Pages tagged "San Diego Americans for Safe Access"


Calling All Former Answerdam Members

Jackson and the team of pro-bono attorneys representing him in the third trial are calling on all former members of Answerdam that are willing to testify in the case to please contact them as soon as possible at: Lance Rogers |lance@lrogerslaw.com | Ph: (619) 333-6882

Is there such a thing as triple jeopardy?

Tragically, there is in San Diego under District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ reign. This month, the third trial of Jovan Jackson will begin in San Diego Superior Court.

Jovan Jackson, a legitimate medical cannabis patient and Navy veteran was a directing member of Answerdam, a medical marijuana collective located in Kearney Mesa in 2009. After the first raid on the dispensary by DA Dumanis’ cannabis eradication team, Jackson was charged and jailed. Following a year long court process, twelve jurors found him not guilty of all the cannabis related charges and scolded the prosecution for wasting the jury’s time with this frivolous case. Unfortunately, a unanimous jury verdict was not enough for the San Diego District Attorney.

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Jury Instructions Complete in Preparation for Medical Marijuana Patient and Collective Operator Jovan Jackson’s Trial

jovan_deborah_dennis_logan_justin.JPGSan Diego – Medical marijuana patient and Navy veteran Jovan Jackson, along with his attorney, Lance Rogers assisted by Logan Fairfax and Rezwan Khan were in court Thursday and Friday, October 3rd and 4th 2013, to hammer out jury instructions and motions in limine in preparation for Jovan’s third medical marijuana trial.  

The entire day Thursday was spent crafting the instructions in department 54 before Judge Louis R. Hanoian.  The two parties, Chris Lindberg, the prosecutor responsible for Jovan’s persecution since 2009 and Lance Rogers, the man who has defended him, both brought forth versions of jury instructions which the judge rejected.  What ensued was lengthy argument from Lindberg attempting to limit Jovan’s defense under the Medical Marijuana Program Act (MMPA). 

Not many have been harmed more than Jovan by San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ fierce fight against medical cannabis.  In the long ordeal and on his way to being acquitted on all medical marijuana charges from a jury trial in November of 2009, San Diego law enforcement raided the collective Jovan operated, Answerdam, a second time and began proceedings on that case in August of 2010.  In the pretrial proceedings from this case, Chris Lindberg, under Dumanis, was successful in convincing Judge Howard Shore that Jovan - as a collective operator where not all collective members tilled soil and grew medical cannabis - was not entitled to the MMPA defense which allows individuals to collectively and cooperatively cultivate and distribute medical cannabis in a closed loop.  As a result of this denial, Jovan was found guilty and Americans for Sade Access, Chief Counsel, Joe Elford, with the help of Lance Rogers, filed and won a landmark published appeal to the guilty verdict in the Fourth District Court of Appeal (People v. Jackson Cal. Ct. App. - Oct. 24, 2012) on behalf of Jovan. 

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Council Member Alvarez Attends ASA Meeting Declares Support for Safe Access

IMG_20130910_195520_407-001.jpgOn Tuesday of last week at the September chapter meeting, current San Diego City Council member and Candidate for Mayor, David Alvarez stopped by and spoke to the group about his position on medical marijuana. Council member Alvarez voiced opposition to any ban and the need for those who use medical cannabis legally to have safe regulated access throughout the City of San Diego, not just concentrated in one far flung industrial area of the city. Mr. Alvarez also promised that if elected as Mayor, he would continue on the path towards sensible regulations as Filner did.

Council member Alvarez also explained that although he has no personal experience with those who use this medicine, he still understands the need for those who do, and wants to learn more about how patients benefit from it.

 Please take a moment to email or call San Diego City Council member David Alvarez and thank him for his support of safe access to medical marijuana and for coming out to the meeting. Also, in your emails please include your story and why medical cannabis helps.

