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What Is Citizens for Patient Rights?

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Citizens For Patients Rights Fights For Medical Marijuana Patients

Citizens for Patient Rights is a political action committee dedicated to preserving safe access to medical marijuana in the City of San Diego. We are medical marijuana patients, caregivers and supporters united in the fight to keep medical marijuana accessible in San Diego City. We were founded in April, 2011 in response to the unpopular and severely restrictive medical marijuana ordinance passed by San Diego. We ran a successful referendum campaign to overturn the ban ordinance. We are now working to pass a safe access initiative to establish clear, fair regulation for medical marijuana collectives in San Diego.

Our principle sponsor is the Patient Care Association, a group of responsible collectives and cooperatives in San Diego City dedicating to preserving safe access for the patients they serve.

Citizens for Patient Rights, in association with the Patient Care Association, is proud to announce the submission of our initiative proposal for medical marijuana collective regulation and taxation in the City of San Diego.

The San Diego City Compassionate Use Dispensary Regulation and Taxation Act accomplishes the following:

  • Establishes Zones Where Compassionate Use Dispensaries Are Allowed To Operate
    • Allows dispensaries in commercial zones and industrial light zones.
  • Prohibits Compassionate Use Dispensaries From Operating In Sensitive Zones – Including Residential Zones And Near Areas Where Children Congregate
    • Prohibits dispensaries from operating in Residential, Agricultural and Industrial Heavy base zones.
      • This is actually MORE restrictive than the medical marijuana taskforce recommendations, which would have allowed dispensaries to operate in industrial heavy zones. We felt it was inappropriate and dangerous for patients to be in heavy industrial zones that include shipping yards and junkyards
  • Entitles The City Of San Diego To Collect Supplemental Tax Revenue, Of 2.5%, For The City Budget From Compassionate Use Dispensaries Operating In The City
    • Estimated to generate 5.25 million dollar tax revenue for the City of San Diego
  • Allows The City To Levy Cost Recovery Fees To Mitigate The Cost Of Compassionate Use Dispensary Operation
    • If fees are permitted, the city can implement cost recovery fees for any costs associated with the Compassionate Use Dispensary Act
  • Establishes Operational Standards For Compassionate Use Dispensaries Including:
    • Security Guard Requirements.
    • Security Cameras Requirements
    • Alarm System Requirements
    • Interior and Exterior Lighting Requirements
    • Secured Storage of Medical Cannabis.
    • Hours of Operation Requirements
    • Exterior and Interior Signage Requirements
    • Prohibits Alcoholic Beverages in Dispensaries
    • Prohibits Visibility of Cannabis from Exterior of Compassionate Use Dispensaries.
    • Labeling Requirements for Edibles Restrictions on Dispensing to Qualified Patients Under Eighteen Years of Age.
    • Prohibits Evaluations for the Use of Medical Cannabis Allowed on Premises.
    • Requires Background Checks and Training Required for Directors.
  • Mandates Independent Certification of Dispensary Compliance Operational Standards
    • In the controversial Long Beach vs. Pack court case it was established that cities cannot issue operating permits for compassionate use dispensaries. However, we feel that operational standards are imperative to ensure that compassionate use dispensaries operate as good responsible neighbors that meet the needs of the patients and the public. We feel strongly that a few bad actors had previously poisoned the perception of collectives for many residents, and we need industry oversight to prevent such abuses in the future. Independent inspection and accreditation relieves the city of the cost and bureaucratic burden of inspections and verifications, while allowing the city to act in full compliance with the precedent set by Long Beach vs. Pack court case.

Click here to view the full text of the initiative

The initiative proposal was submitted to the San Diego City Clerk at 2:30pm on Monday, December 19th.

This initiative proposal was crafted after consultation with representatives of city government, community groups, patients and the general public regarding their concerns about medical marijuana collectives. We have found that the greater community is compassionate towards medical marijuana patients and supports the rights of all patients to have access to cannabis medication in San Diego City.

