A Light at the End of the Tunnel

A Light at the End of the Tunnel

By: Eugene Davidovich

It is no secret that medical marijuana patients in San Diego have been historically treated as second class citizens by our local elected officials. The County Board of Supervisors has done all it can to restrict access, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis continues to persecute patients, and Council members like Carl DeMaio, Marti Emerald, Sherri Lightner, and Kevin Faulconer vocally speak out against safe access.

Dumanis, DeMaio, and Faulconer are among the serious mayoral candidates who would be giving up their current offices if elected. Marti Emerald is running for re-election to the City Council. None of them are friends to medical marijuana patients or the safe access community. In fact, all of them have been vocal in support of strict requirements that eradicate rather than regulate access for the sick and dying in San Diego.

The community’s hope in the mayoral race was riding on the two successes; the quickly growing opposition campaign against Dumanis and DeMaio appearing more as a fringe candidate in light of his radical anti middle class style politics. With Dumanis, DeMaio, and Faulconer as front runners, and most other viable candidates having either come out against safe access or simply ignored the issue, the Mayoral race was looking very grim for the community.

This week, the landscape quickly changed. The community saw a light at the end of the tunnel.

Congressmen Bob Filner, who is also running for Mayor, came out strongly in support of safe access, reasonable regulations, and the rights of medical marijuana patients.

In an August 10th interview with David Roland of the San Diego CityBeat, Congressman Filner was presented with the following statement: “The City Council repealed its medical marijuana ordinance and now we’re back to square one, which is essentially the wild west, in terms of how we can comply with Prop 215.”

Filner responded, “We ought to take that seriously. I don’t know what they’re trying to do on the council. It sounds like they were trying to find a way not to have [medical-marijuana dispensaries]. They put so many restrictions on them. It makes it so difficult, it’s not worth it. I would say take that seriously and do whatever ministerial things you do, but let’s allow that to. You’ve got to get it through the City Council, though. That takes leadership. I don’t see any plan or any leadership to say, “Hey people are suffering. It’s legal to do it. Let’s put any controls and any ministerial things you need to do, but let’s facilitate it.” What they were using is regulations to stop it. I would say, let’s have them viable.”

Congressman Filner’s position is in stark contrast to the rest of the main stream candidates who have all either ignored this very important issue, come out strongly against it, or like Dumanis, publicly claim to support it in hopes of duping voters, but with their actions do everything they can to fight against it.

With over 70,000 medical marijuana patients in San Diego, and almost 40,000 registered voters having recently spoken for safe, reasonable and local regulations through the referendum process, it is clear that access in the City will be a key issue in the 2012 Mayoral race.

In my opinion; patients, supporters, and all 40,000 plus registered voters in San Diego who support medical marijuana should first take a good look at the track record of all the mayoral candidates, say ‘Not Dumanis’, and then Vote Filner!