skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

Administering Medical Marijuana Laws in San Diego

Audio

Aired 6/12/09

The U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to hear San Diego County's lawsuit challenging California's medical-marijuana laws. San Diego City Councilwoman Donna Frye has suggested the city re-establish a medical marijuana taskforce to develop local guidelines for following the state's laws.

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.
Video
Video unavailable. Read transcript below.

Above: KPBS reporter Sharon Heilbrunn asks local residents if they consider marijuana a valid medical treatment.

GLORIA PENNER (Host): I'm Gloria Penner and I'm joined by the editors at the roundtable these days in San Diego. Today, confusion over finding, getting and using medical marijuana in San Diego. Were threats of deep cuts in San Diego just threats now that the budget gap is closed? And can we expect the same out of Sacramento after all the talk about a government shutdown. The editors with me today are Elisa Joyce Barba, Western Bureau Chief for NPR News. And it's good to see you, Elisa.

ELISA JOYCE BARBA (Western Bureau Chief, NPR News):

Good morning, Gloria.

PENNER: Good morning. David Roland, Editor of San Diego City Beat. Welcome back, David.

DAVID ROLAND (Editor, San Diego City Beat): I'm thrilled to be here.

PENNER: And, by phone, Chris Reed, editorial board member of the San Diego Union-Tribune. And Chris is waiting at the boardroom at the San Diego Union-Tribune for the board meeting with the governor of California. So, Chris, I'm glad that you can spend some time with us before you see the governor.

CHRIS REED (Editorial Board, San Diego Union-Tribune): Glad to be here.

PENNER: And our call-in number is 1-888-895-5727, 895-KPBS. Well, thirteen years ago Californians voted to make the use of marijuana for medical reasons legal but San Diego County supervisors along with San Bernardino County supervisors objected on the grounds that the state's law violated the federal Drug Control Act. And now that the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear their appeals, is it legal to use medical marijuana in San Diego? So, Elisa, why is there still confusion over that question?

BARBA: Well, that was just a confusing lead up or – or line of things that have happened. You know, was it – we – the state made it legal and then we appealed to the Supreme Court. Basically, the Supreme Court came back and said that it is still illegal under federal law of course to use marijuana for medical or any kind of purposes but the states, right now, have the right to make their own laws in this. Is it legal to use? It's still a vague issue but I think all over California, especially in San Francisco and Los Angeles, it is being widely used and it is being regulated by the cities and the counties.

PENNER: But there was a sentencing just recently. Was it yesterday? David Roland? Of someone who was either acquiring it or using it.

ROLAND: Yes, a dispensary owner in Morro Bay, I believe, was sentenced to one year in prison by a federal judge who, from the reporting, sounds like he just said his hands were tied and that he – I guess he went on at length about how the pains that this guy went through to comply with state law, and said that he simply had to – I guess he was eligible for five years in prison but the judge said he had to sentence him to one year in federal prison because of federal sentencing guidelines. And the question is, was this just sort of a fluke case that just got in under the wire?

PENNER: What wire?

ROLAND: Well, between the wires separating the Bush administration from the Obama administration. If the DEA does not go after dispensaries and federal prosecutors do not pursue these cases, then this might have just sort of been the last one under the door.

BARBA: Attorney General Eric Holder has indicated that the federal government is not going to be raiding dispensaries and raiding places that give out or sell medical marijuana in states like California where it is legal. They've basically quietly indicated that they're going to let the states take care of this. So it, I think, as David is saying, I think that this case may have just gotten in under the wire.

PENNER: So, Chris Reed, it sounds as though using, acquiring, possessing marijuana can be legal in California but is still a federal offense.

