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Medical Marijuana Ballot Measure Headed for La Mesa, 4 Other Cities?

Measures are sought in five cities—including Encinitas, Lemon Grove and La Mesa—and take their cue from one planned for the city of San Diego.

Updated at 9:30 p.m. March 30, 2012

La Mesa shut down its lone medical marijuana clinic a year ago, closing Paul Peterson’s Pacific Alternative Care at 7882 La Mesa Blvd.

But the city could be haven for pot shops if a proposed ballot measure (see attached PDF) is approved, according to a U-T San Diego report Friday.

Measures sought in five cities—including Encinitas, Lemon Grove and La Mesa—take their cue from one planned for the city of San Diego (attached).

In La Mesa, the U-T quoted Councilman Ernie Ewin as saying: “My concern is that if you want to get it, get it legalized nationwide, not play with it on the state level.”

But before the November 2010 municipal elections, candidate Ewin and others reacted to a question about Proposition 19, the statewide marijuana-legalization initiative that failed 53.5 percent to 46.5 percent.

Ewin told Patch in a questionnaire:

I have always been a proponent of civil liberties. Clearly, every individual interprets the scope and character of those governmentally secured civil liberties in different ways. The legalization of marijuana is currently being discussed at the state level. I hope that proponents on all sides of the debate will weigh carefully the effects of such decisions on the health and safety of all citizens affected.  All that I can assure you with regard to local government's role in administering such legislative changes, is that I strive to uphold the laws set by the will of the people according our state constitution. I firmly believe in the American experiment of government by the people, which creates, in its very essence, the possibility for changes to the body of laws by which we are governed. That said, I imagine that anyone with strong opinions about state governmental issues such as the legalization of marijuana will have opinions about city government as well.

Councilman Mark Arapostathis said in September 2010:

Proposition 19 is a state proposition and will be decided by the voters of California, not the La Mesa City Council. Therefore, I will support the decision made by the voters. If Proposition 19 is passed I will work with our Chief of Police to educate the public on how the change in the law would affect the citizens of La Mesa. I would also work with the city attorney to gain a clear understanding of our rights as a city to exercise our legal authority with regards to any new law. In short, I would do everything I could to educate myself on how this could impact the city of La Mesa.

And mayoral incumbent Art Madrid said: “I do not support Proposition 19 for a variety of reasons, not the least of which will be the problems created by those who will abuse its use.”

A La Mesa City Council meeting in October 2010 also was the venue for debate of the state ballot measure.

The U-T reported that all five efforts are being coordinated by Citizens for Patient Rights with help from the trade group Patient Care Association.

“Our organization has wanted to create safe access throughout as much of the county as possible,” James Schmachtenberger, chairman of the PCA, was quoted as saying.

“As we began collecting signatures for the initiative in San Diego, we saw the need of patients in outlying areas and we realized we were just under the deadline for when ballot measures would need to be turned in to qualify for the election in November.”

In November 2011, a Patch poll asked: Should marijuana for medical and recreational use be legalized on the federal level? The result of the unscientific poll was 87 percent yes, 11 percent no.

Kevin George March 31, 2012 at 05:39 PM
I agree with Ernie. Why waste your efforts nibbling at the edges? This semi- legalization is a joke, everyone knows that the average person getting marijuana from these clinics has no legitimate medical problem. And no matter what the State does it will still be against the Federal laws. They should concentrate their efforts at that level and quit messing around. I consider this ballot measure and the accompanying City Council time spent a complete waste. When will this town lose it's lust for symbolic measures?
David B Secor March 31, 2012 at 06:52 PM
While local measures don't trump federal law, it gives cities and local police clear direction as to how the citizenry views medical marijuana. Its value to patients is undeniable. The many who would get marijuana prescriptions based on contrived symptoms is no reason to deny medical marijuana to those it would help. Times have changed. Perhaps you, or certainly someone you know well, is addicted to prescription drugs - Vicodin, oxycodone, other "pain-killers," xanax, ambien, etc., etc. Even teens and sub-teens are taking meds from their parents and grandparents and ingesting them or selling them to their peers. Recent statistics show that 3 times as many die from overdose with prescription drugs (often combined or with alcohol, than with common street drugs (cocaine, meth, heroin, etc.). Of course Big Pharma spends many millions to keep patients addicted to prescription drugs they make, and doctors (unethically) provide them to patients who demand them. Of all the pain-killers, appetite improvers, nausea-reducers and sleep inducers, medical marijuana is the least (if at all) addictive and has the least significant side effects. I believe my mother's death and poor quality of life in her final years was partly a result of her use of powerful prescription drugs which individually, or in combination, adversely affected her digestion and other normal body functions. Addiction (when a person CAN'T stop), whether alcohol or drugs, is a health issue, not a criminal one.
Things I Learned March 31, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Dave, your comment doesn't show up on front page. That makes 4 commenters (Kevin, Deena, Doug and you)
Deena While March 31, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Haha TIL! You're jealous, aren't you? I submitted a blog today, about 9am and it hasn't appeared yet either....I might be a ghost.... I'm really concerned about Eric and Ken -- have they been kidnapped, hog-tied, gagged and locked in a backroom somewhere? Why are they missing?
Deena While March 31, 2012 at 08:58 PM
...just one more day folks...April 1st is coming....

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