Coalition Meets with Mayor on Cannabis


By Lani Cleveland — President- Vallejo Patient’s Coalition

The Vallejo Patient’s Coalition recently met with Mayor Osby Davis to discuss the medical cannabis quagmire the city of Vallejo is currently in.  As representatives of the patients of this community we had a number of questions and concerns to present to the mayor and he did his best to address them.  The meeting started off rough as we have differing opinions on what is best for Vallejo however by meeting’s end we had found a common ground and a foundation from which we can begin to work to close the burgeoning gap that is prevalent with this controversial issue.

The mayor, who has been opposed to a Community Advisory Board on this issue, has agreed that it makes sense to have some cannabis and patient experts weighing in on issues such as patient care, compassion programs, quality of medication, etc…  The Vallejo Patient’s Coalition has been asked to put together a proposal for how such a Community Advisory Board would work.  We would love any input on this proposal at VallejoPatientsCoalition.com.

We have seen an evolution from the Mayor and the City Council that many in this community did not feel was ever possible.  It shows us that when you stand up for what you believe in and continue to educate and inform people you really can make a difference.

While we were unable to make any headway on the number of dispensaries, so many patients feel 4 is not enough for so many reasons, there is still room to work this issue out and it will end up being the will of the voters.  The mayor feels that if enough citizens really want medical cannabis in this city it will be decided by an election.

What does this mean exactly? The MC11, a group of tax paying dispensaries that has been fighting for the patients of Vallejo for years, has put together a referendum that will put the city council’s ordinance on hold for 30 days.  During that 30 days the Vallejo cannabis community has to gather 10,000 signatures.  MC11 has hired a reputable signature company to gather 10,000 signatures but we need people to sign this petition so it is up to us to spread the word.

Once we have enough signatures, the referendum will repel the city council’s ordinance and hopefully take the city council back to the drawing board.  This will further protect the patients of Vallejo, including patients like little 10 month old Madison, whose father spoke at the May 12th city council meeting about her debilitating epilepsy disorder, from having to worry about losing their medicine for even one day.

In about two weeks the initiative that the MC11 has also put together will have a name.  This initiative is for an ordinance that the MC11, with consultants, has put together.  It is a much more fair and balanced approach to what is currently happening.  Once the initiative has a name it goes to the city council to either enact it or put it on a ballot.

Despite many, many pleas from the citizens of Vallejo for the city council to hit the pause button and take some time to craft an ordinance that all of Vallejo can live with , it is felt that this issue will be placed on a ballot and presented to the citizens of Vallejo to weigh in on.  With an issue as polarizing as medical cannabis this looks like the only course of action.  Once and for all we can answer the question- does Vallejo really want medical cannabis dispensaries?

The Vallejo Patient’s Coalition’s answer is, “Yes, we do!”  Not only do we want them but we need them.  When you erase the stigma surrounding the cannabis plant all that you are left with is a plant that has few side effects and helps so many ailments.  What you are left with is a holistic, alternative approach to medical care.  How can that be bad for Vallejo and how can that money possibly be looked at as tainted?

Our hope is that on Tuesday the city council will take their ordinance back to the drawing board.  At one point, at the time of the moratorium, the city said to the citizens of Vallejo this is our acceptable number of dispensaries.  When Measure C was voted in the voters said ok now let’s tax and regulate these acceptable dispensaries.  The city happily accepted taxes but neglected to regulate, leading to the glut of dispensaries we now have in this city.  We hope that the city council does the right thing and grandfather in the compliant, tax-paying dispensaries, allow compliance and the market to determine the number and regulate the non-compliant dispensaries.
Whatever the city council decides to do one thing is clear, this fight is far from over and there are still many things that we can do to shape an ordinance that is best for the patients and citizens of Vallejo.  If you would like to get involved or get updates on what is happening please visit our website at www.vallejopatientscoalition.com
Thank you

 

Note: All opinions expressed in this column are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Vallejo Independent Bulletin



'Coalition Meets with Mayor on Cannabis' have 16 comments

  1. May 24, 2015 @ 12:28 am Dusty

    I wish the MMD would not be aloud in residential areas. I live directly behind one. I have been living at this same residence gor over fifty years, not once have i been late for my taxes. I vote regularly . However i can not even stand to be in my backyard the smell is so overwhelming, for get about opening and eving window. I also suffer from respiratory issues. I truely belive when the smell is at its greastest point during the day, i suffer more and most often require a treatment. So perhaps more then out of the way let citezins enjoy their own air as much as possible. Just saying !

    Reply

    • May 24, 2015 @ 10:44 am Morgan Lindsay Hannigan

      I agree that there need to be rules that make neighbors respect each other… unfortunately. The solutions offered by the City thus far will only lead to more wasted monies by the COV, and will do little to help your current dilemma of having a bad neighbor. What it will do, is open the door to 25-40 very expensive lawsuits to get rid of that neighbor, when what may only be required is a $10,000 raid on an illegal business. There are options that seem to be off the table to the Council, and we don’t understand why – but what they say in closed session must remain there, and they cannot comment on any ongoing litigation, certainly. Best of luck to you, DUSTY, and if you’d like any help dealing with your neighbor – I’d love to help – I know a lot of these operators personally.

