Press Release: Stop The Ban IB officially begins letter writing campaign

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Imperial Beach, CA – On Saturday, April 16th, organizers and volunteers from the Stop The Ban IB campaign kicked off a grassroots effort to collect letters from concerned citizens in Imperial Beach who feel strongly against the direction taken by city leaders to ban safe access to medical marijuana for the city’s legitimate Prop.215 patients, some of who are the most vulnerable residents in the city.

Two days earlier, at 1233 Palm Ave., during the planned monthly South Bay meeting of the San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access (SDASA), several city residents volunteered time and donated financially to the campaign.

Ironically, the South Bay monthly meetings are held at the very location that was to be Imperial Beach’ s first Prop. 215 patient cooperative, that is until city officials refused to issue a business licence, enacted a moratorium while vowing to create an ordinance, however, have since completely flip-flopped and have surprised the community with this Public Notice outlining a plan to ban access citywide on June 1st, 2011.

On a perfect spring day, a small but highly motivated group of determined Stop The Ban IB volunteers started out by printing 100 ready-to-be-signed letters and kicked off a planned 5-hour “test run.”  The first day’s campaign targeted the area of 13th St. & Imperial Beach Blvd., a small but bustling section of town.

After only 3 1/2 hours of effort, before the end of the test run, volunteers were on the phone with the campaign leaders requesting more blank forms, reportedly; “as soon as possible.”   Volunteers excitedly commented; “There were so many people, we actually had a line of voters for about 25 minutes, then we ran out of letters!

Imperial Beach officials reportedly have checked with a ‘select group’ of constituents regarding this issue prior to deciding to ban access.

Apparently however, city officials did not check with many local voters before making such a wide-ranging and non-compassionate decision to outright ban Imperial Beach Prop. 215 patients from safe access to legally recommended medicine.

Volunteers also indicated that Imperial Beach voters were confused by, and could not understand why, city officials would thumb their noses at, and not respect, the San Diego County Grand Jury recommendations regarding dispensaries.

The recommendations were delivered to the City in June of last year and did not offer a ban as an option for compliance.

At the end of the campaign’s first day after only a test run, it became clearly evident that the city’s ‘voting’ constituents will be expecting a change of heart and some compassion by council members at the June 1st council meeting, and not excepting a planned discrimination of Prop. 215 patients by the banning of safe access in the city.

Or, it appears there very well may be a change of council faces following the 2012 general election when two of the council members, Billlbray and King would otherwise be seeking ‘voting constituents’ for their re-election campaigns.

Campaign organizer and Vice Chair of the local ASA chapter, Mr. Marcus Boyd, who also hosts the monthly South Bay SDASA meetings in Imperial Beach said, “If the Imperial Beach City Council enacts the proposed ban it will be despite the largest public outcry, against an ordinance, the City of Imperial Beach has ever experienced.

On Sunday, during Earth Day, the campaign will continue gathering voting constituent letters along side the Stop The Ban SD campaign, and with an anticipated 100,000 ‘earth mined’ visitors to Balboa Park, we printed many more letters and expect our total number will rise.“, Boyd continued.

San Diego Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the local chapter of the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research.

ASA works to overcome political and legal barriers by creating policies that improve access to medical cannabis for patients and researchers through legislation, education, litigation, grassroots actions, advocacy and services for patients and the caregivers.  ASA has over 30,000 active members with chapters and affiliates in more than 40 states.

San Diego ASA helps protect the rights of cannabis patients.  Our volunteer leaders work daily to change local and federal policy to meet the immediate needs of patients as well as create long-term strategies for safe access and programs that encourage research.

South Bay SDASA meetings are held in Imperial Beach the Thursday after the 2nd Tuesday of every month.  Visit the SDASA website for a calendar of all meetings and events.

Not a ASA member? Join now*!  Already a member? Right now is the right time to donate more.
*($10 memberships are available.  Even though the ASA donation page starts at $35, you can select OTHER and enter $10, be sure to type SAN DIEGO ASA in the IN HONOR OF box.   Then, poof, you’re a ASA member making safe access happen now!)



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