Last week, I posted the results of the MPP-commissioned poll showing that despite outrageous claims being made by local officials, there is wide support for medical marijuana among Los Angeles County voters. A new poll now shows that support for medical marijuana access isn't confined to Los Angeles.
A poll released Wednesday in San Diego found super-majority support for medical marijuana in that city. The poll -- commissioned by addiction recovery Web site keepcomingback.com -- found 77% agreement that "officials must make sure that San Diego's medical marijuana patients have convenient access to their medicine in the city." 70% support regulating the city's medical marijuana collectives in some way, while only 9.5% support banning them (3% said they didn't need any regulations). The poll also collected other interesting information about how San Diegans view medical marijuana sales. Read more about it here.
This poll should send a firm message to San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, who just last month ordered a series of shocking raids on local medical marijuana patients and suppliers.
Despite the success experienced by dozens of California cities and counties regulating -- and in one case, even taxing -- medical marijuana sales, some municipalities have seen fit to shutter all open access to patients. In San Diego, where local voters approved the state's medical marijuana initiative 13 years ago, the county district attorney continues to assert that it's illegal to dispense medical marijuana to patients whose physicians have approved its use. Despite repeated losses in court and overwhelming opposition to medical marijuana raids, District Attorney Dumanis has vowed to continue her pogrom against San Diego's sick.
On the other end of the state, the small town of Red Bluff may be taking it upon itself to re-write California's voter-approved medical marijuana law altogether. The city's planning commission voted 3-2 on Tuesday to support of an ordinance which would not only ban storefront medical marijuana dispensing collectives but also prohibit all medical marijuana cultivation. Apparently, the news that California laws specifically allow cultivation by patients and their caregivers hasn't reached Red Bluff in all these years. Nor have the loads of case law supporting these rights been taken into account when the majority of commission cast its vote to thwart state law.
The Red Bluff City Council should reject this offensive proposal but if they don't, I'm confident that it will be overturned in court. Further, public officials like D.A. Dumanis and the three Red Bluff planning commissioners who openly defy the will of their state's voters and its legislature should find another line of work.
Remember that gut-wrenching footage of the wheelchair-bound medical marijuana patient being pulled out of his chair and into the back of a squad car? The victim of this brutality was Rev. Paul Cody, operator of the Hillcrest Compassion Care medical marijuana collective in San Diego.
Paul has told the San Diego City Beat that he's planning on filing a legal complaint for his treatment during the raid on Hillcrest. Paul is paralyzed from the waist down due to a motorcycle accident, and he repeatedly told the police officers that his condition required that he receive special treatment but sadly, the thugs carried on as if terrorizing a man in a wheelchair was just another day at the office.
“I told them again and again, I’m paralyzed, I have to be in the front seat,” he told CityBeat later.
Cody says he told officers repeatedly of his special needs, but they didn’t listen. With his particular injury, he can’t support himself sitting upright, and he has special requirements for how his legs are supposed to be arranged, which mandates that he sit in the front seat of cars. But Cody says cops cuffed him behind his back and shoved him into the back, where he slumped over. He says he has the bruises to show the damage done to him.
Needless to say, MPP wishes Paul the best of luck in his challenge. More importantly, we look forward to the day when local officials everywhere in California finally begin following the state's long-standing, voter-approved medical marijuana law so that people like Paul are no longer victimized by their own government.
According to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office -- the agency that led yesterday’s multi-jurisdictional raids on local medical marijuana providers -- warrants were served at 14 dispensing collectives and six associated residences. So far, 23 people have been arrested in connection with the raided facilities.
The D.A.’s press release attempts to justify the actions using an extremely narrow interpretation of state law relating to the role of a “primary caregiver.” It does not address whether or not the facilities in question were operating as “collectives” – a more common state-legal model for dispensing medical marijuana.
One thing that's clear about this case is that San Diego would have been better served if its leaders had moved to properly regulate medical marijuana facilities rather than resisting any effort to do so before resorting to brute force to shutter legal access to local patients.
If you've had any doubt that these raids are being carried out by heartless thugs, just look to the image below from video captured by San Diego’s KFMB News showing an officer manhandling a wheelchair-bound patient into the back of a patrol car. Remind me again, how is this serving the interest of public safety?
Several San Diego-area medical marijuana collectives were raided today in a county-wide sweep apparently coordinated by the district attorney's office. It's unclear at this time whether or not any arrests have been made or exactly what -- if any -- state law violations are being alleged in these cases.
Given San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis' dismal record of circumventing California's medical marijuana laws and prosecuting patients, this recent action is unfortunately not very surprising. MPP is continuing to keep a close watch on the situation in San Diego; we'll provide an update if more relevant information becomes available.