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Global Exchange

It's no secret that America has lost respect abroad. Waging a preemptive war for no apparent reason hasn't done a lot to build up our reputation. The Stamford, Connecticut-based Academic Year in America seeks to improve our standing with the rest of the world with its Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX) and the Partnership for Learning Youth Exchange and Study Program (YES). "Foreign exchange students who participate in FLEX and YES programs can come to Santa Rosa to live with host families, attend school, engage in activities to learn about American society and values, and help educate Americans about their own countries and cultures," the organization states. To learn more about participating in the programs, contact Keli Rising at 800.322.4678.

411 on the 420

Santa Rosa City Council members may want to think twice if they're contemplating a total ban on the city's three medical cannabis dispensaries. On Monday, Oakland-based medical marijuana advocacy organization Americans for Safe Access (ASA) filed suit against the city of Fresno for doing just that. "The permanent ban on dispensing, enacted by Fresno and a handful of other cities in California is an unlawful barrier to medical marijuana," says ASA legal campaign director Kris Hermes. "Without the means of growing it themselves or finding a caregiver to do it for them, dispensing collectives may be a patient's only legal option for obtaining medical marijuana." The lawsuit states that in enacting the ban, Fresno is violating SB 420, which the California Legislature passed in 2003 in order to clarify the Compassionate Use Act passed by voters in 1997. The ASA warns that other cities that have enacted bans on cannabis clubs, including San Rafael, may face similar litigation.

Recognizing Rippey

Former three-term Napa County Supervisor and lifelong environmental activist Mike Rippey received the Redwood Chapter of the Sierra Club's Earl Thollander Environmental Award on April 23. In the 1980s, Rippey helped lead the fight to stop Solano County from developing farmland and later spearheaded successful voter referendums that prevented the establishment of landfills near Lynch and American canyons. Rippey lost the Fifth District supervisor seat in the March 2004 primary in a close election. He later challenged the results in court and lost ("A World of Suspicion," Bohemian, Aug. 4, 2004).

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From the April 27-May 4, 2005 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.

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