REED: Well, it's wacky and essentially it's going to be, I think, a function of whether there's a Republican or a Democratic administration in power. And I think even some Democratic administrations, you know, might join the drug war fanaticism and go after things like this because it's a politically risky position for Obama to take in some ways. But the defense attorney for Charlie Lynch said as far as he knows there's only two or three more such prosecutions now unfolding in the entire nation. And so this may be among the very last, at least until 2013 or 2017. But there's such a – at a fundamental level, you know, this is just such a classic example how nuts the drug war is. We continue to lock up people and we continue to persecute people for using a substance that is infinitely less lethal than substances society embraces like alcohol and tobacco. And, meanwhile, in California, this has led to the folly of, you know, you've got 200,000 people or more registered as medical marijuana users, you've got this massive infrastructure set up around the state where people, you know, surreptitiously grow marijuana and then sell it to the clinics. And, meanwhile, you have people who lose their mind when Arnold suggests, well, why don't we legalize pot and tax it? I mean, could it be more obvious that we already have de facto legalization in California, so why shouldn't the state government try to tax it the way it taxes other drugs that it doesn't like?

PENNER: Okay, thank you, Chris. And I'm going to ask our listeners to chime in on this one. So here we have it, it's still a federal offense, although it may not be pursued vigorously by the Obama administration, to use or possess marijuana even for medical reasons. But in California, it's legal but there seems to be confusion here, and one of our San Diego City Council members, Donna Frye, is suggesting that we revive a marijuana task force to sort it all out. Do you think a task force is necessary as you see dispensaries that dispense medical marijuana start to go up in your neighborhood? Our number is 1-888-895-5727, 895-KPBS. And let's start with Will in Kensington. Will, you're on with the editors.

WILL (Caller, Kensington): Hi, Gloria. Thanks a lot for having this really important topic on, although it does pale in contrast with the budget problems we have that are…

PENNER: Well, we're going to talk about those in a few minutes.

WILL: Great. So on point, Chris, thanks for some excellent points that you made. Gloria, there's absolutely no confusion around the issue. We do need the task force immediately. As far as no confusion, the law's very clear and Attorney General Brown came out last August with an extremely concise statement detailing the fact that medical dispensing collectives may be legal under state law so long as they follow the guidelines established under Prop 215 and SB 420.

PENNER: So…

WILL: We have a hostile district attorney, Bonnie Dumanis. I, personally, have spoken with Steve Welter in the narcotics office and while they say that they strictly follow state law, they disingenuously renamed Operation Green Rx, which basically was set up to destroy the medical dispensing community in San Diego. They renamed it Endless Summer and set up a sting house and trapped quite a number of dispensing collectives.

PENNER: So let – let – excuse me.

WILL: Right now we have less than a dozen dispensing collectives, all operating under the radar in San Diego.

PENNER: Will. Will, I have a question for you and I need to interrupt you because there are a lot of people want to get in on this conversation. So are you saying that it really comes down to individual personalities who are figuring out how to use the law in order for them to get their political preference operative? You know, you mentioned Bonnie Dumanis.

WILL: Yes, and I think it's naive not to confront that because that absolutely is the case.

PENNER: Okay.

BARBA: May I…

WILL: And I…

PENNER: Alisa wants to say something. Go ahead.

BARBA: I think the ambiguity in the law, or the ambiguity between the federal and the state law, leaves some room for individual jurisdictions to carry out the state law the way they deem fit, and that's what's happened in San Diego. The difference in San Diego in terms of pot dispensaries versus San Francisco or L.A., you know, we all know that in L.A. in the last year, some 600 collectives have started, have opened up shop, because it's an atmosphere where that, you know, there's a whole legal issue about that. But San Diego has really stepped out firmly against these pot dispensaries with the Supreme Court decision on May eleventh that you mentioned. I think it's going to be a whole new situation in San Diego where they're going to be forced to do something about it.

PENNER: Well, the county objection was about issuing ID cards that show patients are allowed to possess and use marijuana. So when those cards are distributed, is that going to help clarify the situation, David?

