Sacramento, CA (PRWEB) August 13, 2014
Medical marijuana advocacy group California Cannabis Voice (CCV) announced today it has finalized its first wave of voter advertisements. The group will begin distribution to major markets against SB 1262 (Correa, D-Santa Ana), which seeks to create a flawed statewide licensing model for medical cannabis cultivation, production, and distribution to patients.
“Do you think cops should have the power to take away access to your inhaler,” the ad states. “What about your daughter’s antibiotics? Or your grandfather’s heart medication? California patients will be denied local access to cannabis medication under this bill.”
“The ad exposes the legislation as a Trojan Horse,” says Matt Gray, a Sacramento lobbyist who represents the group in the Capitol. “It is the brainchild of narcotics officers and police chiefs who have always opposed medicinal cannabis, and not surprisingly the legislation solidifies massive blackout regions throughout the state.”
CCV cannot support the current legislation as written. As the bill developed, CCV called for amendments that protect patient access statewide and insure those who come forward to seek registration are protected from prosecution. Until these changes are made, CCV cannot support SB 1262. “If patients get left behind in a medical cannabis regulatory bill, we don’t see any value to its passage,” Gray said.
Critics claim that under the proposed licensing model, local cities and counties will have no requirement to approve cultivation, production, or sales to patients or caregivers. “The truth is our defense,” says Matt Kumin, a San Francisco-based civil rights attorney who represents the group. “Two of every three counties will be dry counties, leaving seriously ill patients without access to their medicines.”
Meanwhile, marijuana dispensaries have broken rank with the cannabis industry to support the bill. “Dispensaries were already protected under existing law,” says Gray. “But they got a specific carve-out which exempts them from the statewide licensing. Patients are yet again being sacrificed for political gain, hence the need for the ads.”
“It is time for the legislation to receive a fair hearing,” says Gray. “Not some predetermined legislative hearing where appearances trump substance. Voters deserve to know how their representatives are pandering to special interest groups and to the detriment of patients and caregivers.”
While the cannabis industry remains split over the controversial measure, all of the groups agree more work is needed to clean up the legislation if it passes through the Legislature and is signed into law by the Governor.
SB 1262 will be heard in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations today, and is expected to reach the Assembly Floor as early as next week.
About California Cannabis Voice Educational Foundation:
California Cannabis Voice Educational Foundation is a non-partisan coordinated partnership which is dedicated to educating stakeholders throughout the cannabis industry, stabilizing resources for medicinal cannabis patients, and supporting fair and reasonable licensing and regulations at the state level. Read more at http://www.CannabisVoice.org.