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A small group of medicinal marijuana supporters made their way to Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach on May 7 for the 11 a.m. start of a march in support of their cause.

"This is a grom surf contest, not a weed march," was the response heard from a surfer's mother who was on the sand watching her son in the competition. "Try the tent south of the pier." Those who did so found volunteers with the PB Town Council who were conducting a beach cleanup.

After being asked a few times about the pot march, a town-council member jokingly commented, "Oh, yeah, a lot of smokers were going to do the march, but they forgot." He took on a more serious tone when following up with, "I have nothing against [marijuana]; I think they should let it grow on the sides of the freeways so everyone can get it for free."

Shortly after his comment, the sound of a bullhorn-amplified voice rang through the air at a level several decibels higher than the chatter of bikes, skateboards, and waves. It originated from a man standing at the pier.

"Global marijuana march, right here," bellowed Craig Beresh, president of the California Cannabis Coalition. "Stop the San Diego ban on medicinal marijuana!" For the next 30 minutes, Beresh invited all those passing on the boardwalk to join the march, adding, "This global marijuana march is being done right now in 300 cities simultaneously — stand up for your rights!"

A group of 21 supporters walked to the Mission Beach lifeguard tower and back as Beresh beckoned for passersby to join. Several people joined for a few blocks before dropping out, and many more came out of their homes and up from the beach to watch, photograph, and cheer on the marchers.

Available for signing was a referendum petition to eliminate the city's recent medical marijuana ordinances that regulate San Diego's 160 dispensaries.

The age range of the marchers ran from 18 to about 70, including a couple with their baby in a stroller and an elderly woman in a wheelchair. A popular chant heard by many was, "What do we want?" "Marijuana!" "When do we want it?" "Now!"

Anthony Gardner, a bicyclist who joined the march after riding by, commented, "If the Taliban were [marijuana] smokers, they wouldn't be terrorists."

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Comments

Radical Uterus May 10, 2011 @ 1:10 p.m.

Thanks for reporting this. Let's talk about gateway drugs. My gateway drug to medical cannabis was vicodin. Vicodin is produced by big pharmaceutical companies that after reaping massive amounts of money for many decades,is being forced to admit how harmful vicodin really is to the human liver. This is a pattern with big pharma, big government, and the relentless march toward putting PROFIT over everything. Which means life is cheap.

Human citizens of the world, reclaim your right to choose, how you are poisoned, and who poisons you.

,

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Movementinaction May 10, 2011 @ 2:09 p.m.

[Craig Beresh] attacked the people of the Stop the Ban campaign and now is trying to take credit for their work. He is even trying to take credit for the Referendum, People who know what he does will have nothing to do with him. He attacks the groups that are doing all the work and then tries to destroy the harmony of the community. Support the Referendum but know who really is behind all the hard work and know it is not Craig Beresh

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BryanReyes May 12, 2011 @ 8:15 a.m.

Mr Stacy,

I understand that Mr Beresh did not support you in your conviction. [edited] Mr Beresh is a highly respected activist worldwide. Your groups multiple attempts to discredit him is a disgrace to the MMJ community. Please direct your energy to safe access not attacking activists.

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Movementinaction May 12, 2011 @ 12:38 p.m.

What a joke, He tried to take credit for my Federal Public Defender. He listed her on his web site as a NORML Lawyer and that was against the law. Attack him? This is the first time I have said anything. I will not sit by while you try to take credit for others work. Craig is [edited] the biggest threat to safe access next to Bonnie Dumanis. Bryan if that is who you really are, Stop [saying] Craig is...an activist. If "My Group" had attacked Craig there would be proof.

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jway May 10, 2011 @ 3:04 p.m.

This issue is of far more importance for us people who don't use marijuana than it is to those that do. While marijuana users want an end to the discrimination and the freedom to put into their bodies a substance that's been described as "safer than water", for us this is our chance to rid our neighborhoods of drug dealers and to guarantee that our children will have no more chance of being offered marijuana than what they have of being offered alcohol today.

The federal marijuana prohibition costs us $40 billion a year, is directly responsible for the murder of 38,000 people in Mexico in the last five years, and brings drug dealers into our neighborhoods selling their stinking weed to our children. And worst of all, it doesn't even stop kids from smoking marijuana!

We are not murderers and we are not stupid! We CANNOT support a policy that benefits nobody while causing the horrific murder of thousands of innocent people every year!

