Oceanside Moratorium on Dispensaries Expired; City Claims Collectives are Still Banned

Stop The Ban OceansideBy: Eugene Davidovich, May 26, 2011

Oceanside, CA – On May 13 of 2009, over the vocal opposition of dozens of patients, residents, and medical cannabis advocates, the City enacted an ordinance prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits by enacting an ‘urgency moratorium’. This temporary ban was to expire a few weeks later on June 27 after the City had a chance to figure out what direction to take.

Instead of moving towards reasonable regulations, on June 17, the Council extended the moratorium for a full year citing the need for more time to do adequate research as the reason for the extension, making the new expiration date May 12, 2010. In the meantime, the City Manager was to review and consider options for the regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries and the public told safe access was coming.

Shortly before the one year moratorium expired in May of 2010, the city decided to extend it for another year citing the need for more time again as the reason. This time, it was the last extension allowed by law and the new and final expiration date was now May 12, 2011.

For two years under this moratorium patients in Oceanside have been waiting for the council to adopt reasonable regulations allowing for safe access in the city, the council instead has taken an entirely different path. They have launched an all out assault/eradication effort on the existing facilities through lawsuits, injunctions and threats. The City even went as far as changing the city’s zoning laws during the moratorium to prevent dispensaries from opening unless they applied for a change in the code which would automatically be denied.

The May 12 deadline came and went, no ordinance has been developed or even proposed by the council and for hundreds of sick and dying patients in the Oceanside it is clear the City’s intent was never to respect the will of the voters, rather it was to create more delays.

Patients in Oceanside are sick and tired of this continued bias driven effort to eradicate safe access to their medicine. Continued delays, stall tactics, lawsuits, threats and harassment have resulted in an environment of fear where sick and dying patients are forced to obtain their medicine from illicit sources rather than from safe, reliable and regulated dispensing centers in the City.

In response to the continued delays and the City’s eradication effort, led by the San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access, advocates, patients, and Oceanside residents launched the Oceanside Stop the Ban Campaign. This effort aims to connect the Oceanside City Council members with their constituents who overwhelmingly support safe and reliable access to medical marijuana in their neighborhoods.
To date, the campaign has collected over 160 letters from Oceanside residents all writing the Council, urging them to protect the most vulnerable members through reasonable ordinances.

The letters state, “Patients in Oceanside with no space to cultivate cannabis, those without the requisite gardening skills to grow their own, and, most critically, those who face the sudden onset of a serious illness or who have suffered a catastrophic illness — all tend to rely on dispensaries as a compassionate, community-based solution that is an alternative to potentially dangerous illicit market transactions”.

The Oceanside Stop the Ban Campaign needs your help! If you support safe, reliable access to medical cannabis in the Oceanside, please take a moment to call and email the City Council urging them to change their current direction and protect the most vulnerable members of our community.

To email the Mayor and all council members at once send email to: council@ci.oceanside.ca.us

Individual Contact Information
Mayor Jim Wood – jwood@ci.oceanside.ca.us – (760) 435-3059
Deputy Mayor Esther C. Sanchez – esanchez@ci.oceanside.ca.us – (760) 435-3057
Councilmember Gary Felien – gfelien@ci.oceanside.ca.us – (760) 435-3551
Councilmember Jack Feller – jfeller@ci.oceanside.ca.us – (760) 435-3056
Councilmember Jerome M. Kern – jkern@ci.oceanside.ca.us – (760) 435-3032

To get involved in the campaign and to help Stop the Ban in Oceanside join us at the Oceanside Stop the Ban Campaign meeting on Tuesday, May 31st – 7pm at the Fish Joint in Oceanside located at 514 South Coast Highway.

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