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LOCAL Announcement :: Health & Drugs

HUFF 'n PUFF is back: Help a sidewalk medical marijuana distribution May 13th

Santa Cruz has no medical marijuana clubs and hasn't for the last five years. Mayor Rotkin's Planning Department closed the last one (the Pacific Coast Cooperative) in April. I announced in the following speech before City Council that I would be tabling at 6 PM in front of the Rio Theater on Friday May 13th in preparation for a sidewalk medical marijuana giveaway.
Medical Marijuana and Public Comment: Both Casualties of the Rotkin Regime
Speech to Santa Cruz Community and City Council 5-9-05 by Robert Norse

What has happened to Oral Communications? The Kennedy-Rotkin treatment. Kennedy’s gone. Mayor Rotkin’s still here. Instead of having O.C. when most working people can come at 7 PM in the evening, the Mayor has moved it to a time uncertain in the afternoon at the end of the agenda when folks are working or in school. And we have the same approach for Public Comment at the City Council’s rare Committee meetings.

When they’re not canceled, the Public Safety Committee [PSC] meetings work the same way. Sit through an entire meeting, before you get a chance to talk for three minutes. For those who don’t know, the PSC is our sorry excuse for a brake on police misconduct--now that Rotkin and his allies have disemboweled the weak but struggling Citizen Police Review Board two years ago. While it is true that Rotkin has had some success in stopping police harassment of particular homeless individuals, he will do nothing about the criminalization of the poor at night. Also there is no effective process to counter the ongoing police-merchant campaign to “disappear? the homeless for the summer.

Young people in front of Borders report continued harassment by CSO Pam Bachtel for sitting near an ATM in an area where the City has removed most of the benches, moving under the awnings to get out of the rain, or littering where the City has removed the trash can there. Then there’s the grim irony of felony arrests for selling small quantities of marijuana. Filling the jails with young people selling herb on Pacific Avenue, a street where City Manager Dick Wilson’s Planning Department has closed down the only medical marijuana dispensary in Santa Cruz--the Pacific Coast Cooperative.

Did Mayor Rotkin promise to review this issue a month ago? Didn’t he promise to review a year and a half ago? Wasn’t he one of the people who gave us the current “no medical marijuana clubs in Santa Cruz? law? I encourage folks to show up Thursday evening a week from tomorrow in front of the Rio theater to organize a sidewalk medical marijuana distribution, a legal operation under Proposition 215. If Rotkin’s City Council won’t act, it’s up to the rest of the community to bring the issue forward. If lobbying, begging, pleading, and visible suffering doesn’t work, then Direct Action needs to do the job.

How is Mayor Rotkin spending his time, his public time as Mayor? Don’t ask cause he won’t tell.
Unlike other city and state officials across the California who have responded to last November’s voter-endorsed Sunshine Initiative, Mayor Rotkin will not reveal who he’s had meetings with, or even where he intends to have his next public meeting. As he told me when I spoke with him, ‘I’ve got my appointment book for the next month in my pocket, and you’re not going to see it.? Even though that’s a public document that concerns City business that should be open to the public under the Public Records Act.

So it’s apparently up to the public to conduct public business. Remember Friday May 13th 6 PM in front of the Rio Theater. If you haven’t been able to get medical marijuana because of the Rotkin-Mathews laws here in town, direct action may get the goods. Friday May 13th 6 PM at Soquel and Seabright. Be there. Bring your doctor’s recommendation.

Flyer by HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) 309 Cedar PMB 14B S.C. 95060 831-423-4833 5-9-05

The Human Rights Organization (HRO) meets Saturdays 1:30 PM at the Homeless Services Center Dining Room 115 Coral St.
HUFF meets Wednesdays 8:30 AM at the American Cafe in the basement of the County Building 701 Ocean St.

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CORRECTION: Tabling for marijuana distribution will be 6 PM Friday the 13th

The initial tabling for HUFF n PUFF will be at 6 PM on Friday May 13th outside the Rio Theater where the Santa Cruz Film Festival is showing "Waiting to Inhale" followed by a 40-minute panel discussion.

Want to sign up or help? Show up around 5:45 p.m. at Seabright and Soquel. Sorry for the date confusion (there's another panel up at UCSC on Thursday the 19th).

More Details on Marijuana Giveaway Prep Tabling

The purpose of the tabling is to dramatize and document the bizarre reality that Santa Cruz, one of the most allegedly liberal cities in California, has FOR FIVE YEARS had no medical marijuana dispensary after the passage of its city ordinance in 2000 and to show the need to change (or ignore) that ordinance.

It is also fitting to be outside a showing of the movie "Waiting to Inhale" on the benefits of Medical Marijuana.

