Good morning, California.
“Trump’s daily lack of civility has provoked responses that are predictable but unacceptable.” — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi tweeted after Congresswoman Maxine Waters, a Los Angeles Democrat, urged supporters to confront Trump Administration officials and “tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
Cannabis’ damage to wildlife
California should declare that the Humboldt marten, a small, weasel-like denizen of North Coast redwood forests, warrants protection under the state’s endangered species law, in part because it is threatened by poison spread in illegal marijuana grows, a California Department of Fish and Wildlife report issued last week says.
Background: There are fewer than 200 martens in California. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Environmental Protection Information Center petitioned the state to act in 2015. The California Fish and Game Commission is expected to consider the listing at its August hearing.
Humboldt martens prey on squirrels, voles, mice and other small animals, some of which ingest rodenticides used in marijuana cultivation.
The report: “Cultivation can impact Humboldt martens through the clearing and fragmentation of forests and the application of pesticides, including highly toxic anticoagulant rodenticides.”
Backers of the 2016 initiative that legalized recreational sale of marijuana argued that it would reduce illegal farms. However, the state report said “it remains to be seen what effect these new laws will have on the conversion of forests for the production of cannabis.”
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Should your pooch partake? What your vet can't say
Legislators are considering no fewer than 37 marijuana-related bills this year, among them one directing the Veterinary Medical Board to adopt regulations for vets to follow when talking to pet owners about whether to give cannabis to their animals.
Veterinarians, unlike physicians, risk losing their licenses if they discuss with pet owners marijuana use by their animals.
“Veterinarians are in violation of California law if they are incorporating cannabis into their practices,” the board’s attorney opined in October.
The California Veterinary Medical Association supports the bill by Assemblyman Ash Kalra, a San Jose Democrat, noting that people are administering cannabis to pets based on information from “the internet, marijuana dispensary clerks, family and friends.”
“Clearly, this structure is not in the best interest or health of the animal patient.”
The bill analysis cautions: “California has not yet studied or enacted legislation to address cannabis use or treatment for animal patients. … (W)ithout research on the effects of cannabis treatment and overdoses, it is difficult for veterinarians to know what to advise their clients regarding toxicity treatment.”
How California’s aid-in-dying law is working
Last year, 577 terminally ill Californians obtained prescriptions for lethal drugs under the state’s aid-in-dying law, the California Department of Public Health reports.
Remind me: A Riverside County judge struck down the law last month. An appellate court stayed that ruling pending an appeal, so the law remains in effect.
Numbers: 374 died after ingesting the drugs in 2017, compared with 111 in 2016, when the law was in effect for part of the year.
Who they are: Most had cancer. Most were white, had college degrees and were in hospice care. Their median age was 74 in 2017; 36 were younger than 60.
More details: A tiny fraction of terminally ill people use the law, considering that 60,000 Californians die of cancer annually. The concept appears to have support among medical professionals; 241 physicians issued end-of-life prescriptions.
Jerry Brown prepares for battle
“This flawed and dangerous measure pushed by Trump’s Washington allies jeopardizes the safety of millions of Californians by stopping local communities from fixing their crumbling roads and bridges. Just say no.”
GOP gubernatorial candidate John Cox and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield helped fund the signature gathering drive to qualify the measure, believing it will draw Republican voters to the polls in November.
Money matters: Brown has $14.8 million in his campaign account, and can raise more as he showed in 2016 when he helped raise $21 million to defeat an initiative that would have stymied state public works projects.
Fabian Núñez gives first donation against CalExit
Former Speaker Fabian Núñez on Monday gave the first donation — $10,000 — to defeat Silicon Valley entrepreneur Tim Draper’s initiative to carve California into three states.
Núñez took a similar stand in 2014 when Draper proposed splitting California into six states, calling it “a solution in search of a problem that does nothing to address the challenges we face as a state.”
Weird political times: Draper could tap into “a vein of antipathy,” said Sacramento consultant Ned Wigglesworth, who is helping to organize the opposition OneCalifornia campaign. He hopes to raise $50,000 for a poll to determine the depth of support or opposition for the CalExit initiative.
“Ultimately, it is our hope that voters will shoot this down overwhelmingly.”
Walters: Will Californians turn to income tax-free havens?
CALmatters’ commentator Dan Walters wonders whether there will be an exodus to such income-tax free havens as Nevada now that an IRS rule appears to block California legislators’ plan to protect high income residents from the costs of the new federal tax law.
Walters: “Anecdotal stories about tax refugees abound, and in fact, I could cite several well-to-do retirees among my circle of acquaintances who’ve relocated from Sacramento to the Reno area for tax reasons.”
See you tomorrow.