San Diego Americans for Safe Access Rally to Urge Mayor Participation in Task Force

by Eugene Davidovich

As the San Diego Medical Marijuana Task Force (MMTF) prepares to meet on Friday November 6, 2009 for the fourth time to deliberate on regulations for the operation of medical marijuana collectives and cooperatives in the city, the Mayor o San Diego still refuses to sit down and work with patients and community members to come up with sensible regulations.

Although urged by members of the San Diego City Council and hundreds of patients, the Mayor, Chief of Police, and the District Attorney have refused to participate and have gone as far as insinuating that the laws we have in place are clear enough, and that there is no need for further clarification.

Majority of San Diego citizens do not agree. As last poll discussed by the task force last week showed, an overwhelming majority of residents in San Diego support regulating medical marijuana dispensing collectives and cooperatives rather than simply eradicating them as Bonnie Dumanis has been doing since 2003.

Tuesday, November 3. 2009 members of San Diego Americans for Safe Access (ASA), patients, and concerned citizen alike gathered outside of the Mayor’s office to urge his participation in the task force.

The morning began with members of San Diego ASA delivering a letter to Mayor Jerry Sanders:

Dear Mayor Sanders,

While the San Diego Medical Marijuana Task Force has already met four times, your office’s presence has been lacking.

As a recent poll has shown, the majority of the city supports sensible regulations for medical cannabis dispensing collectives and cooperatives. In fact in San Diego alone there are an estimated 60,000 cannabis patients who require reasonable and safe access.

Although we were pleased to see a San Diego Police Department representative at the last meeting his appearance was brief and uninvolved.

Patients, doctors, concerned citizens alike, urge you to participate in the medical marijuana task force, to sit in at the entire meeting and to take note of the needs and wants of the community of San Diego.

Respectfully,

San Diego Americans for Safe Access

After delivering the letter to the Mayor’s office the San Diego ASA delegation joined David Davis of KUSI News outside of the Mayor’s Office, where Mara Felsen a local attorney explained our purpose and message to KUSI News who reported live about the rally.

“David Davis was downtown where a group of citizens were preparing for a rally to urge Mayor Sanders to participate in the San Diego Medical Marijuana Task Force.”

Video of interview and live coverage can be seen here: http://www.kusi.com/news/goodmorning/68905657.html

After the Interview the delegation joined the rest of the protesters outside the Mayor’s office for a peaceful protest urging the Mayor’s participation.

Local CW News Channel 6 and San Diego CityBeat were there to cover the event:

Video of CW6 Coverage of rally: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRDrXf4DKqc

The rally on Tuesday is a continuing effort by San Diego Americans for Safe Access a local group dedicated to the promotion of safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research, to promote the quick adoption of sensible and patient oriented regulations for San Diego.

Last week Don Duncan, California Director of Americans for Safe Access spoke to the San Diego MMTF about the benefits of regulations, and cautioned them not to be misled by faulty legal analysis aimed at rolling back safe access. Don Duncan said “Input from stakeholders early in the process is important, and San Diego ASA is working with allies to be sure patients’ voices help shape the city’s policy.”

The message was clear and rang through the city, patients will no longer tolerate this lack of participation on the part of our city leadership, and will not stand for the abuse, harassment, and prosecution of legitimate patients.

Visit www.SafeAccessNow.org and www.safeaccesssd.com

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