Stop the Ban Campaign Begins to Hold San Diego City Council Accountable

Following the largest letter writing campaign in the city’s history council ignores community’s demands; coalition holds press conference to discuss the impact of the ordinance and the community’s response to the de-facto dispensary ban.

SAN DIEGO, CA – Monday, April 11th at 11:00am at the San Diego City Hall, the Stop the Ban Campaign – a coalition campaign of over 20 local, state, and national groups spearheaded by Canvass for a Cause and the San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access – held a press conference to respond to the Council’s Medical Marijuana ordinance and Tuesday’s upcoming second vote.

Last month, on March 28th, the City Council held their first vote on the medical marijuana ordinance which serves to close every medical cannabis facility currently open in the city, and would impose stricter land-use and zoning laws than currently apply to any other business within city limits.

Prior to the March 28th vote, the Stop the Ban campaign organized the largest letter-writing campaign in the city’s history. All the letters were from San Diego residents writing in opposition to the ordinance and asking for specific amendments. The campaign then went on to organize an estimated 500 people to attend the City Council meeting on the 28th at which the council heard over 5 hours of testimony in opposition to this ordinance as it is written making it one of the most well attended Council meetings in recent San Diego history.

The ordinance was also opposed by the Chair and Vice-Chair of the City’s Medical Marijuana Task Force, and if passed without amendment would undoubtedly face multiple legal challenges as well as would negatively impact the most vulnerable members of our community.

The council refused to even place the suggested amendments on the floor for a vote, they voted this de-facto ban in over the most unprecedented outpouring of public opposition to an ordinance the City Council has ever seen.

Today the San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access in Collaboration with the Stop the Ban Campaign submitted a Ballot Proposal to the City Clerk in accordance with Council Policy 000-21 for a hearing in front of the City Council’s Rules Committee. If the rules committee accepts the proposal and passes it on to the council for a vote, the council would then have the option of placing the ballot proposal on the ballot for the voters to decide on at the next election.

“Today, we are offering the council a reasonable alternative with this ballot proposal which is more in line with what the task force recommended and the community’s needs”. Eugene Davidovich, Chapter Coordinator of San Diego Americans for Safe Access stated after the press conference. “Our proposal protects both patients’ rights and respect’s the neighborhood’s concerns”.

The community is urging the City Council to listen and respect the voice of the community, voters, and patients, all of who are urging the council to amend the ordinance, bring it back in line with the recommendations of the medical marijuana task force and actually regulate access to a legal medicine rather than eradicate it for all patients in the City.

On Tuesday the community is prepared to hold the Council accountable for their failure to consider patient needs and respect the community’s wishes.

Visit www.facebook.com/stopthebansd for the latest information on the campaign efforts.

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