The Council member can be reached through email at: davidalvarez@sandiego.gov or via telephone at (619) 236-6688

Also, I want to invite everyone to our North County meeting coming up on the 24th of this month at a brand new location in Encinitas! The meeting will be held at Captain Keno’s 158 N Coast Highway 101 Encinitas, CA 92024 from 7-9pm Eugene Davidovich, Chapter Coordinator San Diego Americans for Safe Access.

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This post originally appeared on the San Diego ASA Chapter website.


Patient Advocates Seek Changes to Draft Regulations for Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Law

Patient advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) filed recommended amendments today to draft regulations which were issued last month by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) in order to implement Question 3, the state’s new medical marijuana law. The amendments were filed in advance of a scheduled hearing by the Public Health Council that took place today in Boston.

The draft regulations are the product of many weeks of deliberation, during which time DPH sought input from medical marijuana patients and other stakeholders, including ASA, the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance (MPAA) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Seeking a broad range of feedback, DPH held public hearings earlier this month in Boston, Plymouth, and Florence.

In November, sixty-three percent of voters approved Question 3, making Massachusetts the 18th medical marijuana state. Question 3 establishes a framework that allows qualifying patients with serious illnesses to get a recommendation from their licensed physician for the use of marijuana, and further enables patients to obtain their medicine from a registered Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MMTC). Overseen by DPH, the MMTCs will be licensed to cultivate, process, and sell medical marijuana to qualifying patients who are allowed to obtain up to 10 ounces in a 60 day period. Patients who qualify under a hardship provision will be able to cultivate for themselves if unable to access a MMTC due to distance, disability, or low income.

And, while patient advocates are generally pleased with the draft regulations and the progress made by DPH, there remain concerns over a few provisions that could limit patients’ access to medical marijuana. For example, the regulations require physicians to register with DPH and undergo mandatory training before being authorized to recommend marijuana to their patients. Patients are concerned that this requirement will chill physician participation in the program and make it more difficult for patients to obtain a recommendation.

Dr. Karen Munkacy, an anesthesiologist and delegate to the Massachusetts Medical Society, as well as a board member of ASA, testified at today’s hearing. While Dr. Munkacy agreed that educating doctors about medical marijuana would be helpful, she said in a previous statement that, "I have concerns about any regulation that would create additional obstacles for physicians who want to incorporate this medicine into their practice.”

The draft regulations also prohibit patients from obtaining their medication from more than one MMTC, and place unique and onerous restrictions on minors who might benefit from medical marijuana. Advocates argue that these types of restrictions create unnecessary barriers to treatment. Dr. Munkacy testified today that:

If we limit this medicine only to dying children, then it is not legally available for the 80 percent of children who live longer than six months after their cancer diagnosis.  Childhood cancer is rare, but distraught parents, who are already dealing the nightmare of their child having cancer, shouldn’t also have the nightmare of buying their children’s medicine from back alley drug dealers.

Although Massachusetts law allows certain qualifying patients to cultivate their own medical marijuana, advocates argue that the draft regulations unduly limit such activity. For example, patients that can show their income, disability, or lack of mobility is an impediment to obtaining their medicine from an MMTC, they may be able to cultivate it themselves or find a caregiver to grow it for them. However, the financial hardship threshold, as it stands, only includes the poorest of the poor and excludes patients who still have a legitimate economic barrier to purchasing their medicine from an MMTC. Also, the lack of an appeals process for patients seeking hardship qualification denies them due process rights that are part of other social services programs.

After the final draft regulations have been completed, DPH will present them again to the PHC on May 8th and, if adopted, they will go into effect on May 24th.

Chula Vista Police Strong-Arm Medical Marijuana Patients

Chula Vista Police Strong-Arm Medical Marijuana Patients


By: Eugene Davidovich, San Diego Americans for Safe Access, August 14, 2011

Patients stand up in the face of threats, violence, and intimidation by Chula Vista Police Department during an illegal attempt to search Green Power medical marijuana collective in South San Diego.

