Human Rights Update

Judge, Haywood S. Gilliam Jr. of the US District Court in Oakland, on Sunday granted a request by more than a dozen states to temporarily block the Trump administration from putting into effect new rules that would make it easier for employers to deny women health insurance coverage for contraceptives. 

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

New Laws in California for 2019

Farm Employee Overtime

In 2016, California became the first state in the U.S. to require employers to pay overtime for farmworkers who work more than eight hours. The first phase of the new rules will begin in January, when agricultural employees will earn overtime after working 9 1/2 hours in a day or 55 hours in a week. Currently, California farmworkers can get overtime after working 60 hours in a week or 10 hours in a day.  The change only applies to businesses that employ at least 26 people. The rules do not apply to smaller agricultural employers until 2022. Discloser, our office consults with agricultural employers on compliance matters and we represent employees on wage and labor claims. Aside from wage and hour claims, sexual harassment and discrimination are constant concerns on the farm. 

Street Vendor Permits

A law going into effect in January will allow local governments to design permit programs for vendors and limits when they can be criminally prosecuted. It pertains to anyone selling food or other merchandise from a pushcart, stand or “non-motorized conveyance.” I anticipate the City of Eureka will embrace this new law and its economic benefits. I predict the County will ignore this law until the County is forced to follow it by a judge.  

Home Kitchen Businesses

A new law encourages Counties (like Humboldt) to permit home kitchens for the purpose of selling food products. California Assembly member Eduardo Garcia, who authored the bill, says that homemade food sales are a vital part of self-reliant communities. “Legitimizing these home businesses will offer a means of economic empowerment and pathways for many to achieve the ‘American dream,’” Garcia said when the bill was signed. Humboldt historically resists new opportunities which provide residents access to residual income. Perhaps after the County Supervisors election in 2020 progress will be made on this front.  

Fred Fletcher

January 17, 2019

The Measure S Lawsuit

Measure S is the cannabis cultivation tax the voters passed. We are challenging the County Supervisor's decision to amend Measure S as passed by the voters. The Supervisors amended the tax to apply to the property owner, not the farmer, and regardless of whether any crop is grown.  

Yesterday, we filed our response to the County's demurrer to the Measure S lawsuit. (Set to be heard January 28, 2019.) The County hired a large Sacramento Firm (founded the year I was born) to defend the lawsuit. They argue it's impossible to tax farmers for the actual crop grown because the County can't verify how much was grown. We informed the Court, governments since the beginning of governments have taxed farmers for crops actually grown, and we cited the Book of Genesis as our evidence.  

The amendments by the Supervisors have been misreported. The Supervisors amended Measure S to tax the permitted area regardless of the amount of crop grown.  As such, the supervisors have amended the tax to be assessed against fallow land, without regard to crop grown. We provided the Court authority that Measure S as amended is a property tax and is unconstitutional. We ask the Court to return Measure S to its original state which acted as an excise tax on legal crop actually grown. 

We will update this one. 

Fred Fletcher

January 15, 2019

Humboldt's Censorship Problem

Our law library has dozens of reference books about criminal law, and I could only find one book about constitutional rights limited to 42 U.S.C § 1983 civil rights cases, a small subsection of constitutional law. Civil rights provide the platform for civil redress which is the alternative to violence.

We decided as a community to center ourselves around our jail, instead of a school, a library, museum, or performing arts theater. Our county supervisors meet at the same building as our jail, which sends a chilling message to anyone wanting to speak on the public agenda, especially federal outlaws. Our prison is being expanded to the tune of $25 million, give or take a dime, meanwhile our schools are in a financial crisis.  The Humboldt establishment's response, is to stay positive and cheery. 

  

County Supervisor's Can't Silence Critics, including Humboldt's Supervisors. 

In a 3-0 decision, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Phyllis Randall, chair of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, violated the First Amendment free speech rights of Brian Davison by banning him for 12 hours from her “Chair Phyllis J. Randall” facebook page.

Last election my office received a few complaints from citizens who were censored for making comments critical of politicians, on the left and right (somehow our local politics are becoming politically polarized). Now these citizens may have recourse. This First Amendment decision could impact local elections nationwide by allowing the public to be heard.    