The movie will be followed by a panel discussion of participants publicly opposed to the Drug War and in favor of Medical Marijuana, who have yet to make a strong public demand that Santa Cruz City Council reform its prohibitive law. The panelists include Suzanne Pfiel, Valerie Corral, and Mike Corral of WAMM, Bruce Merkin of the Marijuana Policy Project, Dr. Arnold Leff, a local doctor, and or Yvonne Westbrook, an MS patient and activist.

Though legal medical marijuana will likely be present at this preliminary tabling as an honored guest and media lure, ACTUAL DISTRIBUTION will be happening at a subsequent public tabling, after a bona fide caregiver has checked the documentation.

The main purpose of this first tabling will be
(a) to get an idea of how many people are in medical need--both with and without documentation;
(b) to receive documentation (copies of ID and doctor's letters) from those who have it for the actual giveaway in the near future;
(c) to enlist support to the Santa Cruz City Council by calling and/or writing in to Mayor Rotkin to get him to follow up on his commitment to reform the current law;
(d) to provide information for those unfamiliar with the current city law and politics;
(e) to gather information about the broader Drug War in Santa Cruz an anticipation of Drug Awareness Week (May 16-19);
(f) to encourage local police and prosecution authorities to stop all marijuana prosecution (particularly all medical marijuana prosecution) with a petition to D.A. Bob Lee;
(g) to share information and ideas around a “tax and regulate? initiative (like Measure Z in Oakland).

For more information or if you want to help, leave a message at 831-423-4833.

Re: HUFF 'n PUFF is back: Help a sidewalk medical marijuana distribution May 13th

This is great news!

Brief Report

HUFFsters were in front of the Rio Theater for about an hour with a table and a sign-up list on Friday afternoon. Several folks signed up. We'll continue to gather names of interested patients and supporters. The Film Festival folks were sympathetic and helpful.

No statements were forthcoming from any of the WAMM panel participants on the local medical marijuana dispensary void and the Santa Cruz City Council 2000 law that has prompted this. Or so I was told from a listener inside.

Councilmember Emily Reilly attended. Her five years in office have coincided with the period when Santa Cruz has had no dispensaries open, thanks to the Rotkin-Mathews-Fitzmaurice law. She has said nothing about this issue, raised no objections to the closing of the Pacific Coast Cooperative, and offered no new legislation.

It's the height of hypocrisy to have local politicians boosting medical marijuana elsewhere while retaining repressive laws in force at home.

I encourage folks who check out Drug Awareness Week (see indymedia story) this coming week to raise the issue of our own local laws repeatedly.

Those interested in volunteering for HUFF n PUFF, call 423-HUFF or come to a Wednesday morning meeting at 8:30 AM at the American Cafe (basement of the County Building) at 701 Ocean St.

Modified Flyer Distributed at HUFF n PUFF event

Make Three Compassionate Phone Calls

***Call Mayor Rotkin to ask for immediate reform of the City's medical marijuana law, whose zoning, special use permit, & other restrictions have closed all distribution centers in the last five years. 420-5023

***Reopen the successful Pacific Coast Cooperative on Pacific Ave. The downtown center was accessible and appropriate. 454-0215

***Safeguard WAMM's distribution center at the Viking Hall in Santa Cruz (recently mentioned at City Council & potentially threatened because of its location in a banned residential zone). 420-5020

***Call D.A. Bob Lee and ask him to release local Drug War data, document his promised de-escalation of the Drug War and end grass prosecutions entirely. Make him keep his Nov. promises. 420-5023
***Support a local Oakland-style Measure Z initiative to "tax and regulate" all marijuana. Build the movement locally. 466-0420
***Call Santa Cruz County Sheriff Steve Robbins to stop county raids on medical marijuana patients and providers like Roger Mentch (stop applying for Drug War grants that fund these raids!). 454-2414
***Call WAMM to support their lawsuit against the DEA. 423-5413
***Call Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom [HUFF] to help with HUFF-n-PUFF street distribution and local law reform project. Volunteers and activists badly needed! 423-4833
***Call the County Board of Supervisors to lobby for a local Measure Z on the Oakland model & reject the S.C.'s bad model law 454-2200

***Support the appeal of Roger Mentch’s Hemporium conviction for distributing medical marijuana to credentialed patients. 295-3511
The next HUFF-n-PUFF distribution-on-the-streets action TBA at .
Flyer by Norse of HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) 309 Cedar PMB 14B S.C. 831-423-4833 5-15-05
More info:, & &
Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides Free Radio Santa Cruz shows archived at
The Human Rights Organiza. (HRO) meets Sat 1:45 PM at the Homeless Services Ctr Dining Bay 115 Coral St.
HUFF meets Wednesdays 8:30 AM at the American Cafe in the basement of the County Building 701 Ocean St.

[Note: this flyer is being posted in formatted form as a separate article]


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