Advocates Join to Protect the Rights of San Diego’s Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, Users

San Diego’s medical marijuana advocates collected thousands of signatures to have a say in the fate of new restrictions on pot clinics, according to Mercury News.

Citizens for Patient Rights collected 46,000 signatures for the ballot initiative. The city only requires that 31,000 signatures be collected for an issue to proceed.

The issue is a recently ratified ordinance that seeks to limit medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego to commercial and industrial zones. It also looks to prohibit them from operating within 600 feet of schools, playgrounds and other related facilities.

Our Southern California medical marijuana lawyers understand that if we want change, we must rally together and stand up for the rights of medical marijuana patients statewide. It is critical to take actions against state and federal government to protect the industry and the rights of legal users. Without voiced opposition, government will continue to place rules and regulation on these companies until they’re all forced to shut their doors.

Citizens for Patient Rights recently told The San Diego Union-Tribune that the newly proposed law amounts to a de facto ban on these marijuana collectives.

If the signatures are certified, the city council is required to either overturn the ordinance altogether or issue it to a ballot within the next 11 months. Depending how long the city takes to tally the signatures, this new measure could end up on the ballot in June of next year.

“The people have made a statement to City Hall that they need to take care of the citizens’ needs and not just City Hall’s needs,” Randall Welty of the Patient Care Association of California told the Union-Tribune. “This effort speaks exactly to patients’ needs in San Diego.”

The new ordinance was ratified in April, along with another measure that requires local dispensaries to operate as nonprofit organizations, hire security guards and curtail their business hours.

The city could make the change to avoid a pricey special election that could cost more than $3 million.

Medical marijuana collectives create millions of dollars in economic activity to the city and hundreds of thousands in tax revenue. In this economic downturn, many advocates believe that the city will see the wisdom of increasing economic activity rather than hindering it.

Earlier in the year, the city council voted to repeal its own ordinance that restricted retail supercenters after the local Walmart collected enough signatures to call for a special election.

“To put $3 million toward this effort wouldn’t be a priority for me relative to restoring library hours,” said Councilman Todd Gloria.

The CANNABIS LAW GROUP offers experienced and aggressive representation to the medical marijuana industry in Southern California, including growers, dispensaries and collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call 949-375-4734 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:

Senate to Vote on Medical Marijuana Employment Discrimination Law, Marijuana Lawyer Blog, May 31, 2011

Yet Another Bill Aimed at Regulating Dispensary Operations in Los Angeles, Marijuana Lawyer Blog, May 16, 2011

Two Medical Marijuana Providers Sue Government Claiming it Directly Violated Civil Rights, Marijuana Lawyer Blog, May 11, 2011

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