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Bob Filner Endorses Medicinal Marijuana Tax Initiative

Congressman Bob Filner is the first mayoral candidate to endorse San Diego’s Compassionate Use Dispensary Regulation and Taxation initiative. In 17-pages, the initiative outlines how to restore safe access throughout the city while keeping money away from drug dealers and cartels, and proposes generating money for the city’s general fund, by imposing a sales tax of up to 2.5% on every medicinal marijuana transaction.

“It just makes sense to regulate medical marijuana, otherwise, as a city, we limit our ability to conduct oversight,” Filner said. “If medical marijuana is prohibited, the city misses out on valuable revenue, and patients don't have legal access or the ability to manage pain and enjoy regular activities.”

The Patient Care Association, who represents more than 60 medicinal marijuana collectives (many are temporarily closed), joined forces with Citizens for Patient Rightsto qualify the initiative for November’s ballot. To do so, they must gather 62,057 signatures by May 22.

Thanks to the $70,000 they have raised so far, a professional signature campaign, aided by volunteers, began on President’s Day. The initiative's campaign consultant, Cynara Velazquez, is confident they will meet, if not exceed, their signature goal and is pleased with their endorsements so far.

“We haven't started our main push for endorsements yet…but people see the federal and municipal disregard for state law, the will of [our city’s] voters, the desperation facing patients and caregivers, plus the resurgence of the cartel in the vacuum of regulated access, and they want to help,” Velzaquez said.

James Schmachtenberger, chair of the patient care group, said of Filner’s endorsement, “Unlike other local politicians, [Filner] is not afraid to take a stand on important issues like patient access.

The will of the electorate is with us and we look forward to announcing the support of many more local elected officials in the near future.” Several organizations, State Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, and former Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Stephen Downing, have also endorsed the measure

The initiative is set up to pay for itself through a cost recovery measure, making use of existing city departments to implement the more than a dozen operational regulations proposed for the collectives seeking a Compassionate Use Dispensary permit.

Regulations include California Department of Justice background checks for all collective directors and prohibitions on operating within a 600-foot radius of all accredited K-12 grade schools and playgrounds. There is also a 5-year limit on the number of collectives allowed to operate, limiting the first round of permits to those established prior to the initiative’s passage. More information about the measure is available online.

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Congressman Bob Filner is the first mayoral candidate to endorse San Diego’s Compassionate Use Dispensary Regulation and Taxation initiative. In 17-pages, the initiative outlines how to restore safe access throughout the city while keeping money away from drug dealers and cartels, and proposes generating money for the city’s general fund, by imposing a sales tax of up to 2.5% on every medicinal marijuana transaction.

“It just makes sense to regulate medical marijuana, otherwise, as a city, we limit our ability to conduct oversight,” Filner said. “If medical marijuana is prohibited, the city misses out on valuable revenue, and patients don't have legal access or the ability to manage pain and enjoy regular activities.”

The Patient Care Association, who represents more than 60 medicinal marijuana collectives (many are temporarily closed), joined forces with Citizens for Patient Rightsto qualify the initiative for November’s ballot. To do so, they must gather 62,057 signatures by May 22.

Thanks to the $70,000 they have raised so far, a professional signature campaign, aided by volunteers, began on President’s Day. The initiative's campaign consultant, Cynara Velazquez, is confident they will meet, if not exceed, their signature goal and is pleased with their endorsements so far.

“We haven't started our main push for endorsements yet…but people see the federal and municipal disregard for state law, the will of [our city’s] voters, the desperation facing patients and caregivers, plus the resurgence of the cartel in the vacuum of regulated access, and they want to help,” Velzaquez said.

James Schmachtenberger, chair of the patient care group, said of Filner’s endorsement, “Unlike other local politicians, [Filner] is not afraid to take a stand on important issues like patient access.

The will of the electorate is with us and we look forward to announcing the support of many more local elected officials in the near future.” Several organizations, State Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, and former Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Stephen Downing, have also endorsed the measure

The initiative is set up to pay for itself through a cost recovery measure, making use of existing city departments to implement the more than a dozen operational regulations proposed for the collectives seeking a Compassionate Use Dispensary permit.

Regulations include California Department of Justice background checks for all collective directors and prohibitions on operating within a 600-foot radius of all accredited K-12 grade schools and playgrounds. There is also a 5-year limit on the number of collectives allowed to operate, limiting the first round of permits to those established prior to the initiative’s passage. More information about the measure is available online.

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