Saturday, May 22, 2010


Rally for Access at the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors this Tuesday, May 25

From: Lanny Swerdlow
Director, Marijuana Anti Prohibition Project

On June 19, the moratorium on medical marijuana collectives in San Bernardino County comes to an end. The promised medical marijuana collective ordinance is not going to happen which means San Bernardino County will most likely pass another one year moratorium. The question is what do we do now?

Although jumping up and down and stamping our feet would be cathartic, it would not get much accomplished and we have to deal with the situation now at hand and figure what can be done to actually get a medical marijuana collective ordinance into place once a ban is in place.

The problem last time is that there was no ongoing monitoring of the process that was supposed to be in place to draft an ordinance so when patients finally realized that nothing was being done, there wasn't time left to actually get one written and in place. How do we solve that problem this time?

On May 25 when we go before the Board of Supervisors, in addition to reminding them of their
commitment to implementing state law and passing a mmj collective ordinance, we need to ask that they follow the example of Palm Springs, San Diego and many other cities and counties and establish a committee to oversee the process.

The Palm Springs Medical Marijuana Task Force, of which I was a member, was composed of two representatives from the City Council, the Chief of Police and a Deputy, City Manager, City
Attorney, Planning Staff and representatives from patient organizations and dispensaries. The
meetings were open to the public and it was not unusual to have ten to twenty or more patients at a meeting providing the committee with input and guidance.

It worked and Palm Springs became the first, and so far only, city in the Inland Empire to enact a medical marijuana ordinance allowing for collectives to operate under their zoning laws. In fact, the first licensed collective anywhere in the Inland Empire, Cannahelp, will hold its grand opening the same day as our rally in San Bernardino. (Any one up to carpooling to Palm Springs to celebrate their grand opening after our presentation before the SB Board?)

This is what we need to do on Tuesday, May 25 before the Board - ask them to establish a Medical Marijuana Task Force and charge the Task Force with developing an ordinance and bringing it to the board in as rapid a manner as is consistent with developing a good solid workable ordinance.

Hopefully 3 of the 5 Board members will recognize this as a viable solution and at a subsequent Board meeting, establish the Task Force.

I know this is kind of going hat-in-hand before the Board that has spurned us before, but we
have to be realists and take actions that hold out the promise of obtaining safe, reliable and local access. If we don't do it, who will? Better I should ask, if you don't do it, who will?

Please make the time to join us on Tuesday, May 25 at our rally at the SB Board of Supervisors meeting. Let them know how disappointed you are by the County's inaction and why access is so important to you and other patients. Ask that this time a committee be formed to oversee the process and that patients be on the committee. If you have the time, let them know that you would be willing to serve on this committee.

The Rally for Access at the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors begins at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 25. We will rally in front of the County Administration Building where the Board meets. We will have some speakers, signs to wave, cheer as cars, trucks and assorted other vehicles honk in support and time to meet with friends and make new friends. When the public comment section comes up, we will go into the Board chamber and those who would like to make a 3 minute presentation before the Board are strongly encouraged to do so.

The County Administration Building is located at 385 N. Arrowhead in downtown San Bernardino 92415.

If you are interested in making a day of it and car pooling to the Grand Opening of Cannahelp in Palm Springs after the Board meeting, call me at 760-799-2055 and let me know so car pool arrangements can be made.

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