January 23, 2012

Californians to Regulate Medical Marijuana Forms Campaign Committee

January 23, 2012
Medical Marijuana

Medical MarijuanaCommittee Launches Campaign/Fundraising/Outreach Efforts to Qualify Initiative

Californians to Regulate Medical Marijuana has filed with the Secretary of State as a campaign committee (http://1.usa.gov/zeLjO1) to support the California Medical Marijuana Regulation, Control and Taxation Act.

71 percent of Californians support the state’s law allowing the use of marijuana for medical reasons. However, many Californians also want to see reforms to the current system to insure medical patients have continued access to marijuana but with clearer, stronger, and more uniform statewide rules.

The California Medical Marijuana Regulation, Control and Taxation Act, filed by Americans for Safe Access and UFCW Local 5 with the CA Attorney General, calls for uniform statewide policy and oversight; uniform statewide taxation; and stronger penalties for fraudulent medical recommendations.

Patients, advocates and doctors have led the call for the implementation of regulations for safe access to medical marijuana for the patients that need it most. Recently, for example, the California Medical Association (CMA) called for regulations, saying, “We need to regulate cannabis so that we know what we’re recommending to our patients.” (Dr. Paul Phinney, M.D., CMA Board Chair, Press Release, 10/16/11)

Backers of the measure have put a first-class campaign team together, including campaign manager Tony Fazio (Winning Directions), strategic advisor Barry Fadem, strategic advisor Bill Zimmerman, grassroots coalition experts Mike Madrid (Grassroots Labs) and Alison Sterling Nichols (Exec Dir., Emerald Growers Association), communications consultants Marc O’Hara (Precision Politics) and Roger Salazar (Acosta|Salazar) and pollster Ruth Bernstein (EMC Research).

Californians to Regulate Medical Marijuana has launched a website (www.RegulateMedicalMarijuana.org), expects broad-based support and is lining up financial commitments from patients, doctors, advocates and individuals for efforts to qualify the initiative for the November 2012 ballot.

The California Medical Marijuana Regulation, Control and Taxation Act Will:

-Establish a self-funded Bureau of Medical Marijuana Enforcement (BMME) under the Department of Consumer Affairs, which also regulates the California Medical Board and the Board of Pharmacy.

-Outlaw the issuance or use of fraudulent physician recommendations.

-Establish a 2.5% tax on the sale of medical marijuana to fund all BMME activities and pay for the registry system.

-Allocate any surplus tax revenues funds — beyond those needed to run the BMME — to fund emergency medical services, low-income assistance and health services, scientific and educational grant programs, research into environmentally-sound cultivation practices.

-Explicitly protect medical patients’ civil rights, which were implicit in voterapproved Prop. 215.

-Mandate state registration after July 1, 2013 for every person in California engaged in cultivating, processing, manufacturing, transporting, distributing, selling medical marijuana for use by others.

-Exempt patients and primary caregivers growing medical marijuana at home for personal use only.

-Prohibit cities and counties from excluding the operation of state-permitted medical marijuana businesses, but explicitly permit the establishment of reasonable zoning regulations on the location of facilities.

-Grant all California cities and counties the opportunity to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in their jurisdiction by voting affirmatively in a local ballot initiative election, provided they show that patients have adequate access to medical marijuana by other reasonable means.


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