Fred Fletcher

January 8, 2019

Update on Nation v Trump filed in the 9th Circuit

This lawsuit challenges HUD's rule which forces subsidized apartments to evict medical cannabis users. Plaintiff was evicted from her HUD apartment on July 10, 2018 when a maintenance man discovered some medical cannabis in her bedroom. She remains homeless and is not alone.

The lawsuit not only challenges HUD's rule but relies upon Murphy v NCAA (decided May 2018) to challenge the constitutionality of the Controlled Substance Act itself relative to medical marijuana in the State of California. The Supreme Court in Murphy v NCAA resurrected from near death the anti-commandeering doctrine, which in laymen's terms means the Congress cannot make orders directly to the States. 

We are optimistic this lawsuit will prevail. If the District Court issues an order in our favor appealing the decision would pose a political pitfall for the Trump administration. 

I will update this one.

January 3, 2019

Fred Fletcher 

Update on Volkswagen Diesel Fraud Case

We filed an action in Butte County on May 17, 2018 with the intent of having a jury decide punitive damages. We would be the first party to bring the defeat device case to jury trial.  Peer reviewed studies proved thousands of people with lung diseases died from the fraud.  

 

New Bill aims to Protect Branding in Humboldt

Posted by DeLacy Fletcher on Thursday, January 26, 2017 Under: Marijuana Regulation

No. 175
Introduced by Senator McGuire

January 23, 2017


An act to amend Sections 19332.5 and 26063 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to marijuana.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 175, as introduced, McGuire. Marijuana: county of origin: marketing.
The Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) provides for the licensure and regulation of medical marijuana, which responsibility is generally divided between the Bureau of Marijuana Control within the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Department of Food and Agriculture, and the State Department of Public Health. The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), an initiative measure enacted by the approval of Proposition 64 at the November 8, 2016, statewide general election, provides for the licensure and regulation of commercial nonmedical marijuana activities, which responsibility is also generally divided between those same state entities. Both MCRSA and AUMA prohibit the use of the name of a California county in the labeling, marketing, or packaging of medical marijuana products or nonmedical marijuana products unless the marijuana contained in the product was grown in that county.
This bill would specify that those prohibitions include the use of any similar sounding name that is likely to mislead consumers as to the origin of the product.
AUMA authorizes the Legislature to amend specified substantive provisions by a majority vote if it is implementing those provisions, provided that the amendments are consistent with and further the purposes and intent of AUMA.
This bill would state that the Legislature finds and declares that this act implements substantive provisions of AUMA and is consistent with, and furthers the purposes and intent of, AUMA.
Vote: majority   Appropriation: no   Fiscal Committee: yes   Local Program: no  

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:


SECTION 1.

 Section 19332.5 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

19332.5.
 (a) Not later than January 1, 2020, the Department of Food and Agriculture shall make available a certified organic designation and organic certification program for medical cannabis cultivation, if permitted under federal law and the National Organic Program (Section 6517 of the federal Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. Sec. 6501 et seq.)), and Article 7 (commencing with Section 110810) of Chapter 5 of Part 5 of Division 104 of the Health and Safety Code.
(b) The Department of Food and Agriculture may establish appellations of origin for cannabis grown in California.
(c) It is unlawful for medical cannabis to be marketed, labeled, or sold as grown in a California county when the medical cannabis was not grown in that county.
(d) It is unlawful to use the name of a California county county, including any similar sounding name that is likely to mislead consumers as to the origin of the product, in the labeling, marketing, or packaging of medical cannabis products unless the product was grown in that county.

SEC. 2.

 Section 26063 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

26063.
 (a) The bureau shall establish standards for recognition of a particular appellation of origin applicable to marijuana grown or cultivated in a certain geographical area in California.
(b) Marijuana shall not be marketed, labeled, or sold as grown in a California county when the marijuana was not grown in that county.
(c) The name of a California county county, including any similar name that is likely to mislead consumers as to the origin of the product, shall not be used in the labeling, marketing, or packaging of marijuana products unless the marijuana contained in the product was grown in that county.

SEC. 3.

 The Legislature finds and declares that Section 2 of this act implements substantive provisions of the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act and is consistent with and furthers the purposes and intent of the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

In : Marijuana Regulation 


Tags: mike mcguire  mcrsa  auma  marijuana  cannabis  medical  california  branding  county  appellations 

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