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End Of Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiative In San Diego City

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signature gathering marijuana reform initiativeMedical Marijuana Ballot Initiative In San Diego City Falls Short Of Goal

Citizens for Patient Rights regrets to report that our initiative for safe access to medical marijuana in San Diego City, the Compassionate Use Dispensary Regulation and Taxation Initiative, has failed to gather the necessary signatures by the June 19th deadline to qualify for the November ballot.

Qualifying a ballot initiative in the City of San Diego is extremely cost prohibitive. Recently, the proponents of the successful Proposition B spent over 1.1 million to qualify their initiative for the ballot, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

The City of San Diego requires 62,057 valid signatures in order to qualify an initiative for the ballot. In order to gather 62,057 valid signatures, a campaign must gather over 90,000 total signatures in order to guarantee that the threshold of 62,057 signatures is met.

Proposition A and B, in the 2012 June Primary election, are the only citywide ballot initiatives, in San Diego City, to qualify via citizens’ signatures since 1998.

“Given the disruptions in the legal regulated market of medical marijuana, the money is simply no longer in the hands of responsible operators who champion oversight and regulation,” said James Schmachtenberger, President of the Patient Care Association, an association of patient cooperative and collectives which supported the Compassionate Use Dispensary Initiative.

“Because of this lack of resources, we were unable to complete our signature effort, despite the sincere efforts of many patients and supporters to make this happen.”

The medical marijuana community has been severely affected in recent months by federal raids and actions by the local City Attorney, Jan Goldsmith. Since September 2011, Goldsmith has filed lawsuits leading to the closure of over 100 collectives in San Diego City. Today, less than 10 collectives that existed prior to the crackdown by Federal and Local authorities continue to operate.

Citizens for Patient Rights will continue the fight to allow medical marijuana access in San Diego County. Citizens for Patient Rights is currently running ballot initiatives in a number of smaller cities around San Diego County, including Del Mar, Lemon Grove, Solana Beach, La Mesa and Encinitas, to ensure that medical marijuana will still be available to patients in all parts of the county.

On May 30th, Citizens for Patient Rights submitted over 500 signatures to qualify the ballot measure in Del Mar (298 signatures are required to qualify an initiative for the ballot).

“Our signature gathering efforts are going well in the smaller municipalities”, stated Cynara Velazquez, campaign consultant to Citizens for Patient Rights, “we expect to finish our signature gathering effort in Lemon Grove and Solana Beach by the end of the week, in order to concentrate on our efforts on completing the signature gathering campaigns in Encinitas and La Mesa by the end of month.

“Providing safe access in smaller municipalities around San Diego will provide some measure of relief to our patients” state James. “But it will not replace the need for safe local access within San Diego City, which is a goal we will continue to fight for going forward.”

Source: Citizens for Patient Rights (www.citizens4patientrights.org)

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