Last month, the San Diego
County Board of Supervisors voted to challenge
California's medical marijuana law in federal court. Now, board
members may be about to pay the ultimate political price for ignoring the
will of the voters. On Wednesday, two county residents, a nurse and
a medical marijuana patient, filed a notice of intent with county authorities
to circulate a ballot initiative setting a two-term limit for supervisors.
Claudia Little, RN, and patient
Rudy Reyes, who uses medical marijuana to treat pain and muscle contractions
from burns he received in the October 2003 wildfires, are being backed
by two national marijuana reform organizations, Americans
for Safe Access and the Marijuana
Policy Project. A third group not linked to drug reform, US
Term Limits, has expressed interest in supporting the move should it
qualify for the November ballot.
The supervisors have been
outspoken in their opposition to the state's Compassionate Use Act.
Two months ago, they refused to initiate a state-mandated registry for
medical marijuana patients and providers, saying it would "send the wrong
message" to the county's young people. Last month, in addition to
threatening federal court action to challenge the law, supervisors also
sat by silently as county law enforcement personnel worked hand in hand
with DEA agents to raid every dispensary in the county.
|demonstration honoring Steve McWilliams, medical marijuana
provider who took his own life while facing federal prosecution
"As a San Diegan and a pain
management specialist, I am appalled that our Board of Supervisors is defying
the will of county voters, and doing it in order to wage a war on the sick,"
said Little. "This initiative is necessary because our supervisors
are dangerously out of control."
"We don't usually get involved
in term limits initiatives, but this situation is extraordinary," said
MPP Legislative Analyst Karen O'Keefe. "We cannot just sit idly by
while the San Diego County supervisors try to deny patients the medicine
that they need, completely ignoring the will of the voters who put them
MPP must like the numbers
in a poll released last
week. According to that sounding, conducted by the Evans/McDonough
Company, 78% of county voters agreed that "The San Diego County Board of
Supervisors should not be spending taxpayer money suing the state to try
to overturn California's medical marijuana law." Support for a measure
to term limit supervisors was even higher, with 84% saying they would vote
for such a proposal.
They may soon have the chance.
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