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Letter to the editor: Vote Yes on Measure F

I am a longtime Encinitas resident and proponent of Measure F. I wrote Measure F, because I believe in compassion for the sick along with community oversight and accountability.

In 1996, voters in California decided to allow for the compassionate use of medical marijuana for patients who need it. However, there were no regulations passed to make it accessible to these patients. Now, 16 years later, patients in Encinitas are still without safe and regulated access to a medicine that can improve their quality of life and often, save their lives. Even worse, they’re forced to go to the black market for a treatment they rely on.

These patients are our friends and neighbors. The sister of my neighbor, who passed away from cancer, was able to be present with her family, in her final days, due to medical marijuana. Another neighbor, who suffered from severe, debilitating migraines, housebound due to the pain, has returned to operating her successful business. The young man, with damage to his nervous system, due to Lyme tick disease, who found relief with medical marijuana.

Measure F enacts clear regulations, so we can feel safe, knowing medicine is being dispensed in a limited number of properly zoned outlets with clear public safety restrictions, including proper lighting, alarm systems, discreet signage, and city oversight.

Delivery services are not the solution. Delivery services are unregulated. The city has no way of tracking these organizations. We don’t know who is driving our neighborhoods in unmarked vehicles with unknown quantities of marijuana and cash or whether they are following state law. Patients don’t know if they are getting a quality product, which they cannot examine, prior to delivery. Delivery is dangerous for the drivers, who are set up by “patients” who request they come to a certain location at a certain time, only to rob them upon arrival. Patients, and the community, deserve better.

We’ve been told patients can get access “elsewhere.” But if every community says “elsewhere,” then where? How far must patients go to find a community that is not afraid to regulate the distribution? Los Angeles? South San Diego city? And if they can provide regulated access with municipal oversight, why can’t we?

Vote “Yes” on Measure “F”, because it provides safety for the community, and safe access for you and your loved ones when you need it.

James Schmachtenberger


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