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San Diego County Medical Marijuana Voters Guide – 2016 General Election

posted Oct 31, 2016, 4:32 PM by Citizens For Patients Rights   [ updated Nov 1, 2016, 1:08 AM by Cynara Velazquez ]

[Printable Version]

FEDERAL

U.S. President - No endorsement

This presidential race is strange - very, very strange. But when it comes to the question of marijuana, neither major party candidate has made marijuana policy a strong part of their platform.  Hillary Clinton has been a tepid supporter, having made some strong statements in favor of rescheduling on the campaign trail, but with no concrete history of prior support.  Both third party candidates, Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, have been champions on this issue, but neither stand a chance of winning.

 Republican candidate, Donald Trump, has taken a similar approach to marijuana as he has on other issues – his position has been completely inconsistent. He previously called for legalization of all drugs, then said he did not support the legalization of marijuana, then he claimed to support medical marijuana. 

For more information on where the presidential candidates stand on marijuana, check out the report card published by the marijuana policy project: https://www.mpp.org/2016-presidential-candidates/

 U.S. Senate-  Loretta Sanchez (D)

Two Democratic candidates are competing for the seat of retiring Sen. Boxer. Rep. Loretta Sanchez of Orange County has been a consistent supporter of medical marijuana over the years. Since joining the House in 1997, she has compiled a near perfect voting record on marijuana and drug reform issues, the longest such record of any Southern California Democrat. Asked in a debate about what the she would do in Washington to reduce crime in California, she replied, “First of all, I believe that we need to get the federal government to get marijuana off of schedule one.” At times, Sanchez has a tendency to let her tongue outrace the bounds of political discretion. When interest in legalization first heated up in California, she suggested that the state explore a pilot program of legalized, regulated marijuana, but quietly retreated after getting zero support from her colleagues.

Attorney General Kamala Harris is staunchly progressive, but cautious when it comes to marijuana. As A.G., she did disappointingly little on behalf of medical marijuana, rebuffing requests to join other states in filing a rescheduling petition with the federal government. More seriously, Harris failed to speak up against the federal crackdown on dispensaries in California, despite the fact that as former District Attorney of San Francisco she should have known that the city’s dispensaries were working well and the federal charges against them were bogus. Running for re-election, Harris waved off a question about legalization with a laugh, but later said she is “not opposed” to it and even sees it as “inevitable”. Speaking recently at the Democratic convention, Harris called the war on drugs “a failure” and called for ending the federal ban on medical marijuana. Most likely Harris would vote well enough in the Senate, but her lack of leadership in the state has been troubling.

California 49 - Doug Applegate (D)

Darrell Issa, the sitting congressional representative in this district has been terrible on the issue of medical marijuana access.  He has voted against every federal legislation to relieve federal prosecution of medical marijuana patients.  He openly advocated for the DOJ crackdown on state MMJ laws.   Doug Applegate is a strongest challenger.  Anyone would be a better option than Darell Issa, we urge you to vote for Doug Applegate.

California 50 - Duncan D. Hunter (R, Incumbent)

Duncan Hunter has consistently voted for pro-medical marijuana legislation.  He also co-sponsored the “Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2015”, the “CARERS Act” and “Charlotte's Web Medical Access Act of 2015” and for this, he has earned our endorsement.

California 51 - Juan Vargas (D, Incumbent)

Incumbent Congressman Juan Vargas has not been vocal on the issue of medical marijuana, but his voting record in congress has been consistently positive. We hope he becomes more vocal in the future.

California 52 - Scott Peters (D, Incumbent)

Incumbent congressman Scott Peters has been consistently voted for the rights of medical marijuana patients.  He also has actively engaged with the local medical marijuana community, sending representatives to local meetings of Americans for Safe Access and openly advocating for patients’ rights. He also co-sponsored the “Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act of 2015”.

California 53 - Susan Davis (D, Incumbent)

We are endorsing Susan Davis for Congress because she has consistently voted for pro-access legislation in Congress.  That said, she has not been a vocal advocate, nor has she cosponsored any bills in favor of medical marijuana access or patients.  We would like to see her to more in the future.  

STATE LEGISLATURE

Senate, District 39 - Toni Atkins (D)

Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins has been a staunch supporter of medical marijuana patients’ rights and the end of marijuana prohibition since long before her time in the California State Legislature.  She championed the medical marijuana regulation and safety act, and has consistently voted in favor of legitimizing medical marijuana access. We endorse her for state senate.

Assembly, District 71 – No Endorsement

The incumbent Assemblymember, Brian Jones, has a very mixed record when it comes to supporting medical marijuana legislation in the state legislature.  His opponent is also anti-access, and openly oppose safe access in the district.  With no good options, we suggest sitting this race out.

Assembly, District 75 - Andrew Masiel (D)

Incumbent Marie Walderon has been, at best, a mixed bag on medical marijuana issues, and voted against access as a councilmember of Escondido.  We suggest taking a gamble on her opponent Native American Andrew Masiel. 

Assembly, District 76 – Thomas Krouse (R)

Incumbent Assemblymember Rocky Chavez has a consistent anti-marijuana voting record.  His opponent, Thomas Kraus, has been outspoken in his support for medical marijuana and has attended local Americans for Safe Access meetings as part of his campaign.

Assembly, District 77 - Melinda Vásquez (D)

Progressive candidate Melinda Vazquez is running against the incumbent Brian Maienschein, who has a fairly poor record in regards to medical marijuana access and patient support. Melinda Vasquez has committed to supporting safe access for medical marijuana patients.

Assembly, District 78 - Todd Gloria (D)

Todd Gloria has been a staunch supporter of medical marijuana patients and rights during his time a councilmember in San Diego City and we look forward to him continuing this work in the State Legislature.

Assembly, District 79 -Shirley Weber (D, Incumbent)

We strongly support incumbent assembly member Shirley Weber for re-election.  She has been a strong supporter of medical marijuana patients’ rights and, as an African American woman, she has been quick to highlight the use of drug laws to persecute the African American community in California.  Shirley Weber, keep up the good work!