Chula Vista – On July 12, at 10:45pm the Chula Vista City Council adopted an outright ban on medical marijuana dispensaries, cooperatives and collectives within city limits. The late hour vote was intentional so as to prevent members of the public from speaking against the ban.

Leading up to vote, patients, concerned citizens and supporters of safe access had diligently attended Council meetings for over two years pleading with their local representatives to protect sick and dying patients in their community. Dozens of patients turned out to meetings and sent letters and emails asking for reasonable regulations rather than a ban.

The City Council ignored the pleas of sick and dying patients and decided to side with the reefer madness propaganda fed to them by the San Diego Sheriff’s Department as well as San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis who continue to claim that all dispensaries are illegal and attract crime even though actual data shows otherwise.

The vote as well as the Council Members’ comments on July 12th appeared to have given a green light to the Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) to force existing safe access out of the City and to send a strong message of disregard to medical marijuana patients in Chula Vista.

Days after the vote was ratified and wasting no time, the CVPD posted police cars outside of existing dispensaries in Chula Vista and began pulling patients over as soon as they exited parking lots of the facilities. They questioned those pulled over, searched their vehicles, and in many cases confiscated their medicine issuing citations despite legitimate patient paperwork.

“They stopped me for no reason, asked what I bought at the dispensary, took my medicine, humiliated me and told me that medical marijuana was a joke” said Joe, a terminally ill cancer patient after experiencing an encounter with CVPD outside of a collective in Chula Vista. “I told them that I was legal, that I was using this medicine to overcome debilitating symptoms related to the chemo, but they wouldn’t hear it, the cop told me that the medical marijuana thing was a scam.”

The CVPD did not settle on simply harassing patients leaving the dispensaries, they decided to step it up a notch and go after the facilities themselves. Rather than follow the law and go through proper civil channels to start a dialogue with the collectives, the CVPD instead sent ‘patient eradication squads’ to beat the facilities into closure.

On July 26, the Green Power medical marijuana collective, almost fell victim to one of these ‘Chula Vista Patient Eradication Squad’. That day the collective had a locksmith at their location installing a new set of locks for the front door. At approximately 12:55pm as the locksmith was crouched over, installing the lock, several uniformed and plain clothed officers approached the door of the collective, pushed the locksmith aside, shouting, “Who is the owner here?!”

Long, a medical marijuana patient and member of the collective walked out of the medicine room into the front reception area where the police were huddled and said “How may I help you officers?”.

At first, they cops put on a friendly face and sat down on one of the couches as if to talk to Long. Within seconds of sitting down, two officers stood up and tried to rush the medicine room with the intent of searching the facility. Long stood up, walked calmly to the door of the medicine room and explained to the officers that because they did not have a search warrant, they could not go into the room.

At that instant the two officers turned angry and violent, they grabbed Long, slapped handcuffs on him and physically threw him on the ground. The cops were heard saying “Search Warrant, ha, don’t you know we are Chula Vista PD and can go anywhere we want?”

Long continued to remain calm and told the officers again that they had not showed him a search warrant, that he did not consent to a search, and asked them to immediately vacate the premises.

To everyone’s surprise, instead of continuing to strong-arm and physically assault Long the cops un-cuffed him and quickly scattered out of the facility.

The locksmith who witnessed the entire encounter was practically paralyzed with fear and shock after seeing the barbaric and brutal nature with which they interacted with Long at the collective.

The collective is currently consulting with their legal counsel about potential litigation or action against the Chula Vista Police Department as well as the officers themselves.

For more information contact sandiegoasa@gmail.com

DA Bonnie Dumanis Pushes on with Prosecution of Legal San Diego Medical Marijuana Collective

By: Terrie Best, San Diego Americans for Safe Access


Legal cannabis patient Dexter Padilla was in court last week in front of Judge Albert T. Hartunian III as he and his attorney, Michael J. McCabe, of the Davidovich victory, fought it out with Prosecutor Ramin Tohidi over whether there was enough prosecutorial evidence to bind the case over for trial.