We must legalize adult marijuana sales in supermarkets, gas stations and pharmacies, at prices too low for criminals to match, for exactly the same reason that we have legalized alcohol and tobacco sales - to drive unscrupulous black-market criminals out of our neighborhoods and away from our children. Marijuana must be made legal to sell to adults everywhere that alcohol and tobacco are sold.

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Ernst May 10, 2011 @ 6:36 p.m.

We cannot get past the Federal Commerce issues. The Feds have stepped up their efforts with letters to State government people in Washington, Colorado and California. So far none have raised an angry fist in the direction of our Federal people and I don't blame them.

What we can do is legalize private cannabis horticulture ( not cultivation which has more to do with the soil than the plants ), legalize use and legalize non-commercial private trade (seeds,clone and produce) All this for the individual and not for commerce.

If we do this equally for all California we will lower the value of cannabis making it less valuable at the same time we grant liberty to our California citizens.

If we gamble on commerce in 2012 we waste a turn if the demographics have not changed enough and MPP is suggesting they will not have changed enough by 2012.

Let us take a safe first step and expand what the medical does to all Californians. Let's allow private horticulture, use and private non-commercial trade and then have a look at things for 2014. Otherwise an all or nothing like prop 19 was again means we either do for industry or we get nothing while industry still makes profits.

I want to see safe neighbourhoods too and all I want is a legal garden in 2012 where i can enjoy growing this amazing plant. I'll wait on the business until we are settled in with horticulture and are ready.

That anyone can garden with cannabis and share with friends offers an alternate to participating in illegal trade.

Sure people will still try and sell but if those who want to be legal are willing to pay for a permit like medical people do then law enforcement will have an aid in finding those who are not in compliance. Only by eliminating the drug profits will we reclaim our streets. Only by a safe and simple first step can we start our walk to cannabis freedom. Commerce is a dead horse for 2012 but people are trying hard to make us think it isn't.

Lets get smart.. Lets take it one step at a time with rights for the people first since the Feds are dead serious on the Commerce issue.. once we have more states doing medical things may change but we would have the cannabis plant in our hands legally when they do. I for one think granting rights to the plant to our people is better than allowing them to buy weed at a store for a first step. To hell with commerce first!

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jway May 10, 2011 @ 10:20 p.m.

I like your idea Ernst. As a non-smoker, anything that hurts the drug dealers' profits is good for our communities and good for our children.

Now what can we do to change federal law? After all, this is a democracy, not a dictatorship. If the people want the marijuana laws reformed then the marijuana laws should be reformed.

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Ernst May 11, 2011 @ 11:48 a.m.

How would I stop the Federal Government? I wouldn't. I'd change our State laws first and aim to reduce the crime associated with Cannabis.

Our efforts in Mexico have pushed the cartels far south. Our efforts on terrorism have bore fruit. I think the Federal Government needs our help. But the Federal Government doesn't live on our block so we must take care of our State first.

The question back to you is are the No voters willing to adopt uniform laws that allow private cannabis State wide? We have to apply cannabis law uniformly to all the almost 600 Jurisdictions in California. No exceptions.

Let us craft a policy that we can do all the things we need for our communities but it will require that we agree to allow cannabis for all equally and by State law. The choice is to be proactive or delay until the voter demographics change and the Yes voters become the majority. That is, simply, what is happening as I type. The refer madness generation is passing and the M-TV and Video game generation is rising.

Prop 19 failed but not by such a margin that it is inconceivable that in the not too distant future people will vote yes on Commerce and pot shops in every town. It's not a time for No people to have faith it's time for us to compromise and lay the foundation for the future. Cannabis is popular and a part of our California culture. I just sent a letter to the editor of the Modesto Bee yesterday and I am asking for the No voters to lead the way. I'll not publish that letter here yet but I trust I have a good standing with the Modesto Bee and they have no reason other than I sent a letter a month ago not to publish. Here is a link to a prior letter to the editor. http://www.modbee.com/2011/03/30/1622735/legalize-pot-for-the-people.html

So are you a No person? I'm in Turlock Ca and that is just above the Southern California Line. This is a No county.

I am a 10 year medical person who has a recommendation for an actual medical reason.

What do you say can we find the center and common ground and get Cannabis under control? Or will we bicker and wait until the Cannabis industry funds a successful initiative?