Assembly, District 80 - Lorena Gonzalez (D, Incumbent)

Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez is a passionate and dedicated assembly member who is not afraid to advocate very vocally, and very strongly, for the causes she feels most passionate about. And while she has consistently voted for medical marijuana access, we wish that she would adopt this issue as one of her core priorities, because she could be one heck of an advocate in the state assembly.  We recommend voting for Lorena Gonzalez, and we recommend that patients and advocates continue to work with her and speak to her about the urgency and importance of this issue.

COUNTY EDUCATION AND COLLEGE BOARDS

San Diego Community College Board, District D: Alyce Pipkin-Allen 

Southwestern Community College Board, Seat 3: Roberto C. Alcantar 

COUNTY AND CITY

County Board of Supervisors, District 3: Dave Roberts (D, Incumbent)

Incumbent Dave Roberts has not been the advocate could be on this issue.  We wish he would have the courage to be when it comes to medical marijuana access. That said, he also helped squash the calls for a permanent ban on medical marijuana access in the county in the recent round of votes.  Without him there, the situation may have been a lot worse.    His opponent, Kristin Gaspar, is an outspoken prohibitionist who have fought medical marijuana in previous positions.  Therefore, while we are not overly enthusiastic about Dave Roberts, his re-election is a top priority to ensure continued medical marijuana access in unincorporated San Diego County.

Carlsbad City Council: Cori Schumacher (D)

Coronado City Council: No Endorsement

Chula Vista City Council, Seat 3: Steve Padilla (D)

Steve Padilla has long been outspoken in his support of medical marijuana and has shown a willingness to meet with and listen to advocates as part of his campaign.

Chula Vista City Council, Seat 4: Rudy Ramirez (D)

Rudy Ramirez has made closing unlicensed dispensaries part of his campaign for Chula Vista City Council, which gives us great concern in endorsing a candidate. That said, he has also been consistent in his rhetoric that he wishes to replace them with licensed, regulated, access. We hope he makes good on this promise.  We support patient access in Chula Vista, but we recognize that the current system of unlicensed shops operating until the city acts against them is not sustainable and regulated access is the preferable solution.  Unfortunately, the Chula Vista City Council has, for years, refused to take any pro-active stance on regulating marijuana, their latest act being to ban dispensing and personal cultivation entirely. If candidate Ramirez continues to push for regulated access as part of his platform, he will continue to have our support.

Del Mar City Council: No Endorsement

El Cajon City Council: No Endorsement

Encinitas Mayor: Catherine Blakespear

When we were running the Citizens for Patient Rights campaign to allow medical marijuana access in Encinitas, Catherine Blakespear was running for city council for the first time.  And, while she was not an advocate, she did not choose to demonize marijuana dispensaries to appeal to NIMBY voters, a common political tactic in Encinitas.  She was respectful of our campaign and was willing to listen. We found her to be extremely thoughtful on other matters of local policy and we believe she will fairly consider the issues of Encinitas patients. 

Her opponent, Paul Gaspar, is the husband of the current Encinitas mayor, Kristen Gaspar, who has been an active opponent of safe access. He has made no indications of being any friendlier to patient access than his wife and predecessor.

Encinitas City Council: No Endorsement

Escondido City Council, District 3: No Endorsement

Escondido City Council, District 4: No Endorsement I

Escondido Treasurer: No Endorsement

Imperial Beach City Council: No Endorsement

La Mesa City Council: Colin Parent

Lemon Grove Mayor: George Gastil or Raquel Vasquez

Lemon Grove City Council: David Arambula

National City City Council: Luis Natividad

Oceanside City Clerk: No Endorsement

Oceanside City Council: No Endorsement

Oceanside Treasurer: No Endorsement

San Diego City Attorney: Mara Elliott

City Attorney candidates Mara Elliot and Robert Hickey both addressed the medical marijuana community at a forum held be the Association of Cannabis Professionals in September.  They both were sympathetic to patients’ right, but we were struck by their vastly different visions for the office.  When asked the question, “How would marijuana rank as a priority for you as a city attorney” they gave very different answers.  Robert Hickey said that enforcement of marijuana laws would not be a top priority of his administration, because he wanted to focus on clear-cut crimes with a community impact – violent crimes and property crimes, not busting stoners.  Mara Elliot, however, said that marijuana would be a top priority for her administration, because with the new marijuana laws coming down from the state, she wanted to make sure that San Diego was in full compliance with these laws, properly licensing local businesses and that the city received its fair share of taxes for marijuana law implementation and environmental mitigation.

 

We prefer Mara Elliot’s response, because it reflects a more accurate understanding of the role of the city attorney as a civil law enforcer and implementation interpreter. We want the city to be pro-active in its implementation of medical marijuana licensing and to receive all possible resources from the state to implement these efforts.  If adult use marijuana is to become a reality, we hope the city will also embrace this legislation and be pro-active in its implementation.

 

We think that Robert Hickey is a solid candidate for a different office. Robert Hickey’s philosophy for legal prosecution – prosecuting clear cut crimes, especially those with a tangible victim, based on established law, is a welcome change to District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’s crusade of criminalization of communities of color and victimless crime. We hope that he runs for District Attorney in the next cycle, we would be very inclined to support him.

 

San Diego City Council District 1: Barbara Bry

Ray Ellis, Barbara Bry’s opponent in District 1 has conceded, but his name is still on the ballot. This should matter to the medical marijuana community because Ray Ellis believes that marijuana is a gateway drug, while Barbara Bry believes in the medicinal potential of marijuana.  San Diego City Council will continue to revise its medical marijuana regulations in the future and sympathetic councilmembers will be key.  Therefore, we urge you to vote for Barbara Bry.

