Imperial Beach Stop the Ban Campaign Collects 100’s of Letters from Local Residents to City CouncilPosted: April 29, 2011
IMPERIAL BEACH, CA– This week, medical cannabis advocates sent the first flurry of 138 letters signed by concerned residents of Imperial Beach (IB), CA to city officials urging the reversal of the proposed ban of medical marijuana dispensaries within the city’s limits. The campaign reports over 100 more letters are waiting to be stuffed, stamped and mailed.
Many of the letters contain handwritten personal notes to the council members describing their personal views on the issue. One constituent wrote, “I don’t want to encourage street dealing. I would like a safe environment to receive my medicine.”
Originally IB City Council members expressed an understanding for legitimate patients and in some cases even voiced concerns that patients should be provided safe and reasonable access. During the Dec. 15, 2010 council meeting however, they drastically reversed direction and voted (4-1) in favor of an outright ban on safe access. The two main reasons cited by the council for the reversal were, that there are already dispensaries in the neighboring City of San Diego and anecdotal crime opinions provided by the Sheriff’s Department.
Councilmember Bilbray was the lone dissenting voice and while voting to oppose the ban, insisted that Imperial Beach should have at least one dispensary to meet the needs of most vulnerable residents.
“The 138 letters are only the beginning” stated Marcus Boyd, senior organizer with the IB Stop the Ban campaign,”we will be connecting constituents with City Hall daily moving forward on this issue, with one week into the campaign there are already 14 participating locations, 8 on Palm, 4 on Seacoast and 2 in South San Diego that are listed on our website where IB residents can sign the letter to Stop the Ban”.
Boyd is also the Vice Chairman of the San Diego Chapter Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and has served the Imperial Beach and South Bay community for the past eight years on Palm Ave. by providing low cost insurance services for autos, property and businesses.
In the form letter, addressed to all Council Members as well as the City Manager, residents are calling on city officials to support patient’s rights, respect the will of the voter, and comply with the recommendations of the San Diego County Grand Jury report by not banning dispensaries in the city.
The letters additionally point out that; “There are patients in Imperial Beach with no space to cultivate, those without the requisite gardening skills to cultivate their own, and, most critically, those who face the sudden onset of a serious illness or who have suffered a catastrophic injury — all tend to rely on local dispensaries as a compassionate, community-based solution that is a safe alternative to what would otherwise result in dangerous illicit market transactions.”
The proposed ban if passed would go against the interests of the most vulnerable members of the IB community and would negatively impact hundreds of sick and dying patients who rely on medical cannabis as a safe and low cost alternative to treat their chronic and debilitating conditions.
It’s not clear if the IB Stop the Ban campaign will help reverse the direction IB city officials have taken. If they do decide to side with a ban however, it will be over the most unprecedented public opposition on any issue that the IB City Council has seen to date.