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Long Beach City Council to Medical Marijuana Patients: "We Will Not Abandon You"

Sam Sabzehzar 2011-11-03 1 comment

With the federal crackdown on medical cannabis dispensing centers, Long Beach city council may move forward in their attempts to regulate and control medical marijuana in their city.

By Sam Sabzehzar  |  November 2, 2011

Cheryl Shuman shows the Long Beach City Council what her quality of life is like when she doesn't have safe access to her life-saving medicine. (Photo credit:

After an estimated 60 people occupying the space in front of City Hall held a rally for medical marijuana patients, those at the front lines in the war on drugs made their voices heard inside as well.

Many of those in attendance were medical cannabis patients that need their medicine, while others were advocating on their behalf.

Carl Kemp, a lobbyist for the group of Long Beach collectives that have formed an association, aptly named the Long Beach Collective Association.

“We, including all of you and city staff, have worked very hard to create an ordinance that provides safe access for people with state-approved medical recommendations,” said Kemp.

Cheryl Shuman, another patient and patient advocate, spoke to the council about how she juices the cannabis plant and it saved her life.

While the council didn’t have this item on the night’s agenda, city attorney Robert Shannon is expected to have a report ready for review by the middle of this month.

With the federal government bluffing, and going all-in in the process, signs of their desperation are showing through the cracked glass house of cards the prohibition of pot has become.

And as retired Superior Court Judge Jim Gray aptly said at a press conference in response to the federal cracking, “The best way to change a bad law is to enforce it.”

By doing so, and bribing local official to do the same, as retired LAPD Deputy Chief Stephen Downing mentioned in the same press conference, they have overplayed their hand, and may have just proved Jim Gray right.

The council, in their response, requested patients and cooperation while reassuring the audience that the city is compassionate and it will not abandon the patients, nor their constitutional rights and right to safe access.

The collective directors hope to have an opportunity to meet with and share insight on how to operate effectively so that public and patient safety are not compromised.

While the council had previously denied such requests in the past they seemed to change their tune, particularly in light of the fact that there is more attention on this issue now than ever before both locally and nationwide.

In the past, patients like Joe Grumbine, who is being denied a medical defense while he faces charges of marijuana sales (through a medical cannabis dispensing center) have spoken to the council and has received little support from them.

While certain council members have expressed their plans to try and shut down or zone out all dispensing centers, those members remained silent.

Plus, recent U.S. Attorney letters have been sent to various operators throughout the state, including media, although none in Long Beach, demanding closure or asset forfeiture.

The shining light is this year’s Supreme Court (Bond v U.S.) unanimous decision and it is reasonable to infer that the enforcement of federal drug laws are much more restrictive for those fighting it and not who it is waged upon.


1 comment

  1. John Grace

    I certainly hope the City embraces a new approach that puts patients first and offers legitimacy for a provider network city wide. Human nature may not be that kind to us though so preparing for the long haul may be in order. Unity might be a good first step and the Courthouse on Ocean might be a good place to exercise it. There will be daily opportunities to do your share for everyone in the city once that trial gets started.