The Preliminary Examination of the evidence on one count of cannabis cultivation and one count of possession with intent to distribute came after a series of exhaustive disclosure meetings between attorneys for defense and prosecution where, the defense’ witness, Mark Wuerfel, Esq. Dexter’s civil attorney, laid open Dexter’s books, Articles of Incorporation papers, Bylaws and every other piece of evidence to show Dexter’s lawfulness in his cultivation and possession of medical cannabis.

The disclosure meetings proved both unusual and ultimately unsuccessful, based on the fact that Bonnie Dumanis’ office stubbornly refuses to drop this case against a shinning example of a patient citizen’s efforts to navigate the murky medical marijuana laws and her refusal to interpret the law in a manner that is fiscally responsible and logical.

Preliminary exam proceedings began with the prosecution’s first witness, Detective Paul Paxton of the San Diego Police Department. Paxton, cross-sworn as a DEA Agent and part of Dumanis’ expensive and politically conceived Narcotics Task Force (NTF), testified to having 12 years as a narcotics officer with training from various drug enforcement entities as well as “what he’s seen on TV” about drug enforcement.

Paxton denied training in medical marijuana but went on to explain his interpretation of plant yields. An interpretation which defense held him accountable for on cross as Mr. McCabe wrangled with Paxton to admit un-rooted cuttings have only a 30% survival rate and other contrived opinions about yields from Paxton’s testimony.

Mr. McCabe, in his cross also examined the details of the investigation which led to the search warrant and raid of Dexter Padilla’s legally grown cannabis. Of note is that Paxton’s surveillance, which took but one day, included the knowledge that Dexter was involved in a legitimate medical cannabis co-op and was in fact providing medicine to patients. Paxton, instead of attempting to verify the co-op, or contact it’s directors, went ahead and obtained the search warrant and raided the warehouse where Dexter grew for his patients, destroying the medicine which was intended to provide relief for those patients.

Mr. McCabe put forth a number of exhibits in defense of Dexter’s co-op, including, Articles of Incorporation with language about the Compassionate Use Act (CUA) and signed by the Secretary of State, the co-op’s financials, prepared by a CPA, Bylaws and minutes from the Board of Directors meetings as well as patient and grower contracts, the latter of which included language for oversight of each grow as well as legal doctors’ cannabis recommendations for each grower.

In a fastidious but prickly move, Tohidi demanded the doctor recommendations be removed from each grower contract packet as he questioned the validity of the recommendations.

Arguments for the defense brought Mr. Wuerfel to the stand, who not only served as Dexter’s civil attorney but the Custodian of Records for the co-op. Tohidi fretted, in his attempt to eliminate Mr. Wuerfel as a witness, that he would opine on law and maneuver to school the judge. However, the judge allowed Mr. Wuerfel to take the stand.

Mr. Wuerfel a former federal law clerk, attorney of 33 years, law professor and founder of Redwood Law Group, testified to the lengths he advised Dexter to go to demonstrate lawfulness in his co-op and the methods of disclosure he recommended.

Among the advice Dexter followed were processes for board of director oversight, source/cultivation documentation, financial considerations and tax oversight, methods of facilitating the examination of these documents by co-op members and law enforcement and host of other mechanisms meant to exceed the most stringent view of the Attorney General Guidelines for Medical Marijuana. It was on Mr. Wuerfel’s recommendation that Dexter re-file his current Articles of Incorporation papers to include the CUA language.

In final argument Mr. McCabe referred to a number of cases including People v. Konow 2004, a case McCabe himself won, in which a patient/defendant may suggest that the court dismiss a case ” in the interest of justice”, and the court has the power to do so.

However, while Judge Hartunian admitted the prosecution had not proven unlawfulness, he, never-the-less, bound Dexter Padilla over for trial so his case could go before a jury.

I had the opportunity to speak with Dexter and Mr. Wuerfel about the climate of medical cannabis law in California, Mr. Wuerfel, who has had his own struggles with federal agents in defense of legal medical cannabis law, stated that often in these cases the procedure is the punishment but expressed confidence that Dexter had conducted his co-op with his i’s dotted and t’s crossed and it would likely not escape jury notice.

