Board approves medical marijuana I.D. cards

May 16, 2006

Joann Groff, Porterville Recorder

The issuance of medical marijuana identification cards - with $100 price tags - was approved at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting.

The Health and Human Services Agency asked the supervisors to move forward with the approval of the cards and fee; the dollar amount was calculated based on office staff and expenses, equipment and the state fee, according to the HHSA.

 

Nancy Loliva, media specialist at HHSA, said cards will be available July 1.

“It's important to note that they just approved the issuance of the cards and the fee,” Loliva said. “There are a lot of other things that impact it, like the distribution sites - where they go to purchase. But that's not us. I don't know when anything else will go in front of the board.”

Aaron Smith of Safe Access Now, an organization that advocates for medical marijuana patients, said he hoped that Tuesday's passage sends a message to other counties where support for the Compassionate Use Act is even higher.

“This is a landmark victory and a great service to Tulare County citizens,” Smith said. “ ... it goes to show that our medical marijuana laws have gained broad support across the political spectrum in the decade following the passage of the Compassionate Use Act.”

Smith said there are 35 more counties in California he's hoping will take similar action.

Senate Bill 420 requires counties to make ID cards available for medical marijuana patients if they choose to enter the voluntary program. Qualified patients and caregivers often want cards to show proof of their status, avoiding possible detainment, seizure or arrest by law enforcement.

Contact Joann Groff at 784-5000, Ext. 1047, or jgroff@portervillerecorder.com



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