Drug Policy Alliance Joins Opposition to Proposed De Facto Ban on Medical Cannabis Dispensaries in San Diego City

Press Release March 14, 2011
Media Contact

Margaret Dooley-Sammuli at 213-291-4190</p>

San Diego – On March 28, the San Diego City Council will vote on an ordinance that amounts to a de facto ban on medical cannabis facilities in the City of San Diego. If passed as currently written, this unduly restrictive ordinance would threaten the quality of life for some of the most vulnerable members of our community and would deny safe access for thousands of patients in the city. The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) urges the City Council to oppose this ordinance.

The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) played a leadership role during the campaign to pass the Compassionate Use Act (Proposition 215), which was passed by a majority of Californians – and San Diego residents – in 1996. Since the passage of Prop. 215, DPA has worked vigilantly through both legislative advocacy and litigation in federal and state courts to expand, protect, and defend medical marijuana in California. DPA was instrumental in the passage of SB 420, which established statewide guidelines and a patient and caregiver registration and ID card program to protect patients and caregivers from interference from law enforcement. DPA has worked on the local level in various cities and counties throughout the state to ensure that local medical marijuana regulations protect and monitor dispensaries so that patients have uninterrupted access to safe medicine.

Now DPA stands united with Canvass for a Cause, Americans for Safe Access and over twenty local and national organizations to oppose the proposed ordinance in San Diego City and to mobilize grassroots opposition to the de facto ban. In the last several weeks, the campaign has generated over 1,600 letters of opposition from constituents in the City of San Diego and brought together a large coalition united in opposition to this ordinance.

The campaign has mobilized hundreds of patients and concerned citizens by organizing medical cannabis facilities, employing well trained professional canvassers, and leading a traditional volunteer driven political effort giving the people a unique opportunity to voice their opposition to this de facto ban. We are committed to educating the public to generate massive quantities of constituents' communications to the city council members, urging them to amend the ordinance and approve an ordinance that guarantees safe access and reflects the needs of the community and the thousands of patients and residents affected by this issue.

The campaign will also be holding a rally on March 28. The rally will start at the Federal Courthouse located at 940 Front St. (92101) at 12pm and will end at the San Diego City Hall at 202 C St. at 1:30pm when everyone will go up to the City Council Meeting to speak against the proposed ordinance at 2pm. Visit the official campaign website for more information: www.stopthebansd.org.

Coalition Partners List:

American Medical Marijuana Association
Americans for Safe Access (ASA)
Association of Clinical Dispensaries (ACD)
California NORML
California Churches IMPACT
Canvass for a Cause
Drug Policy Alliance
Green Freedom Law Group
Ideal Choice Insurance
Kim Twolan, San Diego Medical Marijuana Task Force
Larry Sweet, San Diego Medical Marijuana Task Force
Lavender Lens
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Law Offices of Kimberly R. Simms
Legal Cannabis Institute (LCI)
Mothers Against Prohibition
NUG Magazine
San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access
San Diego County Community Coalition
San Diego Renters Union
Students for Sensible Drug Policy
Veterans for Medical Marijuana Access
Veterans for a Safe San Diego

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