Dexter will be arraigned on July 28, 2011 in Department 11.

Imperial Beach to Ban Collective Cultivation; City Council Refuses to Implement State’s Medical Marijuana Laws

By: Eugene Davidovich and Marcus Boyd



Imperial Beach, CA - On June 15, 2011 at 7pm, the Imperial Beach City Council will discuss and vote to enact an outright ban on medical marijuana dispensaries and all collective cultivation efforts in the City of Imperial Beach.

Although the staff report compiled for the June 15th meeting states, “the ordinances would not ban medical marijuana in the city,” the actual wording of the proposed law goes much further than merely banning storefronts. If approved, medical cannabis patients in Imperial Beach would be banned from associating to collectively or cooperatively cultivate medical marijuana, an activity explicitly authorized and protected under State Law.

The proposed ban severely limits legal access for seriously injured, sick and dying patients and their caregivers. Those with no space to cultivate, those without the requisite gardening skills to grow their own, and most critically those who face the sudden onset of serious illness, would be forced to ‘plow the fields’ themselves.

“Is that legal?” asked John, a resident of Imperial Beach and supporter of local dispensaries when told about the City’s proposed ban.

“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 Board Member of the San Diego Americans for Safe Access, a local chapter of the nation’s largest medical marijuana patients’ rights advocacy group.

In August of 2009 when the City first enacted it’s moratorium on dispensaries, City officials promised the community that they would be moving towards an ordinance regulating access rather than banning it. In December of 2010 however, after seeing a modern-day Reefer Madness, 'Smear with Fear' eradication show, presented by San Diego County Sheriff and self proclaimed medical marijuana expert, Detective Michael Helms from the Licensing Division, the City began to shift direction.

Recently, at the request of IB City officials Detective Helms once gain presented the County’s eradication show, this time to the Kiwanis Club of Imperial Beach. Following his presentation which was interrupted multiple times with questions and debate, it was clear that out of approximately ten Kiwanis members present at the meeting only one voiced opposition to well regulated dispensaries in the city.

IB residents and supporters of medical cannabis however, have not given up and have been busy writing and mailing letters to their Council members all urging them to adopt reasonable regulations instead of a ban.

“As part of the Imperial Beach Stop the Ban Campaign, volunteers have collected hundreds of letters all stamped and mailed to the attention of the City Council, Mayor, and City Manager” said Marcus Boyd, Vice Chair of San Diego Americans for Safe Access. “If the ordinances are approved as written, they will force sick and dying patients to obtain their medicine from illicit sources rather than from local, safe and regulated dispensing centers”.

One cannot help but wonder why the council members are favoring a ban at the expense of the City’s 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. Sick and dying patients in the City of Imperial Beach deserve safe regulated access rather than a continued bias driven effort to overturn state law.

June 15th, 2011 – 7pm - Imperial Beach City Hall 825 Imperial Beach Blvd

Further Information:

Proposed Zoning Ordinance

Imperial Beach Proposed Ordinance Amending Business Licensing and Regulations

Staff Report for June 15th Meeting

Imperial Beach City Council Shifts Course on Dispensaries from Regulation to Eradication

First Permitted Medical Marijuana Coop to Open in San Diego County Unincorporated Area

















By: Eugene Davidovich























Mother Earth’s Alternative Healing Cooperative Inc, the first medical marijuana dispensing center officially permitted by San Diego County and in full compliance with the County Ordinance adopted almost a year ago, will open its doors in July 2011.

In order to truly grasp the importance and magnitude of the first permitted Coop opening in San Diego County and what this means for the safe access community, it is important to understand the background and history leading up to this day.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors is made up of five elected officials all of whom have been in office for almost two decades and have uniformly been opposed to medical marijuana. The Supervisors’ opposition has not been all ideological. In fact, they have continued to ignore and refuse to implement any provisions of the State’s medical marijuana laws for years.

