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One Week To Elections – What's Important To Medical Marijuana Patients

Daily Dose 2010-10-26 0 comments

October 26th – it’s one week until Election Day – 2010.

Because of Proposition 19 in California, this year’s elections will be as important to the cause of marijuana legalization like no other year since 1996 when Proposition 215 passed in California – the beginning of the modern era of medical marijuana.

Much of the mainstream news media has been running stories focusing on Proposition 19, and the voices for legalization have been both widespread and respectable.

The feeling in the air is that as a culture we are starting to move across the line from prohibition to some form of legalization and regulation for marijuana.

I’ve been waiting 27 years to feel this kind of momentum, but as a patient with a chronic illness that uses the herb for medicine, I have a different perspective going to the voting booth next Tuesday.

More Than Proposition 19

First on my mind is that for a large part of the nationwide medical marijuana community, nothing will change as a direct result of next Tuesday’s elections. Medical marijuana will still be illegal in their state.

But for patients in Arizona and South Dakota, medical marijuana could finally be state law.

Oregon has a ballot measure to clarify it’s existing laws and provide safer access to medical marijuana.

In California our biggest ballot issue as patients is not Proposition 19. Our biggest election day goal is to see Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley defeated in his run for the Attorney General’s office.

If Steve Cooley is elected he will do everything he can to turn the clock back to 1984, or at least 1995 – the year before Proposition 215 was passed.

Please tell all your family and friends in California – Please vote Not Cooley. (Which, of course, means voting FOR Kamala Harris)

A Medical Marijuana Voting Guide

Our long-term goal is that medical marijuana should be a medical issue, not a legal one. My personal goal is that no one should be arrested for choosing to use the herb, no matter what the reason.

Along the road to those ideals, when the choice is given to us, we have to cast our vote for the choice we believe is the best one going forward. Often it isn’t the perfect solution, but it’s a way to take a step in the right direction.

With that in mind, here is a run-down of the really important ballot issues on my mind, along with my voting recommendations:


Proposition 203 – New Medical Marijuana State – Vote YES

(From Yes on Proposition 203) What would Arizona’s medical marijuana initiative do?

  • Allow terminally and seriously ill patients who find relief from marijuana to use it with their doctors’ approval.
  • Protect these seriously ill patients from arrest and prosecution for the simple act of taking their doctor-recommended medicine.
  • Permit qualifying patients or their caregivers to legally purchase their medicine from tightly regulated clinics, as they would any other medicine — so they need not purchase it from the criminal market.
  • Permit qualifying patients or their caregivers to cultivate their own marijuana for medical use if a regulated medical marijuana clinic is not located within 25 miles of the qualifying patient.
  • Create registry identification cards, so that law enforcement officials could easily tell who was a registered patient, and establish penalties for false statements and fraudulent ID cards.
  • Allow patients and their caregivers who are arrested to discuss their medical use in court.
  • Keep commonsense restrictions on the medical use of marijuana, including prohibitions on public use of marijuana and driving under the influence of marijuana.

You can read the complete proposition here:


Not Cooley for Attorney General – Attorney General Election – Vote for Kamala Harris

(From ASA) Cooley is not cool! He is on record opposing the sales of medical marijuana and has a long history of complicating the local regulatory process.

If elected, Cooley could criminalize the sale of medical marijuana and aggressively raid dispensaries around the state.

If elected, Cooley could reverse the 2008 California Attorney General Guidelines, jeopardizing rights now afforded to patients and providers across the state.

As Attorney General, Cooley will likely work to overturn important legal precedents in the courts.


Measure 74 – Clarify/Modify Existing Medical Marijuana Laws – Vote YES

(From Yes on Measure 74) Vote YES on Measure 74 to provide:

  • Regulated supply: Qualified patients could obtain medical marijuana from regulated, nonprofit clinics like pharmacies.
  • Strict controls & accountability: Suppliers would be subject to background checks, inspections, record-keeping, auditing and zoning, and other regulations.
  • State revenues: The system will generate $3 million-$20 million per year for Oregon’s budget from taxes and fees paid by participants, much more than the cost of regulation.

South Dakota

Measure 13 – New Medical Marijuana State – Vote Yes

(From Yes on Measure 13) On November 2nd, voters in South Dakota will decide whether or not to bring medical marijuana to patients suffering from debilitating or terminal illness via Measure 13. Vote YES on Measure 13 to make a compassionate choice for patients in South Dakota.

Between now and next Tuesday will be posting news about the various election issues.