[UPDATED With Delay of Possible Pot Ban] Pot Protests Engulf Long Beach!
And a happy hour it is indeed. Things might not be going so well for Long Beach collective operators Joe Byron and Joe Grumbine who are facing a trial later this month for selling marijuana, (see my blog post yesterday). But according to a Nov. 9 story in the Long Beach Gazette, the city council has delayed its scheduled Nov. 15 hearing to decide whether or not to ban medical marijuana collectives.
Apparently too many city officials wouldn't have been able to attend the meeting, so it's been delayed until early December. In other words, all those collectives that received permits from the city to do exactly what that same city is charging Byron and Grumbine with doing, now have about a month to get as much out of those $15,000 permits as they can. Stay tuned!
UPDATED, NOV. 7, : Yet another protest is scheduled on the steps of the Long Beach Courthouse (415 W. Ocean Blvd.) to help bring public attention to the plight of former OC Weekly cover boys Joe Byron and Joe Grumbine. The pair, if you didn't already know, are being charged with marijuana sales stemming from a Dec. 17, 2009 raid on their collectives in Long Beach and Garden Grove.
The timing of this bizarre case couldn't be more appropriate. 15 years ago to the week, on Nov. 4, 1996, California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 215, legalizing marijuana for medical use. Despite the fact the two Joes were providing cannabis to members of their collectives, just like all the other clubs that Long Beach has not only tolerated but even providing with permits, Judge Charles D. Sheldon won't allow them to mount a medical marijuana defense in their trial, which is scheduled to begin Nov. 28.
Their defense lawyers are appealing that ruling, but meanwhile, they need all the support--moral and monetary--that they can get.
Check out www.the-human-solution.org or call 951-436-6312 for more information on how you can get involved.
ORIGINAL POST, Nov. 11, 2:13 P.M.: With the criminal trial of a pair of popular local pot crusaders and the city's plan to prohibit marijuana as a backdrop, cannabis activists from throughout Southern California are descending on Long Beach today and tomorrow. So far, they've planned protests downtown both at both city hall and the courthouse next door. Their message: the "entire state of California is under attack from the Federal Government" and the "world is watching what transpires in Long Beach."
The first protest is scheduled for today at 4 p.m. in front of Long Beach City Hall at 333 W. Ocean Blvd., in anticipation of the city council's meeting tonight, when council members are expected to hear an update on a proposed ordinance reversing the city's current policy of allowing medical marijuana dispensaries to operate.
As the Weekly previously reported, that policy was called into question by a lawsuit filed by marijuana patients whose collectives lacked a city permit and had been shut down. The lawsuit argued that because marijuana was illegal under federal law, the city had no right to regulate cannabis dispensaries. As a result, cities throughout California that have tolerated cannabis collectives are being forced to reevaluate their stance. Oops.
Protest number two is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. on the steps of the Long Beach Courthouse at 415 W. Ocean Blvd., where Joe Byron and Joe Grumbine, who used to operate two collectives in town, as well as the Unit D collective in Garden Grove, are being tried for selling marijuana. The pair are being denied the right to argue that they were doing so legally. Supporters are being asked to attend a hearing in their case that morning, and then to regather afterwards, at which time Grumbine will deliver a brief statement.
Further protests are already in the works for next week, so stay tuned for more information as it comes here at Navel Gazing's all-marijuana-all-the-time-blog, Cannabis Chronicles.