ROLAND: Well, it'll certainly go hand in hand with, say, the City of San Diego's guidelines that they passed a number of years ago, which really has to do with the individual's ability to not get busted for possessing marijuana for medical uses. What a new – what a task force really needs to do is hit it from the other side, from the distribution side of the equation, and step up like some other cities have in California and make firmer guidelines on the distribution. But I want to make two other points. It's important to know that if Bonnie Dumanis is going to follow the Attorney General's guidelines then an important distinction is that, I believe, under the guidelines, for profit dispensaries are still not legal. So I think they have every right to go after dispensaries at the moment that are for-profit operations. But the big gorilla in the room here that we haven't mentioned is the fact that under federal law, marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, and that means it's not allowed for medicinal uses. And so all that has to happen – I mean, it's a big if, but the congress really just has to declassify, you know, take it out of the Schedule 1 category.

PENNER: So let me clarify that. That's an important point. You're right. Chris Reed, so does that mean that a doctor can lose his or her federal narcotics license if that doctor writes a prescription for medical marijuana?

REED: Well, I think it is entirely a discretionary angle for local law enforcement. The best article I've ever seen about this was in the New Yorker last summer and it points out that, you know, many of these people who are users are legitimate and they have medical problems but many of them just love going into these Venice Beach and, you know, dispensaries and loading up on the new exotic strains and all that. And this is inevitably going to outrage a large part of the community because it isn't all on the up and up; part of it is just recreational drug use. So there is so many built-in contradictions that this is going to be something that a Joe Arpaio type law enforcement or a gung-ho prosecutor – there'll always be ways for them to hassle these dispensaries. So it gets back to my original whining. Why not just legalize it and tax it and just end the ambiguities that will turn this into like a perpetual headline generating machine when a law enforcement type wants to make headlines on how tough he is.

PENNER: Okay, David.

ROLAND: I agree wholeheartedly with Chris, it may surprise a lot of people to know. But the one thing that worries me about total legalization is that you get perhaps tobacco companies or major corporations involved in the cultivation and sale of marijuana and then who knows what, you know, pesticides, what chemicals, are going into it and I think you just have – you open up a whole new can of worms. But Chris is right, we absolutely need to have an adult conversation about it.

PENNER: What about – I want to go back to the doctors, Elisa. Are doctors cooperating? Are they writing prescriptions or can you walk into a dispensary and…

BARBA: You can't walk – I mean, that's – part of the guidelines that Jerry Brown set out last year, was that it can't be – it has to be not-for-profit. Dispensaries have to keep detailed records of who their patients are and what their medical reasons are. And you cannot have on-the-spot sign-ups. You can't walk into a dispensary and say, you know, I have a vague pain in my hip and I want to get high.

PENNER: What do you have to have?

BARBA: You have to have a doctor's prescription literally for pot. Now, I – Frankly, I do not know the answer, whether a doctor who writes a prescription can be prosecuted on that but I do not believe that in California, in the thirteen years since we've had this law, that there have been any doctors successfully prosecuted for writing these.

PENNER: I would love to have a doctor call in and let us know what he or she believes is the law as far as he or she is concerned and whether a prescription can legally be written. And without a prescription, how can somebody get a drug? That's what I want to know, and I'm unclear on that.

BARBA: But the one thing that -- You know, the pot is being sold for medicinal and, you know, under the counter recreational purposes all across the state, as we know. And this issue about taxing it is very, very interesting. I mean, and, obviously, that segues into our city and our state budget talks but…

PENNER: Which we're going to get to in just a few minutes. But first we are going to take a break and we – when we come back, I want to speak to Rick in Mission Valley. This is the Editors Roundtable. I'm Gloria Penner.

[ break ]

PENNER: I'm Gloria Penner. This is the Editors Roundtable. I'm at the table today with Elisa Joyce Barba from NPR News, David Roland from San Diego City Beat, and, by phone, Chris Reed from the San Diego Union-Tribune. Let's hear from Rick now in Mission Valley. We are talking about medical marijuana, the confusion over what's legal and what isn't as dispensaries are starting to pop up throughout San Diego and in some cases neighborhoods are rebelling. So, Rick, let's hear what you have to say.

