To volunteer for signature gathering of Sacramento County residents for PARMCA2012 email csparc.sac@gmail.com. Help us make history and be a part of the solution. TO RETURN PETITIONS CONTACT (888) 824-6863 OR DELIVER THEM TO 2045 HALLMARK DR., SUITE 6, SACRAMENTO 95825. Call for office hours.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Road Ahead

Medical cannabis patients in Sacramento are under attack. It has been over 15 years since voters in California passed the Compassionate Use Act giving qualified patients the "right to obtain and use" medical cannabis. When the voters passed Proposition 215, one of the three purposes of the Act was to "encourage governments to implement a plan for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana." Unfortunately local leadership in Sacramento County has failed to implement sound regulations to promote a safe and responsible manner for patients to access medicines. This means patients are forced to access medicine on the black market or travel long distances to areas that do have well-regulated medical cannabis collectives. This is unacceptable.

Over time, courageous providers opened their doors to patients in Sacramento County and began opening medical cannabis dispensing collectives in the area. In absence of real and meaningful regulation, some confusion lead to organizations opening in areas not suitable to this type of use. The result has been an ongoing struggle to try and find a way to regulate the organizations and serve patients in Sacramento County. At one time it seemed as if the Board of Supervisors were willing to put their best foot forward and develop a plan for zoning and regulating this use more effectively. They held stakeholder meetings and reached out to the community for input, and addressed the issue many times in Board meetings.

Since then the County and Board have backed down from their responsibility and have decided to kick the can down the road. The result has been an aggressive campaign to shut down several well-respected medical cannabis providers through questionable code enforcement tactics, and on December 6th the County Board of Supervisors passed an unconstitutional ordinance that circumvents their responsibilities to the community by declaring all uses in conflict with Federal law banned from the County. This decision lacks the morals we expect from elected officials, and does nothing to solve the real issue, which is patients having safe and regulated access to the medicine their doctor recommended they use for their condition. It also outlaws patient and collective gardens that are allowed under state law (Health and Safety codes 11362.5 and 11362.7 et. al), which we believe is unconstitutional based on local municipalities not being able to opt out of state law by passing an ordinance like this. Legal action to overturn this section of the County Charter are under way.

It is evident that the road ahead consists of taking our concerns and solutions directly to the good people of Sacramento County by passing a voter initiative that regulates a limited number of medical cannabis dispensing collectives through a mandatory registration program that is based on local population and need. The initiative will ensure patients have access, while protecting public safety through proper zoning and limitations on use. The initiative will also include a supplemental sales and use tax that will raise a substantial amount of resources for the County to use for public safety, education, and healthcare for our citizens. We believe that the voters of Sacramento County support patients having a well-regulated system for accessing their medicine that is safe, clean and convenient; and we understand that medical cannabis organizations provide much needed social and economic benefits to the communities they serve. We also believe this initiative will create hundreds of good paying living wage jobs in Sacramento County, thus providing opportunity.

We hope you will join us on our journey to bring safe access to regulated cannabis to those in need of this natural and effective treatment for a number of medical conditions. Together we can create a program that meets the objective needs of the community while ensuring safe medicine, safe communities and responsible operation.

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