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SAN DIEGO – California’s medical marijuana dispensaries are a benefit to both patients and local communities, according to a report released at a press conference in San Diego today as part of the annual League of California Cities convention.
The report by the advocacy group Americans for Safe Access details the impact of regulatory ordinances in cities around the state, based on information from local officials involved in the process. Three of those officials, Oakland City Councilmember Desley Brooks, Santa Rosa Councilmember Lee Pierce and Santa Cruz City Councilmember Mike Rotkin, were on hand in San Diego to describe how their cities had arrived at regulations and the positive results they’ve seen.
“The experience of cities and counties that have enacted dispensary ordinances has been uniformly positive,” said Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access. “Patients rely on dispensaries, but communities benefit, too.”
In addition to the information gleaned from nine-months of interviews with city officials about the effects of regulatory ordinances, the report covers some of the political background and current legal status of dispensaries and outlines the important issues to consider in drafting dispensary regulations. It describes how regulated dispensaries help revitalize neighborhoods, bring new customers to neighboring businesses, and reduce crime in surrounding areas.
Amanda Reiman, Ph.D., of the University of California, Berkeley was also present at the press conference to discuss her recent research findings on why and how cannabis dispensaries benefit patients. Those findings are also summarized in the ASA report. Among the benefits for patients are access for the most seriously ill and injured, a safer environment for patients than having to buy on the illicit market, and improved health through social support services.
Copies of the report are being distributed to local officials attending the California League of Cities conference, which began today at the San Diego Convention Center. Copies may be downloaded at http://www.americansforsafeaccess.org/downloads/dispensaries.pdf.
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With more than 30,000 members, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic uses and research.