Ban on medical marijuana has ‘time specific’ priority at June 15th IB council meeting

Imperial Beach, CA – On June 10th, 2011, city officials released a ‘time specific’ scheduling of 7:00pm for the June 15th vote on a pair of ordinances (I/II) that purportedly ban medical marijuana dispensaries from providing safe access in the city.

In the staff report, city officials claim “the ordinances would not ban medical marijuana in the city” and “only applies when marijuana is supplied to two or more persons” … at “any location” in the city.

Actual wording in the City’s law goes much further than merely banning dispensary storefronts from opening in the city.  If approved, the law would disregard the right for patients to collectively or cooperatively cultivate, afforded by Senate Bill 420, and aims to change Prop. 215, the Compassionate Use Act, by severely limiting ‘legal access’ for seriously injured, sick and dying patients and their caregivers by restricting patients to individually growing at home. 

Based on the ordinances, Prop 215 patients in IB who have no space to cultivate cannabis, those without the requisite gardening skills to grow their own, and, most critically, those who face the sudden onset of a serious illness or who have suffered a catastrophic injury may be forced to move to a residence with growing space, attend growing classes and all patients must wait a full harvest period (75 to 90 days) before obtaining doctor recommended medical marijuana.

“How is that legal?”, asked John, a supporter of local dispensaries who was informed on Friday about the city’s plan to ban collectives in the city. 

“The proposed restrictions are absurd and would serve to undermine the will of the people, not to mention the 2010 Grand Jury recommendations”, commented Terrie Best during a recent San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access Advisory Board conference call with the Stop the Ban IB campaign. 

According to council meeting minutes, there have been no residents or businesses that have spoken in opposition to dispensaries in the city. 

In fact, just the opposite is true in IB.  Besides over a dozen ‘participating commercial locations’ working directly with the Stop the Ban IB campaign, after hearing the “Smear with Fear” Reefer Madness presentation by Sheriff Detective Michael Helms, the Kiwanis Club of Imperial Beach was reported as supporting dispensaries in the city.

One thing is for sure, if the councilmembers vote to approve the ordinance as written, they will ensure an environment of crime and fear whereby sick and dying patients are forced to obtain their medicine from illicit sources rather than from a local, safe and regulated dispensing center.

You can’t help but wonder: why are Councilmembers favoring a ban at the expense of the City and its most vulnerable residents? 

Concerned citizens and residents are urged to attend the June 15th City Council meeting no later than 7:00pm and speak out against the illegal ban, or donate time to others who will urge the City Council to regulate safe access rather than draining the city resources to eradicate it.

June 15th, 2011
Council Meeting Starts at 6PM!
Ban Vote at 7pm Sharp!
Imperial Beach City Hall
825 Imperial Beach Blvd
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