RICK (Caller, Mission Valley): Good morning. My issue's pretty much been covered to an extent in the fact that the whole – this whole lawsuit revolves around, you know, the conservative nature of a lot of the politicians pushing it. I think to have pushed a suit like this all the way to the Supreme Court seemed to me to be more like, you know, a political agenda, you know, or perhaps, you know, political cover. And for a lot of people that talk on one issue about, you know, respecting the wishes of the voters, they sure are very selective about when they want to do that. And I'll just take my answer off the air.

PENNER: Okay. Thank you very much, Rick. And it does seem to me that there's an inference here or an implication, I should say, that it's up to each community to decide its own guidelines for buying, possessing and using the drug. Do you sense that, Chris Reed?

REED: Well, I don't know. I think Jerry Brown's outline was relatively specific but I do think that there's so much wiggle room still that you can still see local authorities who decide to do things to hassle dispensaries in ways that Jerry Brown doesn't really address, like there's the old code violations. Now city governments, forever, have found ways to determine there are code violations or minor problems here and there with businesses they don't like. I mean, this is – normally happens with adult industries. So I don't think that there will ever be a neat resolution here so long as there is such a big chunk of the public that doesn't like the idea that marijuana is being distributed so readily. So this issue is not going to go away.

PENNER: All right, so that brings us right back to where we started: Donna Frye wanting to reestablish the marijuana task force. What would that accomplish, David?

ROLAND: Well, like I said before, I think it would – there needs to be more local guidelines on the – on the distribution side. You know, we did – we established, a number of years ago, how much marijuana a certain – an individual can possess, or if they're a caregiver, how much they can grow and how many people they can grow it for, that sort of thing. But I think we -- You know, if memory serves, we were a little lax on the distribution side and I think that's what we need to do.

PENNER: Alisa.

BARBA: Well, we have – we also haven't come up with the cards yet. I mean, they haven't been made, they haven't been issued, so that's going to protect the people who legally can go out and get it. You know what they found in Los Angeles is they, in 2007, they put a moratorium on dispensaries because they said they had 180 or something and they said we don't want anymore. In that moratorium, there was a escape clause or a clause where somebody could apply to open up a dispensary for hardship reasons and in the space of a year, since they put that moratorium down, 600 dispensaries have opened up in L.A. I mean, if that doesn't speak to a demand or at least a sense that there's money to be made out there, it's extraordinary. And you got to know that that kind of stuff is going to be happening in San Diego and we would only be smart to try to figure out good guidelines for our community, figure out where and how to do this.

PENNER: One more question for Elisa before I turn to David on this. Does this city council have the makeup, the heart, the political direction to go ahead and approve a medical marijuana task force?

BARBA: Oh, I think they do. I think it's a city council that has the wherewithal to do that. I think that they're going to run into problems dealing with the county, you know, as they continue to do this as they have in the past.

PENNER: All right. David, you wanted to say something.

ROLAND: Yeah, well, just on that point, I think I agree with Elisa that they do have the sort of ideological makeup to get this done, and not only that – and not only the fact that it's a Democratic-controlled city council, you know, the mayor of San Diego, a Republican, is, you know, is fairly liberal on social issues, so I think he would be on a board – on board with this, too. And I've completely lost my train of thought…

PENNER: That's okay.

ROLAND: …on what I wanted to say about the last thing.

PENNER: It'll – It will come back. It's an hour…

ROLAND: Oh, no, no, no, I know what it was.

PENNER: Oh.

ROLAND: I just happen to know that there are dis – there's sort of a split in the dispensary owners' community in San Diego. The ones that are nonprofit that are really trying to do the right thing for really ill patients are concerned with the Obama administration's more lax take on the issue. They are starting to get more concerned about unscrupulous dispensary owners that are in it for the profit.

PENNER: Okay. Let's take one more call on this. John in Hillcrest, and then, Chris, we'll get your final thoughts. John, you're on with the editors.

JOHN (Caller, Hillcrest): Hi. Good morning.

PENNER: Good morning.