San Diego City Council District 9: Georgette Gomez OR Ricardo Flores

There are two candidates running in District 9 - Ricardo Flores and Georgette Gomez. Ricardo Flores and Georgette Gomez, accepted the invitation to speak at the meeting of the association of Cannabis Professionals.  Georgette Gomez was the most knowledgeable regarding local policy at the meeting.  Ricardo did however, did commit to doing the research to learn the details of the local zoning policy, and proceeded to correspond and further discuss these policies and his vision to enact better policies with ACP leadership and members in the following weeks.

Whomever wins, we are confident that we will have a safe access advocate in District 9.

Solana Beach City Council:  David Zito

Vista City Council: No Endorsement

STATEWIDE PROPOSITIONS

Prop. 52, Extends Medi-Cal Funding: YES

We are a patients’ rights organization, and while we focus on marijuana medicine, we believe in safe, regulated and affordable access to all medicine for sick Californians. Medi-Cal funding will allow access to medicine.

Prop. 57, Allows Parole for Nonviolent Inmates: YES

Far too many nonviolent inmates in California are serving time for marijuana related convictions.  Proposition 57 would get them out of jail.

Prop. 62, Replaces Death Penalty with Life Sentence: YES

Citizens for Patient Rights is a patient justice organization, and the proposition 62 addresses criminal justice.  Far too many death penalty convictions are found to be erroneous for us to trust that the courts judgement is infallible.  Unfortunately, when it comes to the death penalty, if the penalty, and the prisoner, are executed, there is no way to undue this error. 

Like marijuana convictions, the sentences are not applied equally across society, in the case of both marijuana and death penalty convictions, people of color are for more likely to be subject to prosecution, despite being a minority of those committing crimes that qualify for the death penalty, or using marijuana.

Moreover, the death penalty is a costly burden on our prison system, much like marijuana convictions, with segregated death penalty prison areas benefiting for profit prisons and prison unions, which in turn lobby to make, and keep, more acts illegal, like marijuana use and possession.

Prop. 64, Regulates Adult Marijuana Use: YES

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, to legalize adult use marijuana, has been controversial in the cannabis community.  We have heard two basic arguments against this proposition.

 The first is that it has the potential to put small growers out of business by allowing large grows and growers in the market. The logic behind this argument is that small growers would not be able to compete.  We do not buy this argument.  Marijuana is an artisanal plant product. More so than with almost any other agricultural product, medical marijuana patients are obsessed with the quality of each individual plant. A large outdoor operation will never be able to duplicate the quality of a marijuana cultivated in a controlled, indoor environment, and consumer demands for quality will only increase.  Therefore just as there continues to be demand for artisan grown tomatoes, strawberries and other produce, we see no reason why there will not continue to be demand for artisan farmed marijuana.  What may occur is that prices of marijuana, in general, will decrease, and while some growers may see this as a problem, as a patient advocacy organization, we believe that lower overall prices of marijuana will allow for better access for the patient community.  

The second argument we have heard, that Proposition 64 will criminalize patients, simply does not reflect the reality of this initiative.  Under this initiative, every single marijuana related act, with the exception to sales to minors will be less subject to significantly lower penalties with personal use and commercial activity with a license becoming legal activities.  The majority of actions that would today result in a felony – sales, distribution and cultivation without a license, would be misdemeanors under the new law. Sales, cultivation distribution and cultivation licenses will be granted to allow for the regulated commercial sale of adult use marijuana.  Proposition 64 strengthens patient protections granted by Proposition 215, by making marijuana consumption legal - a vast improvement over the affirmative defense currently allowed under state law.  Moreover, marijuana will no longer be a determining factor in child custody battles, and patients around the state will benefit since jurisdiction will be forced to allow personal cultivation of up to six plants per household, where today there is a ban on any medical marijuana cultivation in the majority of California cities.

We share the opponents concern with the 15% excise tax for marijuana cultivation, since this tax will also effect medical marijuana. However, this initiative gives the state legislature the opportunity to adjust these taxes, and we will be lobbying for this tax to be lowered, if this Proposition is to pass.

Proposition 64 will get patients out of jail and stop patients from going to jail in the future.  It will lower the commercial price of marijuana, and it will fund further research into the medical benefits of marijuana. 

No proposition is perfect, but the big picture improvements are well worth the smaller issues that we have identified.

This will be a huge leap forward for patients and society. We urge you to vote “Yes” on Proposition 64.

Prop. 66, Removes Legal Safeguards for Inmates: NO

Proposition 66 would remove avenues for death penalty inmates to challenge their sentences.  It would leave prisoners with less avenues for justice.  With marijuana being a factor in so many convictions, we believe that every legal protection available must be afforded to all inmates in the state.

CITY MEASURES

Measure N, Lets City Tax Marijuana if Legalized: YES

Measure N would allow San Diego City to place an 8% - 15% tax on adult use marijuana in San Diego City. We support this measure for a few reasons. Firstly, by pre-emptively taxing adult use marijuana the city council would be providing itself with an incentive to license adult use marijuana, something that is only optional under Proposition 64, and we are in favor of Adult Use licensing.

Moreover, by specifically excluding medical marijuana from their proposal, the City of San Diego recognizes medical marijuana patients as a protected class. This respect for medical marijuana patients and their rights is unique among California cities and should be encouraged.

We are concerned that a potential 15% gross tax on adult use marijuana could be high enough to encourage a black market, so we hope that the city chooses not to tax at this level, but for the reasons state above, we endorse Measure N.

Measure U, Allows La Mesa Medical Marijuana Activity: YES

Citizens for Patient Rights is proud to be the sponsoring committee of Measure U which would allow medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivation and manufacturing in appropriate commercial and industrial zones in La Mesa. 

Measure V, Allows Lemon Grove Medical Marijuana Dispensaries: YES

Citizens for Patient Rights is proud to be the sponsoring committee of Measure U which would allow medical marijuana dispensaries in appropriate commercial and industrial zones in La Mesa.  

SAN DIEGO COUNTY MEDICAL MARIJUANA VOTERS GUIDE – 2016 PRIMARY ELECTION

posted May 23, 2016, 11:53 AM by Citizens For Patients Rights   [ updated Jun 1, 2016, 3:20 PM ]

We are proud to once again announce our medical marijuana patients and advocates voter guide for the 2016 primary election.  Below are our recommendations for safe access in San Diego County: 

Please note: A * denotes a strategically critical race in this election season.  This is usually a close contest with a clear choice for and against safe access.

