Nov 18 2009

WAMM issues press release supporting medical marijuana dispensaries

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PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release
DATE: Wednesday, November 18, 2009
CONTACT: Joe Paquin, 831-425-0580, joe at wamm.org
Manager of the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM).

 

Santa Cruz, CA. – The Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM), would like to voice our concern with the upcoming medical marijuana dispensary ban.

On Thursday, November 19, 2009, the Santa Cruz Planning Commission will hear testimony and discuss the medical marijuana dispensary ban. This will have drastic impacts on patients in Santa Cruz.

In the ordinance, the total number of dispensaries allowed in Santa Cruz would be set to two, the two that are currently operating near Harvey West Park. Presently, the dispensaries are unable to meet the demand for affordable medicine. Limiting the number of dispensaries without creating an avenue for the development of low cost collectives, eliminates competition and in effect creates a financial snare for patients who are forced to pay the high prices or who are pushed into the black market.

We support the dispensary model as long as it is tempered by competition and compassion.

This ordinance also does not address patient collectives, which is the only form of legal access specifically outlined in Senate Bill 420. This glaring omission to patient collectives does nothing to rectify the very problems the city wishes to address with the ordinance.

Furthermore, this ordinance ignores the future of the “Office of Compassionate Use” (ORDINANCE NO. 2005-28) that the City Council voted to implement in 2005. We hope that the City Council recalls that the best way to support patients is not by limiting safe access, but by expanding options.

We know that Santa Cruz is medical marijuana friendly, but this ordinance suggests otherwise by pushing patients into a closed system that supports high costs and no competition. We honor the work that the City Council has undertaken and we hope that they will apply the same diligence with regard to this ordinance.

We encourage all community members, patients, caregivers, and friends and family of medical marijuana patients to voice their opinion at the Planning Commission at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, November 19, 2009. The meeting will take place in City Council Chambers, 809 Center Street, Santa Cruz.

For more information about the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana and the services we provide for terminally ill medical marijuana patients, please visit our website at http://www.wamm.org.


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