To effectively protect patient rights, we need to rewrite the regulations so they work for all the residents of San Jose, patients and non-patients alike, and that is going to take an initiative.
San Jose, CA (PRWEB) October 07, 2011
The regulations recently passed by the mayor and city council of San Jose will effectively shut down legal access to marijuana in the city, forcing tens of thousands of patients back to the streets to find their medicine. The Cannabis Patients Alliance, http://www.cannabisrights.org, is fighting back by launching an initiative to rewrite the regulations. The campaign begins with a community meeting on Monday, October 10th, 6:00 pm at the UFCW Local 5 Union Hall, 240 S. Market Street, San Jose, CA 95113.
The current regulations effectively ban legal access to medical marijuana in the city by only allowing 10 dispensaries, severely restricting where they can be located, requiring that all cannabis be grown on site, prohibiting the use of American currency, and allowing gross violations of patient privacy rights.
The goal of the initiative is to rewrite the current regulations and provide patients with legal access to the medicine they need while respecting the rights of all residents and using marijuana tax revenue for essential city services.
There is already a campaign to repeal part of the new regulations by referendum, which the Alliance supports. However, even if it's successful, the referendum does not provide new regulations, and it does not prevent the mayor and city council from responding with a moratorium. An initiative is needed to rewrite the law.
When asked why the Alliance was working on an initiative when there's already a referendum, Sean Cambern, President of the Cannabis Patients Alliance replied, "The referendum is an important first step because it prevents the current regulations from being implemented, but to effectively protect patient rights, we need to rewrite the regulations so they work for all the residents of San Jose, patients and non-patients alike, and that is going to take an initiative."
The plan to pass an initiative begins with a community meeting to brainstorm ideas and rank priorities for the new regulations. The agenda includes, Why We Need an Initiative, How an Initiative Supports the Current Referendum, The Steps to Passing an Initiative, a Brainstorming Session, Next Steps, and How to Get Involved in the Process.
After gathering input from the community, the Alliance will form a committee to draft the proposed regulations and present them to a Community Advisory Panel for endorsement. The final version of the proposed regulations will be presented at another community meeting for a vote. Once the proposed regulations are approved, members of the medical marijuana community will form a political action committee to file the petition and organize the campaign to gather signatures and pass the initiative.
More information on the community meeting and the Cannabis Patients Alliance can be found at http://www.cannabisrights.org. Information on the referendum to Keep Medical Marijuana in San Jose and the Citizen's Coalition for Patient Care and can be found at http://www.ccpcsj.org.