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jway May 11, 2011 @ 4:10 p.m.

Ernst, if you're meaning prop 19, then I'm a 100% yes person. A law like prop 19, applied nationally, will decimate the cartels and eliminate their presence in this country.

While prop 19 could've led the way to eliminating drug dealers from our neighborhoods, its defeat has left taxpayers like me funding a $40 billion prohibition that gives us nothing back in return but drug dealers, crime and LESS security.

It was a close thing though - prop 19 only needed 4% more support to pass, and nationally support for legalizing marijuana stands at 46% in favor, 50% opposed.

Legalization is coming and its benefits to non-smokers will be a great relief after so many years of failed prohibition. It doesn't matter if marijuana's used medicinally by patients or recreationally as a substitute for alcohol, legalizing its sale in supermarkets and pharmacies will make us all safer!

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Ernst May 11, 2011 @ 4:57 p.m.

You and I have a small difference of opinion. While I voted yes on 19 I was against it. I couldn't vote no in a no county. It was a matter of local politics more than approval of prop 19.

But, we are together on the need for change.

My particular bent originates from a life long love of the garden.

I am pleased to be chatting. Here is a gift link of Democracynow.org and the war south of the boarder. http://www.democracynow.org/2011/5/11/a_war_on_civilians_mexicos_drug

I have a core to my politics that reflects horticulture rights to the plants of this Earth for all. Cannabis is one of those plants that we derive benefit from. Economics aside I'm feeling that we may find common chord in community controlled cannabis. We want safe communities. Communities can have cannabis. Why not expand on a theme and extend the permit system to aid communities and law enforcement. Where I diverge with the prop 19 sized effort is that it's too drastic and too complex for voters. I feel strongly that success of a more singular effort will do more for our goals than a failure of a more complex one again. How do your feel on a simplified effort for 2012?

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jway May 12, 2011 @ 9:50 a.m.

Thanks for the links and yes, I really do think that you're on the right track. I have to admit though that I can't see where the difficulty would be in controlling marijuana with the same laws that we use for alcohol and tobacco. Legalized adult sales works remarkably well for these two products and keeps us safe from bootleggers and illegal tobacco dealers while restricting, as much as possible, the access of minors to them. Why can't the same thing be done with marijuana?

When I'm in a supermarket and see tobacco products displayed behind the counter I can see no reason why "Cali trees" or "Ernst's premium select" couldn't be in there as well. Taxpayers could receive an annual $40 billion cut in taxes if stores were allowed to sell marijuana to adults.

And as home growing is no different from home brewing, these two activities should be controlled by the same laws. To do anything else is simply illogical and not up to the standards we expect from our elected officials.

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Ernst May 12, 2011 @ 9:28 p.m.

I accept your geometry.

I too have a limited solution. My passion is about the soil and the Earth since that is source of my childhood experience as a 3 and 4 year old.; the Garden was magic to me and the soil was the source of plant life to me. We bond with the realm of our community in all things if we are not independently wealthy.

But is commerce the real center?

How do you see local production effecting the cross boarder commerce on cannabis? Given, hypothetically, that all of the people of California can grow cannabis. Will local supply counter cartel profits and in turn allow USA law enforcement to effect better the will of the people? We built a fence and it works.. Crime is down but will local cannabis production help more?

You guys down South are central to a competent plan. I'm sure we all can agree on that.

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Ernst May 12, 2011 @ 9:36 p.m.

Thanks for supporting the conversation.

It really should be as simple as legal age can access but for some reason we have seen the wisdom in making it illegal and in turn making sure it was a commodity that demands high prices.

So what I see so far is the far no and the commerce yes people want to be sure that it stays profitable for both.

That would be the law enforcement industry and the drug supply industry with the Tax payer covering the costs on both sides. what if we have local supply? What if you can get a pound from a friend for free? Screws both sides..

This shouldn't be I beat you or your position it should be the energy that spins the wheel we all watch..

What will this promote?

Cultivation or Commerce? Which helps our communities more given the reality that drugs are everywhere.

Just my thoughts.

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_Spark_ May 12, 2011 @ 4:43 p.m.

I ran into an acquaintance the other day ... This acquaintance of mine has been known to sell marijuana.

I was shocked to learn that she voted NO on Prop. 19 because if it passed, it would affect her profits.

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Ernst May 12, 2011 @ 10:04 p.m.

Decent is the Mother of democracy.

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