Marijuana user cards up in smoke

September 26, 2006

Greg Moberly, Times-Herald, Vallejo

Despite a boisterous and somewhat confusing debate Tuesday, the Solano County Board of Supervisors rejected the possibility of county administration of a medical marijuana card program.

With two Sheriff's deputies watching, the meeting was far from typical.

One supervisor supported the card program but questioned marijuana's medical value.

A few medical marijuana supporters reportedly were ticketed by Fairfield police for honking their car horns. This happened as people drove past those lobbying for the card program outside the county government center.

Steve Kubby, author of Proposition 215, in which voters approved medical marijuana, spoke on behalf of those pushing the card program.

The supervisors took two votes related to the card program. As a result, while one minute supporters thought they had garnered a major victory, the next minute they realized that wasn't the case.

With a 2-3 vote, supervisors narrowly rejected development of a proposal administering the card program. This followed a vote that simply amended the agenda allowing the recommendation vote to occur.

"After 10 years, why are we still debating this?" Kubby said during the debate. "These people are frightened every day," he said referring to law enforcement arresting medical marijuana users.

After the board's vote, card supporters vociferously said they'll remember the supervisors' decision during the next county elections. At that same time, as the meeting was adjourned for lunch, Sheriff's deputies escorted Michele Schlick-Harris of Vacaville from board chambers for being loud and disruptive.

"That doesn't help," Kubby quietly told

Simply administering the state-authorized card program would help, supporters said several times.

It would help law enforcement, said Aaron Smith, who was ticketed by Fairfield police for honking his horn. Smith represented Safe Access Now, a state medical marijuana lobbying group.

"It's simply a tool for law enforcement," Smith said.

Smith and others said the card would allow police officers to better track those using marijuana illegally and those who need it for medical purposes.

"I'm terrified right now," said Kim White, of Vallejo, of possible police action against him because he is a medical marijuana user.

Linda Jimenez, a card program supporter, said the time to debate the efficacy of medical marijuana is over.

Supervisor Duane Kromm, like county public health officials, said there's no overwhelming evidence for or against medical marijuana.

However, the impact that placebo drugs in some cases have had on people swayed him to support medicinal marijuana, Kromm said. "That's powerful," referring to marijuana users who believed they were being helped by it.

Kromm joined Supervisor Barbara Kondylis in supporting a card program.

Fairfield Police Lt. Michael Hill said that because protesters were near a business area and a school, police decided to issue the tickets.

Schlick-Harris during one of her earlier outbursts.

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