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Initiative Would Regulate, Tax Medical Marijuana in San Diego

Aired 12/19/11 on KPBS News.

Medical marijuana supporters want to reverse the closings of dispensaries across the city since October.

— Citizens for Patient Rights and the Patient Care Association are hoping San Diego voters will support an initiative to create specific zoning laws for medial marijuana dispensaries in the city.

The groups are collecting signatures to get the measure on the November ballot. It would include requirements that dispensaries be located an appropriate distance from places like schools and parks and that they follow strict operating guidelines, according to Jessica McElfresh, an attorney with the Patient Care Association.

“The other final part is that there is a 2.5 percent tax on all medical cannabis transactions that would be allocated to the city’s general fund,” she said.

McElfresh said the city council’s decision not to pass zoning laws for clinics has let San Diego’s city attorney shut down dozens of clinics since October.

“The city attorney’s office is driving qualified patients into the black market, making it difficult for them to have safe access and that’s what we hope this law will remedy,” she said.

The groups have to collect more than 62,000 signatures by June to add the initiative to the November ballot.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | December 20, 2011 at 4:57 p.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

Only a 2.5% tax? Phillip Morris estimates 56% of the cost of a pack of cigarettes is taxes. So why not legalize and tax marijuana at the same percentage?

People are going to consume marijuana no matter what, so better that legitimate businesses and the city profit from it rather than drug dealers.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaCannabisCoalition'

CaliforniaCannabisCoalition | December 22, 2011 at 7:25 a.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

Senator John Vasconcellos spokesman for California Cannabis Coalition and Californians For Patient Rights has been asking Kamala Harris to get clear guidelines. With these new guidelines we may not have to spend money on local initiatives in cities and counties in California. We will have to see what comes out. Take note that the AG wants to spell out how, when and where individuals may cultivate and obtain physician-recommended marijuana.

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