Sep 132014

A new cannabis ordinance that was proposed after a 4/20 celebration in Woodward Park got a cool reception at Thursday’s meeting of the Fresno City Council.

Council Member Lee Brand proposed the new ordinance, which on paper prohibited the use of controlled substances on city property, including parks. Because medical marijuana didn’t fall into the exemption for people using prescription medications (cannabis patients receive recommendations from doctors, not prescriptions), cannabis patients would be effectively barred from medicating on city property. A “three strikes” clause would have banned repeat violators from city property for a year, with lesser penalties including fines and ejection from city venues.

What the staff report didn’t mention was the apparent source of Brand’s displeasure: The April 19 Berner concert at the Rotary Amphitheater in Woodward Park. Despite reports of heavy security, the concert wasn’t entirely smoke-free, and complaints from some park patrons spurred Brand into action.


The lone speaker against the ordinance was Michael Green of the Fresno Cannabis Association, who said the ordinance unfairly exempted users of prescription medications but not cannabis patients. He also noted the issue hadn’t been vetted by the council’s ad hoc medical marijuana subcommittee.

Green wasn’t the only one who expressed concerns. Council Member Clint Olivier asked pointedly whether another city ordinance was need to deal with “druggies” in city parks. Council Member Oliver Baines, a former police officer, agreed that police already have ample “tools” to deal with drug use in public places. When Council Member Paul Caprioglio expressed his opposition, the die was cast and Brand quickly requested a continuance.

Fresno Bee advance story: Fresno officials look to ban pot use at city parks, facilities

Fresno Bee follow-up story: Proposed Fresno pot-smoking ban extinguished by council

Aug 142014
As opposition mounts, SB 1262 fails to pass Assembly

Senate Bill 1262 is dead for the year after failing to pass the Assembly Appropriations Committee today, and a new author will be needed to push a similar bill next year. At one point, SB 1262 had bipartisan support from Assembly Member Tom Ammiano, a staunch advocate for medical cannabis patients, and the bill’s chief author, state Sen. Lou Correa. The […]

Aug 042014

This is the text of a letter delivered by FCA members to state Sen. Lou Correa, Assembly Member Tom Ammiano and other lawmakers at ASA’s Lobby Day in Sacramento: Following a survey of its members, the Fresno Cannabis Association wishes to express its opposition to Senate Bill 1262. The greatest concern of FCA members was the bill’s complete failure to address […]

Jul 302014

In a recent survey, we asked people to comment on the general provisions of Senate Bill 1262, which would create a state-level marijuana enforcement bureau but leave cities and counties free to pass their own regulations. Here’s what they said in response to Question 1 of the survey: Senate Bill 1262 would establish within the Department of Consumer Affairs a Bureau […]

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Jul 252014

The Fresno Cannabis Association conducted an informal online survey from July 16 to July 24 help gather input from medical cannabis patients in the Fresno area about Senate Bill 1262. The survey was not designed nor intended to be a scientific sampling of public opinion, but the responses do provide a quick snapshot of how key elements of Senate Bill 1262 […]

Jul 162014

Senate Bill 1262 is a cannabis regulation bill under consideration by the state Legislature. Although a final vote is not yet scheduled, some cannabis advocates believe it has a good chance for passage. This brief survey does not cover every aspect of SB 1262 in detail, but it does present some of the key elements. The final question on the survey […]