JOHN: I don't know, maybe it's kind of a ludicrous statement but I feel like that there seems to be some sort of hypocritical kind of thing going on and I was thinking like, you know, in jest, if everybody that used marijuana recreational-wise or medical-wise just stepped out of their door on July first and put their hand in the air, I think the country might be, from east to west, might be quite amazed if people were honest and kind of…

PENNER: And come – come out of the closet.

JOHN: …come out and say that.

PENNER: Okay, well, our – Chris. Thank you, John and that's certainly not a ludicrous thought. I don't know whether we can get everybody to step out of their front door on July first to begin with. But, Chris, I'd like to get your final thoughts on this. Other than legalizing marijuana, do you feel that—and you've already said that you feel as though this thing is going to stay in confusion for a long time—what about the people who feel as though they want to get the ID, that they might be stigmatized by it but they really want to move ahead and get their marijuana.

REED: Well, the ones who have legitimate medical reasons have absolutely every right to feel victims here. I mean, this is now, as far as the Supreme Court is concerned—and that should mean everybody's concerned—settled law. But the fact is, is that the establishment, the federal government, has so much – the local government, local, state enforcement, have so much invested in the drug war that even after 40 years of its disastrous failures, its – its corruption of law enforcement, it promotes corruption by legalizing substances just like the prohibition, you saw massive corruption because of alcohol sales. It's an assault on people's rights. You see these property seizures where a mom loses her car because her son's caught with pot. It is enormously destructive, enormously costly and where is any sign of success after 40 years? So this is just a vestige of a much larger and much more disastrous and much more completely failed federal policy. And 40 years into it, there's still no end that we're – no sign that we're going to get to an end of it and have a much more rational approach.

PENNER: Okay, well, thank you very much. Thanks to all of the panel, and let us move on.

Comments

Avatar for user 'purepatient'

purepatient | June 12, 2009 at 10:36 a.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

With respect to all.
If you believe medical cannabis has no use, you are not a patient, at least one with experience, it would seem.
Besides the remarkable SUPER LOW TOXICITY of cannabis.... over 50,000 to .1 compared to ASPIRIN!, the unique effect is easy to quantify for the citizens suffering debilitating processes where the alternative is VICODIN, PAXIL, VIAGRA, Valium, TUMS and other antacids, on and on and on.
All fair market stuff. But ... better for who? San Diego? .... ahhh no. The world? diddo. The drug companies? ... / .

Here ya go... my point ...,
The city should make money from this mandate. The licence should be $200 and the assumption of use and tax. The TAX should be 33%, fair enough for adminastrative load and fair for medical patients. Now, the profit goes to the Co-Op ... or ????. Why not the city and we all feel better? Do San Diego Co-Ops pay taxes? Citizens WANT to follow the law and pay fair tax.
TAX it, It is your duty as Government to collect fair tax vs risk/burden. With some basic math.... this is fair for PATIENTS, and all citizens of San Diego.
This doesn't need to be a burden when it an actual opportunity for the city.

Just my thoughts....

Old School

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Citizen123'

Citizen123 | June 12, 2009 at 12:08 p.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

