Thursday, April 1, 2010

Medical Marijuana Advocacy Groups to Stage Upcoming Rallies in San Bernardino

Two Inland Empire medical marijuana advocacy groups are co-sponsoring two upcoming rallies at the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors meetings on April 27 and May 25. Directors from the Marijuana Anti Prohibition Project (MAPP, and Yes We Cannabis ( are organizing the rallies to give the public a chance to speak up and request responsible medical marijuana regulations in the county. The rallies will begin at 10 AM at 385 N. Arrowhead Ave, in downtown San Bernardino.

The county’s current moratorium on medical cannabis dispensaries is scheduled to expire in June and Inland Empire patients want to see regulations, not another extension on the current moratorium or an outright ban.

“It is time for our local government to act in the interest of qualified patient constituents and we are hopeful that county officials will take heed of the concerns of the community to provide for the safe access to medicine for medical marijuana patients, “ says Ryan Michaels, director of Yes-We Cannabis.

Lanny Swerdlow, a registered nurse and director of the Marijuana Anti-Prohibition Project, takes issue with the county’s waste of taxpayer money. "With no ordinance on how medical marijuana is to be distributed, taxpayer money that is desperately needed for county services is being wasted as San Bernardino County medical marijuana patients and providers continue to be arrested and prosecuted,” says Swerdlow.

Following the raid of a medical marijuana collective in Phelan, KABC news reported on March 9 that “Authorities in San Bernardino County said they are aggressively cracking down on violators of a county moratorium against selling marijuana.”

Swerdlow continues, “If this is indeed the policy of San Bernardino County law enforcement, how many more patients will be ensnared in the criminal justice system and how much more money must San Bernardino County continue to hemorrhage while waiting for a medical marijuana collective ordinance to be drafted?"

In fact, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been wasted throughout California arresting and prosecuting legitimate patients whose charges are routinely dropped. In many cases, the courts have even ordered cities and counties to pay damages to wrongfully prosecuted patients. MAPP and Yes-We-Cannabis don’t want this happening in San Bernardino County.

Angela Smith, co-director of Yes-We-Cannabis notes that patients in San Bernardino have faced an uphill battle in regards to gaining safe access to their medicine, often having to drive to Orange or Los Angeles counties or even resort to black market sources. “The establishment of responsible regulations for collectives will protect the patient's safety and well-being In addition, responsible regulations would have the added benefit of keeping a potentially important source of revenue firmly in San Bernardino County."

County residents who agree with that position are encouraged to join MAPP and Yes-We Cannabis at the two rallies and let their positions be known to our elected county officials.

The Marijuana Anti Prohibition Project (MAPP, is a non-profit inland empire medical marijuana patient support and law reform organization.

Yes We Cannabis ( is a non-profit inland empire advocacy group promoting greater public understanding regarding medical marijuana laws, scientific studies of medical marijuana, and objective evidence relating to medical marijuana.

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