The main concerns we heard focused on operational safety – collective security measures and operating standards. Therefore, our initiative has been written with these concepts in mind, making sure that collectives operate as responsible good neighbors, serving the needs of the patients and the community at large.

We also feel that it is important that collectives contribute directly to the City of San Diego, so we have included a tax on storefront collectives, so that the collective will have a direct, positive impact on the city budget.

We will need 62,057 signatures for our initiative petition in order to qualify for the November ballot. We will have a period of six months in which to gather these signatures.

 

We have full confidence that we will qualify for the November ballot, having recently completed a signature gathering campaign for a referendum initiative to overturn a severely restrictive ordinance within thirty days. In the referendum effort, we saw the overwhelming public support, as we succeeded in submitting over 15,000 additional signatures above and beyond those needed to qualify our referendum within the thirty day window.

 

We are confident that we will prevail in enacting fair regulations that meet the needs of patients, caregivers and the community at large through the direct democracy process.

After months of an intimidation campaign by the City of San Diego to close all Compassionate Use medical marijuana dispensaries, the citizens who are Compassionate Users are scared and angry.

On December 19th, 2011, seven of those citizens joined together in filing a Notice of Claim Against the City pursuant to the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act. The Notice alleges physical abuse, mental abuse and intentional infliction of emotional distress due to a lack of safe, reliable access to their medical marijuana, as provided for by the Compassionate Use Act. Marijuana is medicine they are legally allowed to possess, use and, most importantly to obtain. The eight are represented by Compassionate Use Law attorney Katherine Clifton

These seven citizens are Randy Wall, 51, who suffers from AIDS;Ruth Wall, Randy’s 79 year old mother, a Registered Nurse who is her son’s primary caregiver; Carolina Moreno, a 32 year old single mother who is a cancer victim; John Riccio, a 31 year old disabled Navy Veteran; Bettie Cain, a 65 year old retired loan officer and horticulturist who is a breast cancer survivor; Silvia Gutierrez, a 43 year old mother of three who is severely disabled from a failed surgery; Daante V.E. Tiraado, a 50 year old disabled veteran who lives with an inoperable broken neck.

These seven courageous citizens are pulling aside the curtain of deception the City Attorney’s Office and the City Council have drawn across the truth. And the truth is that the Compassionate Use of medical marijuana works for each of them to give them a better quality of life.

They are willing to reveal their own lives and their own pain to stop this cruel campaign.

They want people to understand that without access to their medicine, they will suffer.

And they want people to understand that the City Attorney’s Office and the inaction of the City Council are directly responsible for this suffering.

If the City succeeds, San Diego will be responsible for physical abuse, mental abuse and intentional infliction of emotional distress from a lack of safe, reliable access to medical marijuana.

The right to a quality life is an inalienable right, a fundamental right protected by the Constitution. The actions by the City have violated that right for any Compassionate User in the City.

The Notice of Claim of Action filed with the City Administration Office is simply one of the many medical marijuana cases flooding the San Diego Superior Court system.

But, our hope with this case is to focus attention on the true victims of this vengeful witch hunt.

About The Plantiffs

The Referendum to Overturn the City of San Diego Medical Marijuana Zoning Ordinance

Citizens for Patient Rights, sponsored by the Patient Care Association, spearheaded a referendum to overturn the irresponsible, poorly-crafted, medical marijuana collective zoning ordinance passed by the City Of San Diego City Council on April 11th, 2011. We collected over 47,000 signatures in just 30 days, far surpassing the needed 31,019 valid voter signatures needed to qualify our referendum for the ballot and block the city ordinance.

San Diego City Council then voted on June 25th by a vote of 7-2 to repeal their medical marijuana zoning ordinance, in the face of intense voter support for our referendum. The City Council re-affirmed overturning the ordinance on September 27th, by a vote of 8-1.


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