|Graphic: Fox 5|
Medical marijuana advocates have responded with shock and concern at a draconian proposal that would create strict new rules for medical marijuana collectives in unincorporated areas of San Diego County.
According to advocates, the ordinance, as drafted, threatens to cut off San Diego patients’ access to medical marijuana by making compliance with the absurdly too-strict rules almost impossible.
After a draft county ordinance was revealed by the North County Times on Monday, advocacy groups and patients pointed out that, apparently, no patients at all had been consulted during — or even informed of! — the creation of the draft ordinance.
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors’ required public comment period is set to close Friday, April 2.
|Photo: San Diego News Network|
|Eugene Davidovich: “The public comment period must be extended so that patients, caregivers and other concerned residents can weigh in”|
”San Diego County developed this draft ordinance in secret, without patient or public input,” said Eugene Davidovich, San Diego coordinator of Americans for Safe Access (ASA). “Having only leaked word of the draft ordinance on Monday, it’s unacceptable for the county to close the public comment period on Friday.”
“The public comment period must be extended so that patients, caregivers and other concerned residents can weigh in,” Davidovich said.
“We applaud the county for acknowledging the need for regulation, but the board must consider patients’ rights to safe access and privacy,” said Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, Southern California deputy state director for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA).
“Ensuring safe access for medical marijuana patients across the country is a matter of compassion,” said the Reverend Canon Mary Moreno Richardson of San Diego’s St. Paul’s Cathedral and Interfaith Drug Policy Initiative, the nation’s leading interfaith drug policy reform organization.
In stark contrast to the actions of San Diego County, the city of San Diego has conducted a much more open process, with significant input from patients, business owners, legal experts and community residents, according to activists.
Community advocates encourage the county to increase the transparency of the process and to extend the public comment period through the month of April.