      Reply

  2. May 24, 2015 @ 7:50 am Bong Hit

    In my opinion a greater harm is done to the citizens by keeping this issue in limbo. The canard about marijuana being a medicine is a ludicrous excuse to grow and sell this product. There is almost no support in the medical profession and among medical researchers for broad based benefits of Marijuana. Sure, some truly sick patients may get relief from the intoxicating effects of marijuana but to suggest that a majority of people seek out and purchase marijuana for a genuine medical condition is silly. Hello, people by this product to get high.

    Children should be warned about the negative health effects of ingesting super heated gasses into their lungs along side health education about cigarettes. It’s a vice that some adults choose to engage in and after children become adults they too can make that decision. Children need to hear a loud and clear message that SMOKING is dangerous and deleterious to your HEALTH.

    Having said all this, I’m in favor of decriminalization of marijuana and a normalization of the production and sale of the product. We’re foolishly making criminals out of young black and Latino males for possession and sale of marijuana at an alarming rate. Many of these inner city kids have no job options so they do what they can to generate some money for themselves and their families. In addition to the stress in poor communities, I believe the general stress level in the middle class will increase at accelerating rates. We’re in a global economy now and real wages will continue to decline for Americans as more and more third world countries pour their millions of workers into the job market. The standard of living for Americas middle class is on a declining path and I see no indications that this trend will reverse. Marijuana may be able to provide an intoxicating relief for adults as they confront the grim realities of our new normal.

    Reply

    • May 24, 2015 @ 10:36 am Morgan Lindsay Hannigan

      You obviously don’t watch CNN. Or C-SPAN. Or KQED. All of these places have done excellent specials and documentaries on cannabis and it’s therapeutic effects, from it’s intoxicating effects all the way to the medicinal effects of CBD, CBC, CBN, CBG, and a myriad of other chemical compounds found in cannabis. Golly, it’s crazy to me that people with semi-stellar vocabularies could be guilty of such indifference and ignorance. Check out the information out there, and get back to me please!

      Reply

    • December 17, 2015 @ 5:34 am bob Woolery

      The observation that opioid overdose deaths decline ~ 25% when medical cannabis is legalized suggests relief of symptoms in at least some painful ailments. Call it getting high, call it pain relief, I don’t really care. Some effect of smoked cannabis permits people who would otherwise die of opioid overdose to moderate or discontinue pharmaceutical narcotics. What more do you need to know?

      Reply

  3. May 24, 2015 @ 8:58 am Billy Goat

    While I don’t agree with the City’s strategy for regulating MMDs, I think it would be worse to delay the new regulations further. Moreover, how long would the delay last — until we have an election? Would this then be a special election that the City has to pay for? Elections themselves are very costly. Also, pending an election, would the entire raft of current MMDs be operating — 25, 30, 40 — whatever that number is? Whatever the number is, it’s way too many, which is the problem in the first place!

    I do think the Patients Coalition took a good tack by meeting with a city leader. That sort of meeting should have happened from the very start — and City staff should have initiated it. A lot of turmoil could have been avoided had the City met with the MC11 *before* they started drafting regulations.

    That said, I’m not sure that 11 dispensaries are needed in Vallejo. I could maybe live with the tax-compliant dispensaries going forward — that would take the total to 8 or 9, as I understand. Even that number is high, but at least they had been paying taxes up until the City refused their tax money, so there is some fairness in that.

    At this point I just want to see the City get ‘er done already. No, I’m not a cannabis “patient.” I likewise believe that for all the true medical uses of med marijuana, it’s hard to believe that Vallejo alone has so many MMD patients that we need 11 dispensaries, much less 25-40. And no, I don’t think there is much upside for Vallejo becoming a regional hub for retail MMDs. Other cities can take care of their own patients.

    Maybe 4 dispensaries is too few — but if so, we can revisit that in a year, once we’ve had some time to see what is truly needed. I know the dispensaries are competitors, but they might try to cooperate and merge to better their chances of making the cut into the fab-4. I agree that the City has not approached this the best way, but at this point I just want to see the number of MMDs reduced, even if the City has made a hash of it.

    Reply

    • May 24, 2015 @ 10:32 am Morgan Lindsay Hannigan

      “Whatever the number is, it’s way too many, which is the problem in the first place!” — you have very clearly have made up your mind before assessing any of the facts involved in this issue. That’s the “first place.” The dispensaries have been asking for meetings for over three years. Well, I have – and I’m only speaking for myself.

      Reply

      • May 26, 2015 @ 5:41 pm Billy Goat

        You would be wise to not jump to conclusions, nor alienate someone who is open to at least the tax-compliant MMDs. I started off pretty much opposed, except for the fact that state law legalizes med marijuana. Ok, state law legalizes, and Vallejo issued biz licenses, and some 8-9 have been consistent in paying their taxes. Out of respect for state law, Vallejo’s muddled tax and licensing efforts, and true med need, I have come around to the idea of supporting the tax-compliant MMDs. That seems fair. But for Vallejo to have 25-40 MMDs is way out of proportion to our population.

