Friday morning, December 7, 2012, at 9:00 AM, the Committee to Protect Patients and Neighborhoods (CPPN) delivered over 72,000 signatures calling for a voter initiative to the Los Angeles City Clerk's office. CPPN represents patients, caregivers, and dispensary employees and was created by a coalition of the Greater Los Angeles Collective Alliance (GLACA), Americans for Safe Access-LA (ASA), and UFCW Local 770.
If certified sufficient by the Clerk's office, an initiative will be placed on the May 21, 2013 Los Angeles General Election Ballot to create an ordinance granting a "limited immunity" to the city's original, registered medical cannabis collectives. To be certified sufficient, the Committee must submit 41,138 valid signatures.
"When the City repealed the ban, it sent a powerful message to patients. The next step needs to be an ordinance that ensures real safe access," said Linda Leek, a two-time cancer survivor who suffers from multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia. Leek is one of the initiative's proponents
The City of Los Angeles is working on its own version of a Limited Immunity Ordinance, but five months have passed since the City's ban was overturned, and the proposed ordinance still has not come to the Council for a vote.
"We cannot abandon those who are sick, to a political process that appears to be stalled by opponents of safe access. We will continue to work with the City in the hopes of overcoming this impasse, but it has been nearly half a year since the ban was overturned. We need to ensure patients have the access mandated by state law and that all citizens have the protection an ordinance provides," remarked Yami Bolanos, President of GLACA.
"Patients understand that the proposed City ordinance needs to do more to ensure safe access," said William Rusbosin, an initiative proponent and patient. "We are filing the initiative petition signatures today to make sure Los Angeles does right by the people who depend on this medication."
"While the City's proposed ordinance represents movement by the city towards ensuring safe access for patients, it still remains far from being an effectual ordinance which protects our communities and enables the ill to receive their needed medication. Our plan will help provide safe access to needy patients while dramatically reducing the number of clinics and significantly increasing oversight and transparency of their operation. The city plan isn't guaranteed to accomplish that, and we need to keep working until we can reach complete agreement, or we'll take our vision to Los Angeles voters next May," said Mr. Icaza, President of UFCW Local 770.
Read the initiative here [PDF]
Press Release From The Committee to Protect Patients and Neighborhoods