 SWAT, DEA, CHP and SFPD officer raided his home, pinned him and his lover to the ground with guns in their faces. He had been growing medical marijuana for himself and Randal, his lover of 12 years, under the auspice of Prop P, which recommended marijuana as a treatment to stimulate appetite, reduce nausea and relieve pain. The needlessly aggressive arrest caught the attention of longtime activist (and author of Prop 215) Dennis Peron who used their clear medical use to reduce the charges. Soon after, the SF Board of Supervisors directed the SFPD and District Attorney to make prosecution of medical marijuana cases “the lowest priority”.
In 1995, Terrance organized a NYE arts party and Visual Aids fundraiser, in memorium for Randal who had recently died. Over 100 officers raided and abused the guests; so Terrance rallied and filed a class action suit, suing the SFPD and leading to monumental policy change.
In 1996, driven by these intense personal experiences, Terrance help found and create the nation’s first non-profit dispensary, CHAMP (Californians Helping to Alleviate Medical Problems), in 1996 after the passage of Prop 215.
In 1998, Terrance organized a series of benefits called FEAST, which the SFPD shut down for lack of a permit, despite four previous highly successful FEASTs that year. The local police captain at the time told Terrance, “If you don’t like the law, then change it.” So he did.
In 2003, motivated by the SFPD’s arbitrary interpretations of the law, shutting down not only mainstay underground events, but also harassing the city’s largest nightclubs, Terrance organized a political movement creating the civilian Entertainment Commission, removing permitting for night clubs and special events from the police’s highly subjective hands. Terrance was appointed and elected the first President of the Commission and served proudly for 8 years.
In 2009, he founded the California Music and Culture Association (CMAC), a state trade advocate bringing the voice of the patron and the purveyor to the legislation table, where he currently sits as an Executive Board Member.
With the legalization of recreational cannabis in Colorado and Washington and the upcoming CA ballot initiative in 2016, Terrance joined with Matt Kumin and others, to bring his longtime medical marijuana, political, legislative and stage trade association experience to California Cannabis Voice.