cannabisnews.com: Protestors Hope To Educate Police About Marijuana





Protestors Hope To Educate Police About Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on August 29, 2006 at 06:26:15 PT
By Mary Beth Hislop
Source: Spartan Daily 
California -- Although the scheduled demonstration by the Silicon Valley Cannabis Patients Union sparked the limited interest of just a handful of onlookers, this did not prevent union President Jim Lohse from igniting a pipe full of marijuana outside of the San Jose State University Police Department at 4:20 p.m. on Friday.Lohse said the 4:20 start time for the demonstration was a direct reference to SB420, which outlines provisions for distributing medical marijuana. "It's actually legal for me to stand here and smoke," Lohse, 32, said.
The protest was organized by Lohse's union in response to the arrest of Christine Flora, a homeless woman, who was arrested on campus by UPD on July 26 on suspicion of possessing nearly one-half ounce of marijuana, even though she had a medical marijuana identification card.However, campus police Sgt. John Laws said it is often difficult to determine the legitimacy of the identification cards."I can tell you the ones I've seen in the past  they're not very official looking," Laws said.Lohse and fellow union member Chuck B., 52, who asked that his last name be withheld, were arrested and cited by campus police on Aug. 4 when they smoked marijuana outside of the police department. Lohse said he and Chuck were trying to educate law enforcement officials that smoking is legal if a person has a valid medical card. Lohse said both of them do. Chuck said the police confiscated his marijuana, took away his heart medication and left him handcuffed in a holding cell for at least 45 minutes. Lohse said he doesn't understand why marijuana is so maligned."One bottle of alcohol will kill me," Lohse said. "Fifteen hundred pounds of marijuana would kill me."Lohse said he is frustrated by law enforcement agencies that do not honor California law SB420, which prevents arrests of qualified individuals for possession of a specific amount of marijuana and requires police to comply with these provisions.The bill was drafted by former state Sen. John Vasconcellos in order to clarify the mandates of Proposition 215, the medical marijuana initiative, which was passed by California voters in November 1996. While the proposition gave medical marijuana users a defense in court, it did not prevent their arrest - SB420 does this.The bill passed the state senate in September 2003 and was signed into law by former Gov. Gray Davis.Laws said that there are several organizations that are legitimate and do a good job in making sure that those who receive medical marijuana really need it. "There are (also) some organizations that are thinly-veiled drug suppliers," Laws said.Former Libertarian congressional candidate Dennis Umphress attended the demonstration to distribute information from Americans For Safe Access, a grassroots organization that promotes the rights of patients and doctors to use marijuana for medical purposes.Umphress said UPD is ignorant of the law."I'm here to conduct law enforcement training," Umphress said.Umphress said he goes to different cities to advocate and demonstrate for medical marijuana clients. "We didn't start out as protesters, which is the funny part," he said.Laws said he does not know if any UPD officer saw Lohse smoking marijuana on campus last Friday, but he was not arrested. Laws said the department has not established any new policies for medical marijuana users."We are in conference with the local D.A.'s (district attorney) office to determine whether we need to modify our procedures regarding marijuana enforcement," Laws said. Complete Title: Protestors Hope To Educate Police About Medical MarijuanaSource: Spartan Daily (CA Edu)Author: Mary Beth HislopPublished: August 29, 2006Copyright: 2006 Spartan DailyContact: sdaily jmc.sjsu.eduWebsite: http://www.thespartandaily.comRelated Article & Web Site:Americans For Safe Accesshttp://www.safeaccessnow.org/ Group To Protest Medical Marijuana Arrestshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread22092.shtmlCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/medical.shtml
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Comment #2 posted by whig on August 29, 2006 at 12:07:31 PT
Max
You are right. My OCBC card has my mailing address, my date of birth and my picture on the front, which can easily be confirmed against the State-issued California ID. The back provides a 24 Hour Emergency Toll-Free number for Law Enforcement use so they can call and confirm that the card is genuine. The OCBC worked with local and state officials to make sure everyone in the government knows who they are and how they operate. So there is no excuse for anyone to arrest someone carrying a card without making a two minute call to check it out.
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Comment #1 posted by Max Flowers on August 29, 2006 at 09:21:01 PT
Gestapo tactics
The protest was organized by Lohse's union in response to the arrest of Christine Flora, a homeless woman, who was arrested on campus by UPD on July 26 on suspicion of possessing nearly one-half ounce of marijuana, even though she had a medical marijuana identification card.However, campus police Sgt. John Laws said it is often difficult to determine the legitimacy of the identification cards."I can tell you the ones I've seen in the past  they're not very official looking," Laws said.This is BS... the card simply reflects the actual underlying physician's recommendation, which is easily confirmed by calling the physician to verify it. There is no reason to arrest a cardholding patient. Sounds like they wanted to arrest and harass her anyway because she was homeless.A campus police sargeant named John Laws, eh? Incredible. I bet he wishes fervently that the S on the end of his name weren't there.
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