This was a wonderful segment and San Diego County needs more of this kind of dialogue. I'm a firm believer that our elected representatives within San Diego County need to get proactive and work with the medical marijuana advocates to regulate these collectives. I'm tired of hearing about why it should be legalized. Cannabis has been demonized over the years and as a result an entire negative sub-culture has emerged. If the dispensary, grower/distributors and doctor/patient relationships are properly regulated and TAXED, then the dispensaries that are popping up all over the place and being run like "head shops" will be marginalized. There are some responsible collectives that WANT to comply with state and city regulations and the tax revenue that can be generated will go a long way towards mitigating our current budget crisis. I'm a responsible business owner, father, husband, tax payer, and recovering cancer patient. Medical marijuana has done far more for my chemo-related side effects and my ongoing pain management than the Vicodin and Percaset (spelling ?) that is much more expensive and doctor prescribed. It's a new era, I think our new President is smart enough to know we all have much larger issues to deal with than the stupidity of continuing to house marijuana dealers in prison and the ongoing debate of the supposedly ill effects of cannabis consumption. Get it properly regulated, tax it and you will see the stoner/head shop proprietors being forced to get in line. There are 1000's of honest, hard working citizens of integrity (like me) that are tired of feeling persecuted for using marijuana in moderation while their co-workers come to work hung over from legal alcohol consumption. We are seeing the uptight conservative element of society dictating what we can and cannot do in the privacy of our homes. I know so many people that used marijuana in their youth and no longer do so, simply because they no longer want to use any form of alcohol, tobacco or marijuana. If marijuana was addictive, these same people would be on the same track as hard drug users and their lives would be devastated. Marijuana (properly regulated and controlled) is NOT a gateway drug. Let's get on with resolving more important things, such as housing, economic, trade, affordable healthcare, enhancing social responsibility among our fellow citizens, and becoming good citizens of the world... Just some more thoughts...

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'SD_Dreamer'

SD_Dreamer | June 12, 2009 at 1:43 p.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

Sadly this is an imflamatory issue which tends to fire emotions. The fact of the matter is that it is doubtful that anyone has a clear understanding how much abuse is occuring in the "medical" marijuana arena. Proponents parade cancer and AIDS victims as justification for the law without acknowledging the huge numbers of "recommendations" given by doctor's of questionable repute for afflictions like "anxiety", headaches, or general malaise. They also neglect to acknowledge the cost of marijuana abuse to society (loss of productivity, accidents), and the fact that prescriptions aren't given by doctors only recommendations.

The fact of the matter is that marijuana is illegal in every country on this planet -- the fact that use is tolerated does not mean that laws aren't in place to give authorities the tools they need to deal with problems.

And the fact of the matter is that everyone is talking about panaceas and silver bullets, when in fact this is a VERY complicated issue which requires a sober, reasonable discussion.

Points to consider in this discussion:
1. If marijuana is legal to use in one's home, what do you do when children live in the home? Second hand smoke would be an issue.
2. If someone is stopped for a moving violation and the officer smells marijuana, should the person be considered "under the influence"?
3. Can an employer terminate an employee who uses medical marijuana? What if the job involves heavy machinery or in the medical service field (i.e., your heart surgeon)?

There is a whole universe of issues to talk about -- let's just take a few things off the table. Does marijuana provide relief for some medical conditions -- yes. Is medical marijuana being abused in California -- yes. Is there room for discussion -- yes.

So a modest proposal:
1. Dispenseries must be non-profit
2. Doctor "recommendations" must be non-profit
3. Patients should have a history of other treatments being tried to gain relief before resorting to medical marijuana (exceptions might include documented ailments such as cancer treatment, AIDS, etc).
4. People with documented drug addiction histories are ineligble for medical marijuana
5. Children WILL not be excluded from evaluating medical marijuana used in a home.

Just suggestions.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'OpGreenRx'

OpGreenRx | June 12, 2009 at 7:37 p.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

Here in California it has been over a decade since the Compassionate Use Act. Several years since SB420, and almost a year since the California Attorney General's guidelines. As of today, we even have had Congress urge the department of justice to clarify medical marijuana policy and stop the DEA raids.

However here in San Diego we still the San Diego DA’s Office saying there is no such thing as a legal collective or cooperative, and that anyone who engages in an attempt to cultivate and distribute collectively is obviously in it for profit, "why else would they get in to this activity".

There are many patients and collectives in San Diego who have gone above and beyond what is required in order to comply and stay within the law. Yet every attempt made to date by collectives and coops to follow the law in San Diego has resulted in long investigations, prosecutions, and collectives having to operate so deeply underground and under such intense daily fear and pressure, that the potential public benefit they could be bringing to the community and to patients is stifled by this environment of fear.

