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San Diego Voters To Decide On Medical Marijuana In 4 Cities But Not Encinitas

Aired 9/14/12 on KPBS News.

Medical marijuana dispensaries are on the ballot in four San Diego County cities this fall.

— Encinitas voters will have to wait until November 2014 to decide whether to allow medical marijuana dispensaries. Residents in four other local communities will get to weigh in on the issue this fall.

The city of Encinitas could have adopted a dispensary ordinance on its own. But earlier this week, the City Council decided to put in the 2014 ballot instead.

Residents of Lemon Grove, Solana Beach, Imperial Beach, and Del Mar will vote on the issue this November.

The measures would establish strict guidelines for medical marijuana dispensaries. The ordinances would regulate operating hours and limit where they could set up shop.

Even if the measures pass, there are no guarantees the federal government won't try to intervene.

The U.S. Attorney's office forced the county's last remaining dispensary to close earlier this summer. Medical marijuana advocates say as a result, tens of thousands of patients have been left in the lurch.

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Avatar for user 'TheKindG'

TheKindG | September 15, 2012 at 3:49 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

The YES on S - Imperial Beach Measure S campaign is being watched by many in the State.

IB City Council passed a virtual ban on dispensaries; Measure @ will repeal the ban, replacing it with strong, clear, restrictive controls. No more 'Wild West' unregulated, unsafe, unsavory dispensing collectives under THIS measure.

For More informtion about the Imperial Beach campaign - go to
Imperial Beach Measure S - Vote Yes on Measure S in 2012

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Avatar for user 'TheKindG'

TheKindG | September 15, 2012 at 4:43 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Follow the Imperial Beach "Yes on S" Campaign on Facebook at:

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Avatar for user 'NiceDay'

NiceDay | October 1, 2012 at 9:43 a.m. ― 4 years, 5 months ago

Illegal pot shop owners have contributed over $50,000 to date to try and pass an illegal ordinance in IB. State law does not allow profits to be made with "medical" marijuana, so where is the funding coming from? Pot shops sell unlimited amounts of pot to anyone with tummy ache or bruised knee, this is not medicine. And why would IB need 15-20 pot shops in their little city? That sounds like a commercial enterprise, not healing. The pot shop fraud has run its course, the cat is out of the bag, we aren't being fooled anymore by claims of compassion.

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Avatar for user 'factchecker'

factchecker | October 2, 2012 at 1:50 a.m. ― 4 years, 5 months ago

They are LEGAL dispensary owners trying to pass a LEGAL ordinance. They have been running fundraising drives along with their signature drives (done by volunteers) which were necessary to place the ordinance on the ballot. There are people in the community who are passionate about this issue and have donated to the cause. Their book-keeping is under more scrutiny than anyone else in the state right now, I think that's obvious.
Doctors (lots of doctors, really almost every legitimate health organization in America now supports medical marijuana) say that it's close enough to medicine to be used like it, and that it's safe enough for pretty much everyone (I can't say absolutely everyone- and this is why I support medical over legalization) to have access. It's safe for less sick people to use (which we allow as long as they have SOME medical condition and obey all the rules and regulations) and it is a flat out life saver for many. The National Institute of Health says it should no longer be schedule one- this is a big change in their position and shouldn't be taken for granted.
These people believe in helping people with cannabis- they make money doing it- but they can't make as much money as they could doing pretty much anything else because all dispensaries are non-profit organizations. If the dispensaries have enough business to stay afloat, then I guess there IS a need for that many dispensaries- the market dictates that, not your random guess about what sounds right.
Prop S is restrictive, and if we don't accept regulations like that, then based on San Diego's voting history of medical marijuana support, I believe that legalization isn't far off. Would you rather have that?
If you want to make the most money possible off of medical marijuana patients, allow dispensaries and store fronts. Otherwise, patients will still have access, because it is already voter approved, but the city won't profit. All these dispensary shenanigans are just an inconvenience to most patients, but they are a risk to the very seriously ill. Our state courts support medical marijuana, the medical establishment supports marijuana more and more every day, and I think a lot of California's voters do too.

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Avatar for user 'JamesLough'

JamesLough | October 4, 2012 at 6:01 p.m. ― 4 years, 5 months ago

I have been following your coverage of this issue including the recent noonday radio interviews. The coverage has missed an important distinction in Lemon Grove. The Citizens will be considering two measures on the subject, one by Americans for Safe Access (Measure T) and one placed on the ballot by the City Council (Measure Q). Both would permit certain medical marijuana uses, but there are important distinctions being ingored by the press.

When faced with flaws in the one circulated by the interest group for expanded marijuana access, the City Council decided to give voters who want to permit access an alternatve that more closely follows state and local laws. For those voters against the expanded access in Lemon Grove, they are free to vote "no" on both. However, the City Council wanted a measure that allows multiple locations for potential collectives to locate, but under rules that follow environmental laws, public hearing procedures and a true cost recovery system for the City costs of regulation.

While the competing measure T does not allow public hearings on land use determinations or environmental review of the applications, the City Measure Q allows public hearing input and review of potential adverse environmental issues. The City measure Q requires a per patient tax of $200 per year to pay for enforcement costs. Measure T (non-city) has an illegal sales tax system that cannot be implemented to fund the costs of enforememt.

In addition, the City Measure (Q) allows the City Council to repeal the measure if the City officials are threatened with imminent prosecution or if the medical marijuana laws are invalidated. Under the non-city measure (R), the City has a required duty to enforce even if faced with prosecution by the federal authorities or statewide invalidation. All in all, Measure Q is a responsible approach for those citizens who wish to permit the use in Lemon Grove.

The Council, as a group, is leaving the decision to the voters. They have designed a measure that will force themselves to make the tough decisions through normal public hearing procedures that allow all Lemon Grovers to participate. No special interests had any input in the drafting of the measure as it was presented to the Council except through public hearing testimony open to all citizens.

James Lough
Lemon Grove City Attorney

P.S. This letter was not prepared at the direction of the City and no public resources were used in producing it.

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