On February 1, 2006 after receiving multiple threats of lawsuits from the San Diego chapter of NORML for refusing to implement the state mandated Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program, the County Board of Supervisors (BOS) filed suit against the State challenging the law requiring them to issue the cards. The BOS claimed federal law prohibiting marijuana, preempted California’s requirement to implement the card program and if the County complied, they would be doing so in violation of Federal law.

In July of 2006, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) along with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Drug Reform Law Project (DLRP), and the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) intervened in the civil lawsuit.

In the case now titled, County of San Diego v. San Diego NORML, ASA argued State law is not preempted by Federal law and that the County of San Diego was required to comply. Attorneys for ASA and the ACLU presented their arguments in San Diego Superior Court on November 16, 2006. Within a month in December of that year, Judge William R. Nevitt Jr. issued a decision rejecting the County’s challenge, siding with patients, and confirming California’s medical marijuana laws.

Despite the clear decision issued by Judge Nevitt, the BOS pressed on with their attempt to overturn State law and appealed the decision to the Fourth District Appellate Court, which on July 31, 2008 agreed with Judge Nevitt and denied the County’s challenge.

The BOS remained undeterred and County Counsel was directed to press on with the case to the California Supreme Court, which on October 16, 2008 also denied the county’s petition for review.

In a last ditch effort, the BOS filed a final appeal to the US Supreme Court and received their final denial on May 26, 2009. At this point the county had no choice but to start issuing ID cards.

Patients and medical marijuana advocates across the county celebrated this victory and were convinced the US Supreme Court’s decision would bring an end to the Supervisors’ war on the State’s medical marijuana laws.

In light of the Supreme Court’s decision and by this time, the new administration’s promise to stop raiding patients in compliance with State law, dispensaries began to open in the County.

True to their track record, the Supervisors did not give up on their bias driven fight. They shifted gears from focusing on the ID card program to targeting patients and their access directly.

On August 5, 2009 less than three months after the Supreme Court Decision, the BOS adopted an interim urgency ordinance enacting a moratorium on the establishment of medical marijuana facilities in the unincorporated areas of the County. This moratorium wrote into law a temporary prohibition on dispensaries in the County’s unincorporated areas.

In the meantime the BOS decided to deal with the already open dispensaries by allowing San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and the Narcotics Task Force on September 9, 2009 to conduct swat style raids on over 14 facilities operating within the County.

During the year long moratorium the BOS was intent on adopting an outright ban until their own legal counsel told them a ban may not be constitutional. To avoid another embarrassing loss in court, the BOS instead of enacting an outright ban, directed staff to craft a severely restrictive land use and public safety ordinance that would serve to accomplish the same goal.

On June 23, 2010 the BOS adopted their restrictive ordinance against the pleas of patients and advocates as well as a threatening letter from the ACLU.

The new ordinance allows Coops to open only if they are located in an industrial zone and are 1,000 feet away from the most comprehensive laundry list of sensitive uses ever created in the history of San Diego County zoning. The list includes: parks, churches, residences, schools, libraries, youth service facilities, other dispensaries, etc.

Leading up to the vote, a number of land use experts conducted an analysis of the zoning requirements in the ordinance and all reached the same conclusion; the majority of the ‘compliant’ properties were undeveloped and the remaining few made it practically impossible for facilities to quickly open. The chances of someone actually finding a property that met all the requirements were slim to none.

Patients and advocates were convinced the ordinance would ultimately result in no access in the County and following the passage of the new ordinance, San Diego ASA announced it as a de-facto ban.

Although the overly restrictive ordinance passed, patients still did not give up their struggle for safe access and many attempted to comply with the new rules.

A year later, only one Coop has been able to meet all the requirements. Situated in a 15,000 sq. ft. commercial building in an industrial zone next to Gillespie Field, once all construction is completed, the coop will include a small on-site cultivation area, a dispensing center, as well as a state of the art testing facility where all medicine prior to being dispensed to patients will go through on-site gas chromatography and mold/pesticide testing.