Federal Offices

President of the United States - Senator Bernie Sanders

The easiest race to decide an endorsement. Senator Bernie Sanders deserves credit for being the first major presidential candidate in history to support outright legalization of marijuana. Speaking at a town hall meeting last year, Sanders declared, “It is time to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol, it is time to end the arrests of so many people and the destruction of so many lives for possessing marijuana.” He followed up by introducing the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act,” to let states regulate marijuana. Speaking to Californians, Bernie also endorsed the AUMA legalization initiative that will be on the ballot in November.

United States Senator - Representative Loretta Sanchez (D)*

Two Democratic candidates are leading the race for the seat of retiring Sen. Boxer. Rep. Loretta Sanchez of Orange County has been a consistent supporter of medical marijuana over the years. Since joining the House in 1997, she has compiled a near perfect voting record on marijuana and drug reform issues, the longest such record of any Southern California Democrat. Asked in a debate about what the she would do in Washington to reduce crime in California, she replied, “First of all, I believe that we need to get the federal government to get marijuana off of schedule one.” At times, Sanchez has a tendency to let her tongue outrace the bounds of political discretion. When interest in legalization first heated up in California, she suggested that the state explore a pilot program of legalized, regulated marijuana, but quietly retreated after getting zero support from her colleagues.

Attorney General Kamala Harris is staunchly progressive, but cautious when it comes to marijuana. As A.G., she did disappointingly little on behalf of medical marijuana, rebuffing requests to join other states in filing a rescheduling petition with the federal government. More seriously, Harris failed to speak up against the federal crackdown on dispensaries in California, despite the fact that as former District Attorney of San Francisco she should have known that the city’s dispensaries were working well and the federal charges against them were bogus. Running for re-election, Harris waved off a question about legalization with a laugh, but later said she is “not opposed” to it and even sees it as “inevitable”. Speaking recently at the Democratic convention, Harris called the war on drugs “a failure” and called for ending the federal ban on medical marijuana. Most likely Harris would vote well enough in the Senate, but her lack of leadership in the state has been troubling.

House of Representatives

California 49 - Doug Applegate (D)

Darrell Issa, the sitting congressional representative in this district has been terrible on the issue of medical marijuana access.  He has voted against every federal legislation to relieve federal prosecution of medical marijuana patients.  He openly advocated for the DOJ crackdown on state MMJ laws.   Doug Applegate is his strongest challenger.  Therefore, in protest of Darrell Issa’s horrific track record, we urge you to vote for Doug Applegate.

California 50 - Duncan D. Hunter (R, Incumbent)

Duncan Hunter has consistently voted for pro-medical marijuana legislation.  He also co-sponsored the “Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2015”, the “CARERS Act” and “Charlotte's Web Medical Access Act of 2015” and for this he has earned our endorsement.

California 51 - Juan Vargas (D, Incumbent)

Incumbent Congressman Juan Vargas has not been vocal on the issue of medical marijuana, but his voting record in congress has been consistently positive.

California 52 - Scott Peters (D, Incumbent)

Incumbent congressman Scott Peters has been consistently voted for the rights of medical marijuana patients.  He also has actively engaged with the local medical marijuana community, sending representatives to local meetings of Americans for Safe Access and openly advocating for patients’ rights. He also co-sponsored the “Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act of 2015”.

California 53 - Susan Davis (D, Incumbent)

We are endorsing Susan Davis for Congress because she has consistently voted for pro-access legislation in Congress.  That said, she has not been a vocal advocate, nor has she cosponsored any bills in favor of medical marijuana access or patients.  We would like to see her to more in the future.

California Legislature

Senate, District 39 - Toni Atkins (D)

Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins has been a staunch supporter of medical marijuana patients right since long before her time in the California State Legislature.  She championed the medical marijuana regulation and safety act, and has consistently voted in favor of patients right and safe access. We enthusiastically endorse her for state Senate.

Assembly, District 71 – No Endorsement

The incumbent Assemblymember, Brian Jones, has a very mixed record when it comes to supporting medical marijuana legislation in the state legislature.  His two opponents are also anti-access, and openly oppose safe access in the district.  With no good options, we suggest sitting this race out.

Assembly, District 75 - Andrew Masiel (D)

Incumbent Marie Walderon has been, at best, a mixed bag on medical marijuana issues, and voted against access as a councilmember of Escondido.  We suggest taking a gamble on her opponent Native American Andrew Masiel.  

Assembly, District 76 – No Endorsement

Incumbent Assemblymember Rocky Chavez is running unopposed.  He has a mixed record on supporting safe access, albeit slightly better than that of his Republican colleagues in the Assembly.  We hope it will continue to improve.

Assembly, District 77 - Melinda Vásquez (D)

Progressive candidate Melinda Vazquez is running against the incumbent Brian Maienschein, who has a fairly poor record in regards to medical marijuana access and patient support. We believe that Melinda Vasquez could do far better.

Assembly, District 78 - Todd Gloria (D)

Todd Gloria has been a staunch supporter of medical marijuana patients and rights during his time a councilmember in San Diego City and we look forward to him continuing this work in the State Legislature.

Assembly, District 79 -Shirley Weber (D, Incumbent)

We strongly support incumbent assembly member Shirley Weber for re-election.  She has been a strong supporter of medical marijuana patients’ rights and, as an African American woman, she has been quick to highlight the use of drug laws to persecute the African American community in California.  Shirley Weber, keep up the good work!

Assembly, District 80 - Lorena Gonzalez (D, Incumbent)

Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez is a passionate and dedicated assemblymember who is not afraid to advocate very vocally, and very strongly, for the causes she feels most passionate about. And while she has consistently voted for medical marijuana access, we wish that she would adopt this issue as one of her core priorities, because she could be one heck of an advocate in the state assembly.  We recommend voting for Lorena Gonzalez, and we recommend that patients and advocates continue to work with her and speak to her about the urgency and importance of this issue.

