Activists in the last week have filed initiative proposals to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in Encinitas, Solana Beach, Lemon Grove and La Mesa, all cities in north and east San Diego County, California. Another ballot initiative is in the process of being filed in Del Mar.
Citizens for Patient Rights, in association with the Patient Care Association, announced that they are expanding their direct democracy campaign for safe access to sympathetic communities around San Diego County.
”The voters in these communities have been very supportive of medical marijuana and ending our nonsensical drug policies, as shown by their high support for Proposition 19 in 2010,” explained Cynara Velazquez, campaign coordinator for the initiative campaigns.
“We felt that this was an excellent opportunity to give patients in all regions of the county safe, reasonable access to the medicinal cannabis they need,” said James Schmachtenberger, chair of the Patient Care Association, which will be supporting these initiatives.
The initiatives being filed in the smaller communities are all very similar in content. The proposals limit compassionate use dispensaries to commercial and industrial zones, establish operating standards for dispensaries, allow the cities to levy cost recovery fees for any costs incurred with the regulation of dispensaries, and impose a 2.5 percent tax on medical marijuana sold from dispensaries for the cities’ general funds.
The goal is to qualify all five initiatives for the November ballot.
The initiative efforts in these smaller cities will need significantly fewer signatures in order to qualify for the ballots than the initiative for compassionate use dispensary regulation, also being run by Citizens for Patient Rights, in the City of San Diego.
While it takes 62,057 signatures to qualify a ballot measure in the City of San Diego, the combined total of valid signatures needed to qualify ballot measures in all communities will be less than 10,000. In Del Mar, an initiative can qualify for the ballot with just 303 valid signatures.
The San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access is also gathering signatures for a separate initiative proposal for medical marijuana access in Imperial Beach. If all initiatives were to qualify, medical marijuana access may be on the ballot in seven municipalities in San Diego County this fall.
The text of the proposed ballot initiatives can be found here: