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Conference on Future of Marijuana Reform in California Will Draw Broad Coalition to End Failed Prohibition Policies

Rich 2011-03-12 0 comments

Saturday, March 19th at Ricardo Montalban Theatre in Hollywood

After overwhelming demand, the "Next Steps" conference is coming to Los Angeles to continue the conversation on cannabis reform.

“Next Steps for Marijuana Reform in California,” a day-long gathering of marijuana reform advocates, will take place March 19th at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre in Hollywood.

In the wake of Proposition 19’s remarkably strong showing at the polls last year, this conference will address ongoing efforts to end failed marijuana prohibition in California, steps to reform the state’s medical marijuana laws, and priorities for marijuana reform in the coming years.

The conference is presented by California NORML, Drug Policy Alliance, Marijuana Policy Project, Americans for Safe Access, and VibeNation MultiMedia.  Medical Marijuana 411 is a media sponsor of this event and will be streaming live on and on their Facebook page.

Confirmed participants include the Latino Voters League, California NAACP, United Food and Commercial Workers, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, leaders of the Proposition 19 campaign and other ballot initiative proponents, and California Church Impact as well as political consultants, attorneys, medical marijuana advocates, and public officials.

The conference follows up the sold out “Next Steps” conference in Berkeley in January.

The event is open to the public, and the audience will have the opportunity to comment and weigh in on competing proposals.

A party and reception, featuring live music, other entertainment and refreshments, will be held at the Montalban Theatre immediately following the conference until 10 pm and tickets are available online, as well as at the theatre’s box office.

Below is a schedule of the day’s event.

9:45 AM: Opening: Legalization – Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

–Dale Gieringer, Cal NORML (Chair)
–Stephen Gutwillig, Drug Policy Alliance
–Richard Lee, Prop 19 Sponsor
–Sarah Lovering, Marijuana Policy Project
–Don Duncan, Americans for Safe Access

11 AM: Follow-up – Public Perspectives

— Judge James Gray
— John Longville, San Bernardino Community College District Board
— Assemblyman Jim Beall
— Marcy Winograd – Teacher, Crenshaw HS, candidate for Congressional District 36.
— Prof.  Mark Kleiman, UCLA School of Public Policy
(Others TBA)

12 NOON – Political Reality: What Will it Take to Win a Statewide Election?

Political, research, and messaging consultants share insights (and a dose of reality) about the challenges of waging and winning initiative campaigns in California.

— Mauricio Garzon, Consultant, Prop. 19 Campaign (Chair)
— Dave Krute, Publisher, Democratic Election Education Guide – confirmed
— Bill Zimmerman, Zimmerman & Markman Consultants
(Others TBA)

1:15 PM – Legal Panel

Attorneys discuss legal issues in framing the next marijuana reform legislation.

–Moderator Chris Conrad
–Robert Raich, Oakland attorney
–Matt Kumin, L.A. and S.F. attorney
— Bill Panzer, Cal NORML Legal Chair
— Allison Margolin, L.A. attorney

2:30 PM – Movement Building:

Expanding the Statewide Reform Coalition Key allies from the growing marijuana reform movement address what it will take to build greater support from their communities and colleagues.

Chair: Stephen Gutwillig
— Gretchen Burns Bergman, A New PATH (Parents for Addiction Treatment & Healing)
— Diane Goldstein, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP)
— Antonio Gonzalez, Latino Voters League
— Dan Rush, United Food and Commercial Workers
— Rev. Moreno Richardson, California Church Impact
(Others TBA)

3:45 PM – Medical Marijuana Regulation: What’s Next Statewide?

Medical marijuana advocates identify strategies to expand access and protect patients and providers once and for all.

— Don Duncan, Americans for Safe Access (Chair)
— Joanna LaForce, The Farmacy
— Aaron Smith, National Cannabis Industry Association
— Yami Bolanos, Greater Los Angeles Collectives Alliance
— Michael Backes, Cornerstone Collective
— Bill Britt, Patient Advocate
— Eugene Davidovich, San Diego ASA
— Darrah Danielle, MEDEA Labs


5:00 PM – Perspectives & Proposals: What Should We Prioritize in Drafting the Next Ballot Initiative? Marijuana reform advocates identify key components and concerns as the next statewide initiative starts to take shape.

— Michael Gray, Common Sense for Drug Policy
— Tim Cavanaugh, Reason Foundation
— Lanny Swerdlow, Marijuana Anti-Prohibition Project
— Cliff Schaffer, Schaffer Drug Library
— Steve De Angelo, CEO Harborside Collective

– Audience Vote