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"Now you are finally considering zoning and operational ordinances regarding medical marijuana, which you will vote on tomorrow, and what are you proposing to adopt? A de facto ban that would effectively eliminate all medical marijuana facilities from operating in the unincorporated areas of San Diego County." -- Martha Sullivan


By Martha Sullivan


June 29, 2010 (San Diego)--As someone who is not a medical marijuana patient nor dispensary operator, but simply a taxpayer, voter and small business owner, I find the continuing opposition by my County Board of Supervisors to the Compassionate Use Act passed by California voters 14 years ago an affront to voters and taxpayers.



As I stated at last week’s hearing on the proposed medical marijuana ordinances, your refusal to implement this law--going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge it and not issuing the medical marijuana ID cards it prescribes until last summer--has resulted in unjustified prosecutions of medical marijuana patients who did not have an ID card and contributed to the proliferation of dispensaries without benefit of the local regulation YOUR elected body was charged with.

Now you are finally considering zoning and operational ordinances regarding medical marijuana, which you will vote on tomorrow, and what are you proposing to adopt? A de facto ban that would effectively eliminate all medical marijuana facilities from operating in the unincorporated areas of San Diego County.

THIS, despite the County Counsel's advice to you and your colleagues during last week's public hearing that the courts are most likely to find that such bans will not stand legal challenge. This Board continues to willfully defy CA voters' passage of Prop 215 in 1996 allowing medical marijuana, and to spend our tax dollars fighting it.

The proposed ordinance requires medical marijuana dispensaries to be located in industrially-zoned parcels at least 1000 feet from homes, schools, parks, churches and other dispensaries. The only other such distance separation requirement by the County is for adult entertainment outlets. The County Planning Commission recommended LOWER distance separation requirements to you and your colleagues -- which you disregarded, thereby finding that medical marijuana patients are more of a threat or nuisance to residents, schoolchildren and churchgoers than the purveyors and patrons of porn. REALLY?

I join other Compassionate Use supporters in urging you to add the following zones as allowed uses:


Medical Center Commercial-C46
General Commercial-C36
Office Professional- C30
Heavy Commercial- C37
Convenience Commercial-C32
Freeway Commercial- C44
Service Commercial-C38
Rural Commercial- C40

If distance separation requirements MUST be specified, I also join the County Planning Commission's recommendation to impose no stricter distance separation requirements than those imposed upon adult entertainment uses.

Please give this your serious consideration; this is what your elective office as a County Supervisor calls upon you to do, to implement state law without personal bias.

The opinions expressed in this editorial reflect the views of its author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. If you wish to submit an editorial for consideration, please contact

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Seniors and Veterans denied access

For the past year I have been meeting with, writing to and calling the boards of our cities and counties that make up Southern California with emphasis in San Diego, my home town.

In my line of work as a social worker with an emphasis in gerontology, I work with the Seniors and Veterans, and I have seen the miracles of cannabis in the lives of these patients. My message to the governments of these cities and counties was that they are effectively denying access to the largest population of ill patients in California and America.

In the 1980's I worked with the Gray Panthers, interacting with the cities who did not want residents above stores, as we see today. They wanted to keep the people in the suburbs and the bussiness in the business district. What we showed the cities is that as people age and stop driving, they need to move in toweard the cities so that they are able to access generic services. We eventually were able to convince the San Diego councils that it was a good idea, and today we see many of them.

One of these generic services utilized by the senior and veteran populations are the cannabis outlets. By moving these outlets to out of the area industrial areas, and prohibiting access, you are denying the people who need the cannabis the most. The sick and they dying.

Additionally when you try to prohibit deliveries of medical cannabis to these patients, a large percentage are bed bound or home bound, you additionally deny this population access. As a Social Worker working with developmentally disabled adults living in their own homes, some of them on very heavy barbiturates and morpheme,vicodene in 90 quantity bottles, and the pharmacies would always deliver, it was expected, and for free, and if the patient was not home, they would leave it on the front step. Even in Apartments with kids running around they would leave this bag of meds in front of the door. There does not seem to be any logic at all involved with the distribution of medical cannabis and certainly we can see a lack of compassion resulting in a lack of access resulting in more suffering.

Even after I stood and told this to the boards, they would shake their heads, say they recognized the situation, and then prohibit in a way to deny.

I submitted pilot plans to cities as well....with no feedback other than moratoriums.

At this point, there would seem to be no hope, as it is obvious the boards are not doing what the people want. There is hope, we need to appoint new elected officials that will respond to the wants and desires of the voters, not just the few. Starting in San Diego we are recalling the district attorney:

We will then start recalling the county board of supervisors, and the Sheriffs. In the 1960's through 1990 for clearly 30 years we protested, wrote letters, begged for them to remove the prohibition, then in 1996 we voted. Then the Government said "We dont understand it." Ok we said, and we voted again, and the Government went "ummmmm, no, its still no."

So its obvious even in the face of legislation they do what they want, which is non representative. So lets get in elected officials who really represent us, then we can start to clean up all these problems.