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Fighting San Bernardino’s Ban

Rich 2011-03-07 0 comments

By Lanny Swerdlow

San Bernadino County

Hi Everyone,


It is expected that the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors will be considering the horrid mmj collective ban ordinance passed by the Planning Commission at the upcoming Board meeting on March 15. In a recent email I asked if we should go before the Board when the mmj collective ban is considered or just boycott the meeting as it is a waste of our time to speak before these close-minded bureaucratic autocrats.

I received close to 80 return emails and phone calls with a variety of astute and acerbic replies. Most recognized that the Board was going to pass the ordinance exactly as written, but most were still staunchly in favor of going back before the Board and telling them why they are wrong.

To help in our deliberative process in deciding what to do, Lawrence Bynum, the attorney who wrote and submitted the alternative mmj collective ordinance to the San Bernardino County Planning Commission, will be the featured speaker at the Wednesday, March 2 MAPP meeting. Mr. Bynum will speak about the ordinance he submitted, why the Planning Commission refused to even consider it and what steps patients in the Inland Empire need to take to thwart the enactment of the ordinance passed by the Planning Commission which bans mmj collectives, outdoor growing and an association of three or more mmj patients.

Located in the city of Riverside, Mr. Bynum specializes in Real Estate and Contract Law litigation and has been involved in many cases involving zoning regulations. He is working closely with many of the collectives located in San Bernardino County to ensure that the rights of patients to form and join collectives are recognized by SB County Government and law enforcement.

This will be an exciting and dynamic meeting and your presence will make it even more dynamic and exciting, so mark your calendar for the Riverside MAPP meeting on Wednesday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the THCF Medical Clinic, 647 Main St., Riverside 92501. The meeting will start promptly at 7:30 p.m. and end even more promptly at 9 p.m. so please be on time.


The city of Palm Springs has allowed three collectives to provide medicinal marijuana legally under their first in the Inland Empire zoning ordinance.  These collectives however are at a competitive disadvantage to the non-permitted collectives that continue to operate in Palm Springs.

Permitted collective are at a disadvantage because they have far more restrictive operating hours (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.), cannot operate on Sundays (OMG! – Blue Laws in Palm Springs!!!), are not allowed to accept cash payments (only credit/debit cards and checks) and a number of other absurd restrictions.

Although Palm Springs has been attempting to close the non-permitted collectives, due to cunning legal tactics on the part of the non-permitted collectives’ attorneys, they have not been successful in doing so. Understandably a number of mmj patients continue to patronize those collectives that Palm Springs considers illegal. This presents a conundrum for those of us in the movement who maintain that cities and counties can license and regulate collectives but they cannot ban them.

Are we being hypocritical if we turn a blind eye to illegally operating collectives? This may be especially true when the operation of non-permitted collectives financially undercut the permitted collectives as the non-permitted collectives continue to operate outside of the constraints that permitted collectives must abide by.

The solutions to this are vexing to say the least. Should Palm Springs make their ordinance less restrictive? What about the other non-permitted collectives operating in the Coachella Valley?

Join us at the Palm Springs MAPP meeting this Saturday, March 5 at 3 p.m. and be part of the discussion and part of the solution. The meeting is held at the fascinating new-age depot, Crystal Fantasy, located at 266 N. Palm Canyon in downtown Palm Springs 92262, across the street from the Hyatt Regency.


On Monday’s 6 p.m. broadcast and Internet simulcast of Marijuana Compassion and Common Sense – the Radio Show, we will be speaking with Joe Stoner and Cindy about a mmj collective garden where patients will be able to come and grow their own medicine.

A community garden where patients have their own small plot of land to grow their personal allotment of marijuana would seem to pass muster even with troglodytes like Steve Cooley and Bonnie Dumanis. Learn on the Monday, Feb. 28 show about this unique collective soon to be operating in the Inland Empire and how you can become a member.

Also calling in will be the ever effervescent Dale Gerringer, Director of CalNORML. As one of the sponsors of last month’s sell out and spectacularly successful marijuana reform conference in Berkley, CalNORML, DPA, MPP and ASA are now bringing it to HOLLYWOOD on Saturday, March 19. Entitled Marijuana Reform: A Continuing Conversation, Dale will be calling in on Monday to enlighten you and whet your appetite for this upcoming conference with the what, when and where  of the conference plus info on how you can attend this statewide conference that will be discussing the future of marijuana reform efforts in California.

Tune in this Monday and every Monday at 6 p.m. for the radio show selected by the readers of the IE Weekly as having the Inland Empire’s Best Radio Talk Show Host. You can hear it locally on IE Talk radio station KCAA 1050 AM and you can hear and view it on the Internet at