        Reply

  4. May 24, 2015 @ 1:19 pm Port Parroit

    I have a suggestion for the pro-MMD crowd. At this Tuesday’s Council meeting stage a pot delivery. Sidecar now whisks medical marijuana straight to customers who order from startup Meadow, promising arrival in less than an hour. Sidecar, which started with on-demand rides, added deliveries in Feb.

    If you were to coordinate a delivery by a Sidecar driver during the public input portion of the Council meeting you could prove a number of things: 1) By passing the ordinance the Council will drive the MMDs underground. 2) by showing that you can order pot over a smart phone, virtually anyone can get pot. 3) By having the pot come from a depensery in Oakland, you can hold up the receipt and show the council what portion of the purchase price is tax money that is benefiting the city of Oakland.

    I think if you did this when Morgan Hanigan is at the podium you would very effectively show the Council the folly of passing this ordinance. I thought I would suggest this act of political theater as a way to drive home the point that MMDs aren’t going to disappear, and that the council is only going to encourage the use of technology to skirt around the proposed ordinance and deprive Vallejo the benefits of Measure C money.

    Reply

  5. May 24, 2015 @ 4:05 pm wharf rat

    Licenced Pharmacies dispense prescriptions – period- most earn their Degrees from Medical Universities that have a ”School of Pharmacy”a Pharmacist must complete
    an exaustive education before even becoming licensed in CA , in order to dispense
    medication … Proffering medical advice , prescribing /compounding and dispensing is relegated
    to licensed medical Professionals ”and for a good reason” . A City of Vallejo business licence means ”squat”,a Degree in Pharmacology means alot , this entire debate is specious as neither the City nor the MMD Proprietors have one grain of qualifications toward providing medical services such as they have been
    quoted to have been doing for some time . Selling panaceias to seriously ill patients is Criminal as is practicing medicine without a license … Real crappy business plan IMO, that jeopardises legitimate homeopathic treatments . And Dr Hanigan do you truly ”represent” the licenced collectives or was that a typo.
    ” Thank you for your coverage. I represent the licensed, tax paying collectives in Vallejo, and I appreciate your coverage. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
    http://www.eastbayexpress.com/LegalizationNation/archives/2015/04/30/vallejo-city-leaders-defy-constituents-on-medical-cannabis-taxes

    Morgan Lindsay Hannigan
    report

    Reply

  6. May 24, 2015 @ 4:47 pm wharf rat

    @ PORT PARROT
    Ya must be ”smokin rope”, and all this time I thought you were a Technocrat , ”really” Sidecar — how 90’s
    it’s all about Driverless Cars nowadays . Ya see the mobile MJ Pharmacyst can now deliver ”medicine” safely
    while being completely —-up on a bongfull of ”train wreck” or even ”cranium crash” with no chance of gettin lost or disoriented as the Car will navigate and drive for them , safely conveying the prescription/stash to the needy Patient , heck munchies could even be part of a package deal . Hey what impacts ,we already have driverless Cars all over town 24/7 ya see they drive better when high .

    Reply

  7. May 31, 2015 @ 2:00 am Cheech Marin

    Morgan Hannigan is to Marijuana as Joe Felller is to Winco. Just another loud mouth know nothing touting a cause. Pro or con makes no difference, just fools with big mouths putting on a show at the City Council . IN 2016, California voters will vote to legalize Marijuana and this ridiculous concept of medical marijuana dispensaries will go by the wayside. All it is is a scam to make money from.

    Additionally, whom ever the city official is who permitted one to open at the former Shell gas station on Tuolumne and Redwood should be fired.

    Reply

    • May 31, 2015 @ 10:15 am Ben

      You don’t get it. Redwood Weed opened without ANY license. The original 9 did everything the city ever asked of them.

      Reply

      • May 31, 2015 @ 11:14 am John_K

        Did they obey the City’s cease and desist orders? Did any of the “original 9” ORIGINALLY apply and get a permit to open a new business as a marijuana dispensary?

        Reply

        • May 31, 2015 @ 6:40 pm Ben

          The 9 did state they were dispensaries or used the term “collective” which is what the state designated. Up until the city figured out they no longer wanted them, despite what the voters approved, those 9 did do what was asked of them. So who is right. Ossbie and his rubber stamps, or the voters? If the city has played this wrong it will cost the taxpayers a lot of money on top of what has already been not collected by taxes. If city is right there are still 4 instead of 9. Not much of a difference. If the voters go for the iniative being pushed there are maybe 40. Trying to shut them down will cost big bucks even if city is right.

          Reply

  8. May 31, 2015 @ 10:14 am chong

    how about the one next door to hummingbird bakery? how convenient. i wonder if the bakeries sales have increased?

    Reply


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