On July 18th, at the Del Mar City Council Meeting, the Del Mar City Council voted to place the citizens’ initiative for safe access to medical marijuana in Del Mar on the November ballot.
This was done despite a very flawed and extremely prejudice impact report presented to the council by Deputy City Attorney Robert , who had previously filed lawsuits against medical marijuana dispensaries in the cities of Del Mar and Murrietta.
The report failed to examine impacts related to patient access, did not give any estimations of patient size or current access or the economic impacts of sales and taxation. Instead, it was a legal opinion against medical marijuana presented limited court opinions against medical marijuana, while ignoring the plethora of court opinions affirming its use.
Amongst other bias statements, the report summary concluded, “Distribution of marijuana is not authorized by California medical marijuana laws” and “Dispensary operations are targets of crime and will increase public safety costs”. The report also categorized the regulation of dispensaries by the City of Del Mar as a threat to federal grant money, despite not being able to cite a single instance where a California City regulating medical marijuana dispensaries had ever been denied a federal grant.
“I hope that the city attorney will be able to present an impartial analysis of the measure for the ballot, as required by law,” stated local resident Martha Sullivan, “but given the prejudice nature of this report, I am very skeptical that this will happen”.
“We are very disappointed in this report”, stated James Schmachtenberger, president of the Patient Care Association, “It would be very hard for any City Council to objectively examine this ballot initiative when presented with such obviously bias information.”
Nonetheless, the City Council did indeed vote to put the measure on the November ballot.
“We are very sorry that the City Council chose not to allow themselves an impartial examination of this issue,” stated Cynara Velazquez, campaign consultant for Citizens for Patient Rights, “however tonight is a huge victory for the voters of Del Mar, the will of the over 10% of Del Mar residents who signed this initiative, and the patients of Del Mar.“