San Diego's Rep. Filner endorses medical marijuana tax initiative

Posted on March 2nd, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

CaliforniaRep. Bob Filner became the first mayoral candidate Feb. 28 to endorse San Diego's Compassionate Use Dispensary Regulation and Taxation initiative, which would tax and regulate medical marijuana in the city. "It just makes sense to regulate medical marijuana, otherwise, as a city, we limit our ability to conduct oversight," Filner said. "If medical marijuana is prohibited, the city misses out on valuable revenue, and patients don't have legal access or the ability to manage pain and enjoy regular activities."

The Patient Care Association, representing more than 60 cannabis collectives (many now closed), joined forces with Citizens for Patient Rights to qualify the initiative for November's ballot with 62,057 signatures by May 22. The initiative's campaign consultant, Cynara Velazquez said she is confident in the voters, citing "the desperation facing patients and caregivers, plus the resurgence of the cartel in the vacuum of regulated access."

James Schmachtenberger, chair of the patient care group, said of Filner's endorsement, "Unlike other local politicians, [Filner] is not afraid to take a stand on important issues like patient access. The will of the electorate is with us and we look forward to announcing the support of many more local elected officials in the near future."

State Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, and former Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Stephen Downing, have also endorsed the measure. The initiative is set up to pay for itself, making use of existing city agencies to implement more than a dozen regulations proposed for the collectives seeking a Compassionate Use Dispensary permit. Regulations include California Department of Justice background checks for all collective directors, and prohibitions on operating within a 600-foot radius of schools and playgrounds. The first round of permits will be limited to those established prior to the initiative's passage. (San Diego Reader, Feb. 28)




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