County & City

San Diego County Board of Supervisors

District 1 - Greg Cox (R, Incumbent)

We do not love incumbent Greg Cox, but he has been on the better side of the horrible votes taken by the board of supervisors on this issue.  He voted to create a medical marijuana ordinance and he was against a permanent ban to rescind it.  Therefore he has our un-enthusiastic support.

District 2 - Rudy Reyes (D)

We recommend medical marijuana advocate Rudy Reyes against incumbent Diane Jacobs. Rudy Reyes was the lead plaintiff  in class-action  lawsuit  against county officials, alleging violations of patients' rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act by their refusal to regulate the use of medical marijuana. His successful suit forced the County of San Diego to issue medical marijuana ID cards and set an important precedent to allow medical marijuana access for patients in every county in California.

His candidacy is a long shot, but the incumbent, Diane Jacobs, has consistently voted against safe access, and a vote for Rudy Reyes is a vote against Diane Jacobs.

District 3 - Dave Roberts (D, Incumbent) *

Incumbent Dave Roberts has not been the advocate could be on this issue.  We wish he would have the courage to be when it comes to medical marijuana access. That said, he also helped squash the calls for a permanent ban on medical marijuana access in the county in the recent round of votes.  Without him there, the situation may have been a lot worse.    His opponents, Kirstin Gespar and Sam Abed are outspoken prohibitionist who have fought medical marijuana in the previous positions.  Therefore, while we are not overly enthusiastic about Dave Roberts, his re-election is a top priority to ensure continued medical marijuana access in unincorporated San Diego County.

City of San Diego Mayor - Lori Saldaña (I), Ed Harris(D) or Kevin Faulconer(D)

Independent mayoral candidate Lori Saldana has been an outspoken advocate of medical marijuana access, both in her time at the state assembly and in public forums.  She has paid multiple visits to the local meetings of Americans for Safe Access, and the Association of Cannabis Professionals to promote her candidacy.  She would undoubtedly be our strongest advocate as mayor.

Democratic Mayoral Candidate Ed Harris also had a positive track record to preserve safe access in San Diego City in his time as interim councilmember in San Diego.  He also spoke at a recent forum of the Association of Cannabis Professionals and pledged to be an independent voice willing to support safe access in the city.

Giving credit where credit is due, incumbent mayor Kevin Faulconer has not acted against safe access in San Diego City.  And while that bar may appear low, when every other city in San Diego County rushed to ban all marijuana activity, San Diego City stood firm in its commitment to providing safe access. While the city council has not yet passed any proposals to support the supply chain of the existing dispensaries, no laws have been passed that permanently inhibit this from happening, and for this, we are grateful.

San Diego City Council

District 1 - Barbara Bry (D)*

Democrat Barbara Bry is locked in a very tight race against Republican Ray Ellis for control of city council.  This should matter to the medical marijuana community because Ray Ellis believes that marijuana is a gateway drug, while Barbara Bry believes in the medicinal potential of marijuana.  San Diego City Council will continue to revise its medical marijuana regulations in the future and sympathetic councilmembers will be key.  Therefore, we urge you to vote for Barbara Bry. 

District 3 - Chris Ward (D)

Candidate Chris Ward appeared before the Association of Cannabis Professionals to promote his candidacy.  He spoke very knowledgably about the zoning issues facing medical marijuana dispensaries and had thoughtfull solutions, as well as a commitment to addressing the issue.  Opponent Anthony Bernal did not respond to the invitation to speak, and in a recent interview with the times of San Diego, he appeared to be content with the current medical marijuana zoning regulations that do not allow for any safe access in District 3.  Therefore, we recommend voting for Chris Ward.

http://sandiegodowntownnews.com/district-3-candidates-answer-11-tough-questions/

District 5 - Fotios “Frank” Tsimboukakis (D)

We would like to endorse incumbent Mark Kearsey in this race. However, despite painting himself as a pro-business, libertarian, while he has not voted against medical marijuana access, he has also refused to champion it, or even speak about it, in any meaningful way. 

Opponent Frank Tsimboukakis has pledged to fight for medical marijuana access, and has past safe access initiatives.  Vote for Frank Tsimboukakis for District 5.

District 7 - Jose Caballero(D), Justin A. DeCesare(D) or Scott Sherman(R)

Democratic Candidates Jose Caballero and Justin DeCesare both attended meetings of the Association of Cannabis Professionals to speak about their candidacies. They both pledged to be revisit zoning for medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego City, and were open to more access in District 7.  Jose Caballero was the stronger advocate, speaking clearly about the benefits of medical marijuana for PTSD in his fellow veterans.

That said, incumbent Scott Sherman has not been against access. And while we wish he would be a stronger advocate, he has openly spoken about the medical benefits that he has seen in hospice patients first hand. He is not the strongest candidate in this race, but it would also not be fair to rate him as unacceptable.

District 9 – Ricardo Flores(D) or Georgette Gomez(D)

There are three main candidates running in District 9 - Ricardo Flores, Georgette Gomez and Sarah Saenz.  Two, Ricardo Flores and Georgette Gomez, accepted the invitation to speak at the meeting of the association of Cannabis Professionals.  Georgette Gomez was the most knowledgeable regarding local policy at the meeting.  Ricardo did however, did commit to doing the research to learn the details of the local zoning policy, and proceeded to correspond and further discuss these policies and his vision to enact better policies with ACP leadership and members in the following weeks.

Sarah Saenz also supports medical marijuana access. However, she was given repeated invitations to speak at the Association of Cannabis Professionals, but chose not to appear. Therefore, we feel it is only appropriate to endorse Georgette Gomez or Ricardo Flores, the candidates that chose to address the group.

Whomever wins, we are confident that we will have a safe access advocate in District 9.

City Attorney - Rafael Castellanos (D) , Gil Cabrera (D) or Bryan Pease (D)

City Attorney candidates Rafael Castellanos, Gil Cabrera and Bryan Pease all came to forums hosted by the association of Cannabis Professionals to address their vision for medical marijuana policy implementation by the City attorney’s office.  They all pledged to address some of the drafting issues present in the current medical marijuana ordinance.  Bryan Pease went a step further to pledge no prosecution against dispensaries operating out of zoning compliance from his office.

City Attorney candidate Mara Elliot was unable to attend, but we expect she would continue to operate in the mode of her current boss, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, who, while he has not been against medical marijuana, has not pro-actively addressed issues that have been found with the San Diego City Zoning Ordinance.

We strongly urge you to vote against Robert Hickey, a law and order career prosecutor who pledges to “keep criminals in jail”.  We unfortunately suspect his idea of criminals may very well include medical marijuana patients and providers.

Ballot Measures

State Proposition 50: California Suspension of Legislators

No Recommendation – no meaningful impact on medical marijuana access.

San Diego (Propositions A-H are revisions to the City Charter)

We do not have any recommendations regarding the revisions to the San Diego City Charter or other San Diego City ballot propositions, since they do not appear to address safe access in any meaningful way.

Education Elections

San Diego Community College Board

District D - Alyce Pipkin-Allen

San Diego Unified School Board

District A - John Lee Evans   (D, Incumbent)

District D - Richard Barrera  (D, Incumbent)

District E - LaShae Collins  (D)

Democratic Central Committee

Democratic Central Committee, Assembly District 71

Eric Hereford, Chris Pearson, Christina “Tina” Rynberg

Democratic Central Committee, Assembly District 76

Evelyn Thomas, Richard L. Duquette, Michael Bullock

Democratic Central Committee, Assembly District 77

 Michael Gelfand, Tommy Hough, Octavio Aguilar

Democratic Central Committee, Assembly District 78

Dallin Young, Becca Taylor, Bryan Pease, Suzie Ditmars, Gerry Senda

Democratic Central Committee, 79th Assembly District

David Warmoth, Lori Kern, Mickey Kasparian, Jessica Hayes, Colin Parent, Danny Ortiz

Democratic Central Committee, 80th Assembly District

Michelle Krug, David Alvarez, Roberto Alcantar, Rudy Vargas lima, Alberto Velazquez, Vivian Moreno

Republican Central Committee

We do not have enough information to provide recommendations for Republican Central Committee at this time.

 

Reference:

http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/CAStateScorecard2014.html

http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/DPFCACongressionalScoredcard2013-4-1.html

http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/votersguide0616.html

 


Medical Marijuana will be on the Ballot in Encinitas and La Mesa!

posted Aug 25, 2014, 2:32 PM by Citizens For Patients Rights

This November, ballot initiatives to allow and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries will be on the ballot in Encinitas and La Mesa! Citizens for Patient Rights is proud to support these initiatives - Measure F in Encinitas and Measure J in La Mesa

Check out our webpages for these efforts, to find out how you can support these important initiatives: 
Measure F in Encinitas - http://www.regulateEncinitas.org
Measure J in La Mesa - http://www.regulateLaMesa.org

Good News Wednesday – Public Safety Committee Rejects Ban on Concentrates and Edibles (Again) and La Mesa Medical Marijuana Dispensary Access & Regulation Campaign Gets Democratic Party Endorsement

posted Jul 16, 2014, 7:55 PM by Citizens For Patients Rights

Public Safety Committee Rejects Ban on Concentrates and Edibles (Again)

Today, at the meeting of the public safety committee for San Diego City Council, committee chair Marti Emerald, again, proposed a ban on medical concentrates and edibles in San Diego City. Numerous patients, advocates and patient organizations gave testimony in opposition to this ban, sharing their stories about why access to non-smokable forms of marijuana medicine are important to them.

 

Patient voices were heard by councilmembers.  Chairwoman Emerald failed to gain a second on her motion to ban concentrates and edibles.  Councilwoman Cole then made a motion to move forward without the ban on concentrates and edibles. Councilman Harris seconded her motion.  Councilman Kersey then voted with them to move forward without the ban, with only Chairwoman Emerald in opposition.

The councilmembers did say that they would consider taking up this issue again in November, if the state fails to pass relevant public safety standards for medical marijuana concentrates and edibles.

 

We salute the public safety members for their recognition and commitment to safe guarding access to all forms of medical marijuana medicine for the most vulnerable patients.

 

La Mesa Medical Marijuana Dispensary Access & Regulation Campaign Gets Democratic Party Endorsement

This November, there will be initiatives to allow and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries on the ballot in the cities of Encinitas and La Mesa . On Tuesday night, the La Mesa campaign received the endorsement of the San Diego County Democratic Party!  This is one of the most important endorsements that the campaign can receive in the City of La Mesa, where the majority of voters are Democrats.

The Encinitas Medical Marijuana Campaign will be considered for endorsement by the San Diego County Democratic Party in August.

The La Mesa and Encinitas Medical Marijuana campaigns have also received the support of the Green Party, CANORML and Judge James Gray.  More endorsements are coming soon…

 

If you would like more information on the La Mesa or Encinitas medical marijuana dispensary campaigns, email info@citizens4patientrights.org or call (858) 598-4215.   More information can also be found on the website http://www.citizens4patientrights.org

La Mesa Medical Marijuana Initiative Receives Democratic Party Endorsement

posted Jul 15, 2014, 10:14 PM by Citizens For Patients Rights

This evening, the Central Committee of the San Diego County Democratic Party voted to endorse the La Mesa Initiative for Medical Marijuana Access and Regulation. The east county caucus of the Democratic Central committee had previously voted unanimously to recommend endorsement, and this evening the main Central Committee voted to endorse the initiative. 

The San Diego County Green Party has also voted to endorse the initiative, as has CANORML. 

We are looking forward to many more endorsements in the near future as the La Mesa Campaign for Medical Marijuana Access and Regulation gathers steam!

2014 Primary Election - Medical Marijuana Voters' Guide

posted May 23, 2014, 9:51 PM by Citizens For Patients Rights   [ updated May 23, 2014, 10:13 PM ]

Medical Marijuana Supporters’ Endorsements in San Diego County

Contents

State Office Holders.

Lieutenant Governor - Gavin Newsom

State Controller - Betty Yee

38th State Senate District - Fotios Tsimboukakis

78th State Assembly District - Toni Atkins.

79th State Assembly District – Dr. Shirley Weber

80th State Assembly District - Lorena Gonzalez

County of San Diego.

County Supervisor District 5 - Jim Wood.

District Attorney - Bob Brewer

San Diego County Judge Office No. 20 - Carla Keehn

City Council

San Diego City Council Seat 2 - Sarah Boot

San Diego City Council Seat 4 - Myrtle Cole

Seat 6 - No Endorsement (At This Time)

Seat 8 - David Alvarez

Propositions

Yes on Proposition 42

 

State Office Holders

Lieutenant Governor - Gavin Newsom

As mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom was a strong champion of medical marijuana patients’ rights and access. As Lieutenant Governor, he has done nothing to betray this stance. Therefore, we endorse the incumbent, Gavin Newsome

State Controller - Betty Yee

As a member of the State Board of Equalization, Betty Yee has been one of the strongest voices in state government in favor of medical marijuana. Therefore, we would be happy for her to continue to give her strong voice as controller, where she will have an even larger platform to be a champion for patients’ rights.

38th State Senate District - Fotios Tsimboukakis

Incumbent Joel Anderson has consistently voted against medical marijuana access in the state senate. Challenger Fotios Tsimboukakis public statement is as follows: “It's a waste of time to fight something that used to be legal in this country and a lot of people used it and use it.. They should regulate MJ the same way Colorado and Washington states have.  I mean most of the medical marijuana users I have known just had to pay the doc to get the prescription - a mockery of the system. Instead of hiding behind our fingers go the way of the two states I mentioned. I mean I don't see that same strong opposition to cigarette usage and we all know it kills many and is more addictive.” Hear Yee, Hear Yee, Fotios for State Senate!

78th State Assembly District - Toni Atkins

We are thrilled that Toni Atkins, a consistent, outspoken supporter of medical marijuana access, is our new speaker of the assembly and we hope she uses this new platform to support the rights of patients at a state level.

79th State Assembly District – Dr. Shirley Weber

 Dr Shirley Weber recognizes the horribly negative consequences that prejudicial and selective enforcement of drug laws has had on minorities in the state of California, and has voted in favor of regulated access and patients’ rights at a state level.

80th State Assembly District - Lorena Gonzalez

Lorena Gonzalez comes from a union background, which have traditionally been supporters of medical marijuana access. In her short time in the assembly, she has voted for statewide regulated access to marijuana medicine.

County of San Diego

County Supervisor District 5 - Jim Wood

Mayor Jim Wood has been one of the more thoughtful voices on the Oceanside city council regarding medical marijuana, and has no personal opposition to it.  Incumbent candidate Bill Horn has been consistently against access on the board of supervisors. Therefore, we endorse Jim Wood.

District Attorney - Bob Brewer

In the last race Bonnie Dumanis participated in, medical marijuana advocates campaign for "Anyone BUT Dumanis", who has spent her twelve years as district attorney persecuting and prosecuting legitimate patients following California state law. Luckily, this time around, we have a real alternative - Bob Brewer, who has, since the beginning of his campaign, reached out repeatedly to patients and advocate. He has pledged to be fair and un-biasly respect state laws regarding the rights of medical marijuana, and this is more than enough for our endorsement.

San Diego County Judge Office No. 20 - Carla Keehn

Judges are, generally, former prosecutors, and this can lead to an unconscious bias in favor of the prosecution. Carla Keehn was a public defendant for many years before becoming joining the DA's office, and in the DA's office, she worked on rehabilitation, not punishment. She currently coordinates the federal diversion program that gives nonviolent drug offenders the option of treatment instead of jail. We like the perspective and open-mindedness we hope that experience will bring. 

City Council

San Diego City Council Seat 2 - Sarah Boot

Lori Zapf, while voting for the medical marijuana zoning regulation after proposing and getting approval for a cap of four dispensaries per district, has never been a friend to medical marijuana patients, and has taken refuge in such platitudes as "if they want it as medicine, it should be licensed through a pharmacy" and "I voted for Prop 215, but I never expected it to be so abused".  This ignorance is intentional, not due to lack of education. Sarah Boot, on the other hand, has been willing to speak, and listen, to medical marijuana patients and advocates, and while we hardly expect her to be the best proponent on city council, she could certainly do better than Lori Zapf.

San Diego City Council Seat 4 - Myrtle Cole

Myrtle Cole was not a proponent of medical marijuana in her city council race, and has expressed concerns regarding the opposition that certain pastors in her district have to dispensaries.  That said, she showed great compassion and bravery during a recent Public Safety Committee meeting, when she led the opposition to a proposed ban on edibles. And for this, she has earned our respect and appreciation.

Seat 6 - No Endorsement (At This Time)

No candidates have yet made any public statements regarding medical marijuana. This may change prior to the election, and we'll let you know if it does.

Seat 8 - David Alvarez

David Alvarez has consistently been a strong proponent citywide for medical marijuana access, both in his position on the city council, and in his recent run for mayor.  During the city council meeting to establish dispensary zoning, he spoke up against the proposed cap on dispensaries in each district and spoke instead in favor of allowing a minimum number of dispensaries in each district. We are grateful for his support of patients.

Propositions

Yes on Proposition 42

Prop. 42 would codify the obligation of all government agencies to comply with all aspects of the California Public Records Act, which requires disclosure of government records upon request. It would do the same for the Brown Act, which requires that meetings of local legislative bodies be properly noticed and open to the public.

Since institutional medical marijuana opponents, such as police departments and pharmaceutical companies often use their influence to stop us from reversing bad drug policy, more transparency can only be a good thing.

San Diego Public Safety Hearing on Medical Marijuana Products!

posted Apr 12, 2014, 9:53 AM by Citizens For Patients Rights

Public Safety Hearing on Medical Marijuana Products
Wednesday, April 16th at 2pm
City Council Committee Room, 12th Floor, San Diego City Hall
202 C ST, San Diego, CA 92101
More Information: (858) 598-4215
 
Next Wednesday, April 16th at 2pm, the  Public Safety Committee will be looking into further regulations of medical marijuana in San Diego City. 
 
 Specifically, they will be looking at further regulations of the production and sales of edibles, concentrates and other medical marijuana products, as well as a wide range of other possible regulations, including further restrictions on labeling and testing for medical marijuana products, delivery and cultivation regulations.   
 
Help us convince San Diego City not to limit patients' access to edibles and concentrates.  If you are a patient who benefits from medical marijuana edibles, lozenges, tinctures, vaporized oils or other alternative delivery form, please attend and tell the City Councilmembers how these forms of medicine helps you and why it is important to have choices!
 
We also need to hear from medical marijuana product manufacturers and product experts about how hash oil and other concentrated products can be safely extracted without butane. 
 
We need to hear from doctors and other experts as to why different medical marijuana forms and products are needed by different patients. 
 
If you represent a mmj testing laboratory, the council needs input on how potency levels are measured and how contaminants can be detected. 
 
San Diego City has recently passed very restrictive zoning regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries. This zoning ordinance and along with an mmj public safety ordinance will be implemented, for the first time, later this month. 
 
 We urge all patients to attend, and tell the city councilmembers to give their existing regulations a chance to function, before examining further punitive measures. 
 
If you would like to speak, we need your voice. Please join us at 2pm on Wednesday for the public safety committee meeting.  Anyone will be allowed to speak during public comment for the agenda item.  You don't need to have a speech or be formal -  just stand up and say what is on your mind in a few sentences.  
 
We hope to see you there! Please invite other sympathetic patients to attend as well!

San Diego City Council To Vote on Medical Marijuana Regulations!

posted Feb 22, 2014, 3:56 PM by Citizens For Patients Rights

2pm on Tuesday, February 25th
City Council Chambers, 12th Floor of City Hall
202 C St, San Diego, CA 92101

On Tuesday, February 25th, at 2pm, the San Diego City Council is scheduled to vote on medical marijuana regulations to allow a limited number of medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego City. The proposed regulations would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to exist in various areas of the city, but in very limited numbers. They will also be considering amendments that could make this already restrictive regulation even more restrictive.  We need you to urge them to amend to allow more access, not less. 

Please attend this very important City Council meeting to let the City Council know how important medical marijuana access is to you in your community!  The City Council needs to here YOUR voice urging them to do the right thing -  allow marijuana medicine to sick patients in all parts of San Diego City. 

Even if you do not wish to speak, please attend. Just by being present at this meeting, you can give additional time to other pro-medical marijuana speakers to help them make the case for safe access.

February 25th - Medical Marijuana Regulation Goes before San Diego City Council!

posted Feb 18, 2014, 1:11 PM by Cynara Velazquez

Next Tuesday, February 25th, the San Diego City Council is scheduled to vote on medical marijuana regulations to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego City. The proposed regulations would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to exist in various areas of the city, but in very limited numbers.  Please contact your city councilmember and let them know how important medical marijuana access is to you! 

Please urge the city council to pass regulation to permanently allow medical marijuana access to patients in all areas of San Diego City.  And urge them to add amend this legislation to allow more access, not less, for the patients of San Diego City. 

Here is the contact information for your city councilmembers: 

DistrictCouncilmemberCommunitiesPhone #Email
1Sherri LightnerLa Jolla, UTC, Del Mar Heights, Carmel Valley, …(619) 236-6611sherrilightner@sandiego.gov
2Kevin FaulconerPacific Beach, Bay Park, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, Point Loma, etc..(619) 236-6622kevinfaulconer@sandiego.gov
3Todd GloriaHillcrest, North Park, South Park, Old Town, Little Italy, Downtown, etc..(619) 236-6633toddgloria@sandiego.gov
4Myrtle ColeSoutheast San Diego, Encanto, Oak Park, Paradise Hills, Valencia, etc..(619) 236-6644myrtlecole@sandiego.gov
5Mark KerseyRancho Bernardo, Scripps Ranch, Rancho Penasquitos, Black Mountain, etc..(619) 236-6655markkersey@sandiego.gov
6Lorie ZapfClairemont Mesa, Mira Mesa, Miramar(619) 236-6616loriezapf@sandiego.gov
7Scott ShermanMission Valley, Tierra Santa, Allied Gardens, Lake Murray, …(619) 236-6677scottsherman@sandiego.gov
8David AlvarezBarrio Logan, Nestor, Otay, San Ysidro, …619) 236-6688davidalvarez@sandiego.gov
9Marti EmeraldCollege Area, City Heights, Kensington, Southcrest, Mnt. Hope(619) 236-6699martiemerald@sandiego.gov


Please contact your city councilmember and please attend next Tuesday's city council meeting to speak on behalf of medical marijuana access! 

Support Safe Access - Vote David Alvarez for San Diego City Mayor!

posted Nov 14, 2013, 10:27 AM by Citizens For Patients Rights

Vote on November 19th!
  • Consistent Ally on City Council
    • Supported former Mayor Filner's proposal for safe access
    •  Voted against restrictive regulations in 2011
  • Consistent, Outspoken, Supporter of Medical Marijuana
    • The only major candidate, in mayoral race, to consistently voice his support of medical marijuana patients and patient access throughout San Diego City
    • Speaks in favor of access at all debates, forums and media
  • Consistent Engagement With Medical Marijuana Community
    • First major candidate, in special election, to attend a meeting of San Diego American's for Safe Access
    • Regular engagement with patients at community office hours
    • Consistently  solicits input of medical marijuana community before major votes on medical marijuana issues 

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