Pubdate: Thu, 12 Nov 2009
Source: Red Bluff Daily News (CA)
Copyright: 2009 Red Bluff Daily News
Author: Tang Lor, Staff Writer


A crowd of more than 150 medical marijuana patients gathered Tuesday
night to voice their opinions after Red Bluff implemented a temporary
ban on medical marijuana.

Patients have a message for the City Council and staff: They are here.
They are not going away. They need to be respected like everyone else
in the community.

The crowd at the Mother Earth Medicine membership hall erupted in
cheers and applause when attorney James Silva of Oakland thanked them
for showing up to support the cause. He spoke to the crowd via speaker

There are a myriad of deficiencies in the ordinance, including
prohibiting care givers and patients to grow marijuana in their own
homes, Silva said.

"There are people who are going to be affected by this," he said.
"(The council members) need to think long and hard about what they are

Jason Browne, an activist and cannabis consultant, asked Silva what
the patients can do to fight against the ordinance.

Holding the meeting and getting organized has been a good first step,
Silva said.

The most important thing for the patients to do now is voice their
opinions in a civil tone. Continue to write to the council as well as
letters to the editor. Every stake holder has an opportunity to be a
part of the process. Patients need to educate the council and put
their political viewpoint into the ring.

"Stay in the loop and you will be invited to the table," he said.

The meeting was organized by several local collective owners,
including Mother Earth Medicine, The Blue Toad Inc., Tehama Herbal
Collective and Red Bluff Patient Collective.

Ken Prather, of Tehama Herbal Collective, was hoping for a big turnout
and he wasn't disappointed.

Patients want to work with the council to get proper regulation, not
one that denies access and violate rights, Prather said.

"They can't deny us access," he said "With the guidance of an attorney
we will challenge them to allow access."

The ban has made people aware of the city's stance on medical
marijuana. Everybody assumed the city was OK with medical marijuana
and it wasn't a big concern to them, but now the city has decided that
marijuana is a problem they have to put a stop to, Prather said.

"It's not us who created this problem," he said. "They are the ones
who changed the law."

Many of the council members as well as other members of the community
were raised to believe marijuana is bad, but with words and education
patients can try to make the council members understand that marijuana
is not bad, Prather said.

Cal NORML Northern California Director Kevin Gorman said educating the
council members is going to take time, but they need to know that
patients have rights. Cal NORML will continue to help and be a voice
for Tehama County residents.

Browne is collecting money to for an attorney fund, he said.

Several patients donated money Tuesday evening. One patient handed
Browne a large wad of cash saying he had nothing to loose and thanked
Browne for all his hard work in fighting for patients' rights.

Donations can be made at Sierra Central Credit Union in care of Jason
Browne. Cal NORML will match the donations. 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr