We Shall Overcome!

Talking Medical Marijuana Blues – Part Four

Rev. Martin Luther King stated over 40 years ago in a speech that “the arc of the moral Universe is long, but it’s bent towards Justice…”

During my long, personal civil rights march towards medical marijuana justice I’ve seen that this statement is true, just as I also believe that one day “we shall overcome!”

My heart can not be moved from the fact that our cause is morally right, and that we, as a people, are constantly making progress in that march towards freedom and justice.

I know we will prevail, if not today, then tomorrow…

Long Beach – Right Now – Stop The Ban

From an Americans For Safe Access email I got today:

The Long Beach City Council will consider a ban on medical cannabis patients’ associations in the city at tomorrow’s meeting. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is calling on patients and advocates to oppose this ban. It failed to get enough votes last month… let’s be sure it loses again this week!

Take a minute right now to email members of the Long Beach City Council and tell them to vote no on a ban. Instead, City Council Members should work with stakeholders to find a better solution. ASA’s online action center makes it easy to email the City Council Members right now.

You can attend the Long Beach City Council Meeting to talk to the City Council Members in person on Tuesday, January 17, at 5:00 PM. The meeting is in Council Chambers, 333 W. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802. Arrive early to complete a public speaker’s card for agenda item #25 under “Unfinished Business” on Tuesday’s agenda.

Legal patients rely on patients’ cooperatives and collectives for safe access to the medicine they need to treat the symptoms of cancer, HIV/AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, chronic pain, and other serious conditions. Closing cooperatives and collectives will harm patients, but research conducted by ASA shows that sensible regulations reduce crime and complaints while preserving patients’ access. The Long Beach City Council should work with patients and other community members to improve the existing medical cannabis ordinance, instead of banning patients’ associations outright.

Thank you for helping to defend safe access in Long Beach,

Don Duncan
California Director

Why This Is A Bad Idea

Here a few points I’d like to bring up as to why this plan to ban the collectives is such a bad idea…

Why This Is A Bad Idea – Infrastructure

Right now, in Long Beach we have an infrastructure of medical marijuana collectives that serve thousands of patients everyday. Many of these collectives, run by non-profits, have invested thousands of dollars each to build establishments that comply with the regulations the city passed several years ago.

Those regulations were badly constructed, but could be re-written to conform to the court order against them. But banning collectives outright would immediately cripple the existing infrastructure – forcing thousands of patients into the black market to get their medicine.

You could basically call banning the collectives as a “Gang Stimulus Program.” I don’t think that’s what we want to do…

Why This Is A Bad Idea – Lawsuits

The collectives have already spent thousands of dollars in legal fees fighting this effort by our City Attorney Bob Shannon. I do not doubt that if the city attempts to close down the collectives, law suits are bound to follow.

After millions of dollars have been spent throughout the city by various collectives to be in compliance with the city’s regulation, I just can’t imagine this ending quietly, without lawsuits, can you?

Why This Is A Bad Idea – Good Neighborhoods and Law Enforcement

Studies have shown that cities with well-regulated collectives have lower crime rates, better neighborhoods, and that the collectives attract customers to the surrounding businesses.

Over and over again, in spite of the fears of those that say collectives will increase crime, it has been seen that crime actually drops, and many neighboring businesses report that they are thankful for the increased security provided by the collectives as well as the extra customers. In most cases, well-regulated collectives have been considered very good neighbors.

Our police chief doesn’t seem to believe any of this and would like to put our thin police resources to work shutting down all the collectives. I really have to question the wisdom of those priorities.

When over 70% (being very conservative with that number) of the residents of the city are actually in favor of medical marijuana, I not only question the wisdom of our police chief, but also his motivation.

 How You Can Help

Stop The Ban

Call A Long Beach City Council Member

Here’s a list of their phone numbers, as well as links to the LBCA website’s council district Take Action page for each council member:

So Much Things To Say…

There is many other issues around the subject of medical marijuana I could go into, but I’m going to wrap this up here for the time being.

Thank you for reading. Much of what I’ve written is more candid then I expected to be, but this is an extremely important issue, and I hope I can do my part to help us move forward.

Jon, onehumanbeing
Long Beach, CA – January 16, 2012

Previously:

Talking Medical Marijuana Blues – Part One
Includes the story: The Man On The Other Side Of The Wall

Talking Medical Marijuana Blues – Part Two
I Get By With The Help Of My Friends – a brief look at my personal history with medical marijuana…

Talking Medical Marijuana Blues – Part Three
Talking ‘Bout My Medication – looking at the different ways to use medical marijuana and how I use it…

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