The DA has made it clear, San Diego is not a safe place for collectives, here patients are rounded up in drug sting operations, prosecuted, and forced into taking plea bargains. The few that put up a fight are thrown in jail or worse as in Steve McWilliams' case, are forced to take their own life.

We as a community need to educate the public on the truth and benefits of medical cannabis and the laws already in place.

How many more years need to pass and how many more lives need to be destroyed until there is change in San Diego?

Read about Operation Green Rx / Endless Summer and the needless attack on Medical Marijuana disguised as an operation to clean up military housing. To learn more about my case please visit http://www.eugenedavidovich.com

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Donna_Lambert'

Donna_Lambert | June 14, 2009 at 6:32 p.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

I am a 46 year old woman who has learned about the beneficial effects of marijuana while on chemotherapy . While I am still sick now, I attended support groups and helped other patients to get their medicine at the lowest cost possible. I did this because I saw some people being taken advantage of and it bothered me.
So the police went and fraudulently obtained a medical marijuana card and spent 6 months specifically targeting medical marijuana patients and providers. I have proof of this. I was caught up in the mix of those arrested.
Now I am having my life destroyed. At age 46 I have no criminal record and am under the clear impression this was legal under California law.
It is sad to me to see that my government is really not a democracy at all. I have become aware that the government refuse to accept the will of the people, the voters. 70% of San Diegans approve of medical marijuana and 92% statewide. These numbers are equally spread between democrats and republicans.
It is a sad awakening for me in a City that I used to love and a Country I used to believe in.
If you are thinking what a waste of taxpayer money this is, I have more. The chemotherapy triggered an autoimmune disease called Sjoegrens, for which I must receive regular medical treatment. And my immune system is so destroyed by this and the Hepatitis C and the chemotherapy, that I get sick very easily. I catch any minor cold that I am exposed to and where others are in bed for 2-3 days, I will be bedridden for a good two weeks. I have chronic pain from a serious car accident, I am into the 4th and final stage of cirrhosis
I am very afraid that if I am put in a jail with many other people I could easily catch something and die. I do not mean to be dramatic but I truly do believe I am facing a death sentence by the San Diego Court.
Will putting me in prison for medical marijuana benefit society in any way? Is it worth the taxpayer money of incarceration and the additional taxpayer money of medical care and a potential liver transplant. Will they be responsible enough to make sure to provide my 3rd skin cancer surgery? Oh yes, I have skin cancer, too.
Do you, the taxpayer, believe that this is a good use of your taxpayer money? Is the satisfaction these people receive from destroying my life a good exchange for a full time school teacher for one year? I do not believe so. And I really need your help. Honestly, I am extremely scared. If each person reading this who felt at all like what happened to me is not okay, I would so much appreciate you taking the time to call anybody in your local government and tell them about it. All their phone numbers are online. Thank you so much for taking your time if you do.
IF YOU DO NOT LIKE YOUR TAXPAYER MONEY WASTED THIS WAY PLEASE CONTACT THE DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE (619-531-4040) AND ASK THEM TO DROP THE CASE AGAINST DONNA LAMBERT

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'sayyes'

sayyes | June 18, 2009 at 2:38 p.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

Ms. Dumanis is peculiarly consistent: she doesn't agree with the voter's rejection of gay marriage or its embrace (prop 215) of medical marijuana. She of course knows what is best/right for the citizenry despite the aforementioned electoral mandates. Her own alternative lifestyle-morally reproved by most-is O.K. but marijuana-morally reproved by the same folks-is not O.K. You're quite the deep thinker Ms. Dumanis. Please do not pursue a political career beyond local.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'jam2009'

jam2009 | April 14, 2011 at 9:49 a.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

My neighbor grows marijuana for "medical" purposes. When there is smoke in the air, neither I nor my children can use our backyards. According to the police, there is nothing I can do about it. There exists no laws which would warn home buyers of the location of local growers; neither are sellers required to disclose this information. Had I known of the activities next door, I would never have purchased this house. As it stands now, my kids are wondering about how a society campaigning against drug use can allow drug use which directly affects them.

( | suggest removal )