While some of the medicine will come from on-site cultivation, the majority as required by law will be cultivated by members at their homes and may go through an inspection by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

Detective Helms, one of the San Diego County Deputy Sheriffs in charge of licensing will conduct inspections, the purpose of which will be to insure patient cultivators are growing in a safe manner and with proper safeguards. If a problem is found during the inspection, Detective Helms will issue a notice to correct the violations and will re-inspect within 30 days.

Member cultivators may have no more than 6 mature and 12 immature plants per patient. If two patients are living together (i.e. married couple) and both have their recommendations and county cards, then they may posses 12 mature and 24 immature plants.

For those member cultivators whose conditions or the way they consume their medication require more than six and twelve plants, their physician recommendations will need to specify the amount of plants reasonable for their condition.

Source agreements issued by the coop will be kept with the plants as well as at the coop. The agreement will contain a phone number for a contact at the Sheriff’s Department in case any law enforcement encounter the cultivation effort and need to verify the legality of the source agreement.

“We have seen nothing but support and help from Detective Helms, Detective Hunting and others in licensing. While going through this process everyone has been focused on finally bringing safe access to San Diego County” said Bob Riedel, official spokesperson for the coop.

According to Bob, aside from creating a safe place for patients to obtain their medicine, the coop will be politically active in the community through support of Americans for Safe Access including providing a space for East County ASA meetings, financial support for the national organization, as well as support for other charities and local political efforts.

For more information or questions contact Bob Riedel at: motherearth434@live.com

Action Alert: Call The San Diego Mayor Today Urge Him to Veto


Earlier this month, over the most unprecedented public opposition to an ordinance the City Council has seen to date, they voted for a second time to approve an ordinance that the forces all collectives currently operating in the city to shutter their doors, taking away access to medical cannabis from over 50,000 patients.

The displaced and disenfranchised patients wishing to comply with the new rules, prior to reopening must apply for a Conditional Use Permit Process 3 and find a location only in a limited number of far flung industrial areas of the City that are 600 feet away from schools, churches, parks, child care facilities, youth service facilities, libraries, playgrounds, and other collectives.



The new ordinance did not address any compliance period for existing locations and zoned access out of the areas of the city containing the highest patient populations. City Council asked the Mayor to come up with a price tag for the new permits as well as to propose an enforcement and regulatory structure for collectives within thirty days.

Following the final legislative act by the City Council on this ordinance the Mayor has ten days to either veto the legislation or sign it into law. If he lets the 10 days go by without a signature, then the ordinance automatically becomes law and he is no longer able to issue a veto.

Call the Mayor’s office today at 619-236-6330 and urge him to veto this overly restrictive ordinance and fix the City Council’s mistake.

Use the sample script below:

"Mayor Sanders:
I am outraged at the San Diego City Council’s vote on the medical marijuana dispensary ordinance and the impact it will have on the community in San Diego. Medical marijuana patients and providers should not be zoned out of the city into far flung industrial areas and forced to go through an overly restrictive compliance process.

I strongly urge you to amend the ordinance with the following:

  1. Create a two year compliance period for collectives currently in operation.

  2. Add all commercial and industrial areas back in to the list of allowed zones.

  3. Reduce the proximity restriction to 600 feet away from schools as the only sensitivity use.

  4. Reduce Process three to Process one “By Right”, the same land use requirements imposed on pharmacies in the City of San Diego.

It is unnecessary and burdensome for patients and dispensaries, to restrict dispensaries to industrial corners, far away from public transit and other services. Depending on a city's population density, it can also be extremely detrimental to set excessive proximity restrictions (to schools or other facilities) that can make it impossible for dispensaries to locate anywhere within the city limits. It is important to balance patient needs with neighborhood concerns in this process.

Thank you for your time."

After calling, click here to send the Mayor an email:
http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/182/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6378

San Diego Americans for Safe Access | www.SafeAccessSD.org

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