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Update: Councilman Bilbray Backs Medical Marijuana Measure for IB

Up for re-election, Bilbray said: “I decided I can't stay on the fence anymore" on Proposition S.

Updated at 4 p.m. Nov. 2, 2012, to include additional comments from Councilman Bilbray.

Only four days before the election, Imperial Beach Councilman Brian Pat Bilbray has endorsed Proposition S, which aims to legalize medical marijuana dispensaries in Imperial Beach.

“I decided I can’t stay on the fence anymore, especially after what my sister went through,” Bilbray told Patch.

His sister Briana’s skin cancer—and the death of Ignacio “Nacho” Martinez, a close family friend who had prostate cancer—pushed him to act, Bilbray said ina phone interview Friday.

 “He loved IB more than anyone I've ever known to love a city,” he said of Martinez. “And because of restrictions to zoning laws, he wasn’t able to get marijuana in IB. He had to send his family all around other places to get it.”

Bilbray is the son of Rep. Brian Bilbray, the Republican in a tough race for re-election in the 52nd Congressional District. The elder Bilbray was mayor of Imperial Beach from 1978 to 1985, the year Brian was born.

Up until Thursday evening, Councilman Brian P. Bilbray said he would not take a public stand on Prop. S, but signed a petition to get the proposition on the ballot.

After a two-year term, Councilman Bilbray is part of a group of six candidates vying for two seats on the Imperial Beach City Council.

Prop. S would enact the Safe Access Ordinance of Imperial Beach, and would strike from the books current city law which allows three people or fewer to form a collective to cultivate their own marijuana but prohibits storefront dispensaries.

“That's such a long time for someone who is chronically ill to wait, and really in fact a lot of people can’t wait that long in order to get it,” he said.

“Fact of the matter is, it does work—patients do need it. I have seen it firsthand,” the Yes on S campaign quoted Bilbray as saying. “Patients deserve the right to safe local access in Imperial Beach. It’s time to end the rhetoric and let reason, science and evidence drive our public policies.”

The San Diego County Democratic Party urged local residents to vote yes on S.

Among registered voters, Democrats are the dominant political party in Imperial Beach, and previous marijuana initiatives, Prop. 215 and Prop. 19, both passed in IB.

Councilman Bilbray, a Republican, said he decided to support Prop. S days before the election—in part for personal reasons.

“With my sister having to use medical marijuana to treat her stage three melanoma, this issue is very emotional and personal for me and my family,” he told the Yes on S campaign. “If the federal government is not going to take it upon themselves to start regulating, allow the FDA to actually look at it so it can be put in pharmacies, then it is up to the states to do exactly what they have done.”

In July 2011, his sister Briana Bilbray encouraged council members to vote against restrictive medical marijuana ordinances. The ordinances passed 4-1. The sole no vote came from Councilman Bilbray.

In November 2011, Briana was party to an injunction to stop U.S. attorneys from shutting down dispensaries.

Briana Bilbray is a member of the San Diego County Republican Party Central Committee and attended this year’s Republican National Convention.

Congressman Bilbray does not support medical marijuana, but appeared in an ad with his daughter that recognizes his efforts to support cancer research.

Both Councilman Bilbray and candidate Erika Lowery received the endorsement of the Republican Party of San Diego County, which encourages IB residents to vote no on S.

Lowery backs Prop. S, and Yes on S volunteers going door-to-door have championed Lowery’s candidacy.

“We are all individuals, and just because we have been endorsed by one group or another, we still have to do what we the think is best for our community,” Bilbray said.

Councilman Jim King, also seeking re-election, said he plans to vote no on S. 

Mayor Jim Janney also opposes the ballot initiative and has given more money to Citizens Against Prop. S than any other donor. Councilman Ed Spriggs has also given money to Citizens Against Prop. S.

Opponents argue that Prop. S would allow an unlimited number of dispensaries to open in IB.

The Yes on S campaign, sponsored by Americans for Safe Access and Canvass for a Cause, , more than all Imperial Beach City Council candidates combined.

valerie acevez November 03, 2012 at 07:17 PM
I am not heartless. I have had cancer four times and I do know the pain that goes with that. I am not against those in need. If you read I am against the fact that it is not just for those who are ill. I get a lot of my information from those who are younger and are using the process to get marijuana for free. They think this is joke. I don't take my decision lightly. I did speak with you and I do have concern for those in need. We will have to agree to disagree. I believe that the time is right but the process is not quite there. I stand by my decision.
ibsandyshores November 03, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Good for you, Valerie! Thanks for speaking out - we believe you stand by OUR community on this issue. VOTE NO on S
valerie acevez November 03, 2012 at 07:31 PM
to kay I am not running for my own gain. I have many friends in IB and they want the same thing as I do. I want IB to be a productive self maintaining city with all empty spaces full. If we don't find a way to bring revenue into the city there will not be an Imperial Beach. So what is more important? This Prop S? Or finding companies that will come and build their shops here? I for one choose commerce. The fact that no one answered any of my questions says it all. Not one question was answered. You are correct though. It will be decided on Tuesday.
Summer Hemphill November 03, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Here's hoping those voting no on Measure S suffer long,slow agonizing deaths while despicable politicians deny them access to the only medication that provides them relief from their misery in defiance of state. Karma's a bitch,why would any compassionate person interfere in the acquisition of doctor recommended medication when cannabis patients are entitled to "safe & legal access" under California law ! If we can't expect our elected leaders to abide by the law which they took an oath to uphold,how can they expect anyone to vote for them ? Vote for honesty,integrity & courage,vote for Brian Bilbray & Erika Lowery ! And for God's sake Vote Yes on Measure S,because it's the Christian thing to do
Ed Sorrels November 03, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Summer, Totally uncalled for, you say christian in your last line and then say what you do in your first, That's way overboard and unnecessary, I am one of the users but I managed before and will manage if prop s doesnt pass, but would never wish on anyone the pain that I face daily, Prop s is important but It should not engender feeling's to the level illistrated by your post !
Summer Hemphill November 03, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Politicians have been obstructing my "safe & legal access" illegally for years causing unnecessary pain & suffering ! This has also caused me great inconvenience & I've incurred greater expense as I've had to travel out of town to acquire my doctor recommended medication ! These politicians have put their biases before the needs of their constituents & the law they swore to uphold ! Now you have the audacity to expect me to filter my comments about these self-righteous simpletons,I think not ! They're arrogant,callous,clueless & classless ! I hate each & everyone of them with a passion I usually reserve for ex-husbands & child molesters ! I hope they all die horrific deaths & burn in hell ! You can turn the other cheek if you want,but these popularity contest winners will rue the day they declared war on cannabis patients & the caring people who provide our mediation ! Vote Yes on Measure S !!!
Ed Sorrels November 03, 2012 at 09:34 PM
GOD ! If there is arrogance involved here it is by folk's like you, I would think as the christian you "Claim" to be that you would not wish pain and sufferiong for anyone. I guess election's bring out the hater's and those without a ounce of compassion for others, But for myself I find it sickening and oh so aginst what we need to do, Get along and work together for the betterment of the planet and those that reside hereon !
valerie acevez November 03, 2012 at 10:01 PM
summer! I am sorry for your pain but God would.never.condone this. If you cannot.forgive neither can he! I am not against pain management. I will pray that you have better days.
Summer Hemphill November 03, 2012 at 10:13 PM
I'm not the one headed for hell,you are & I'm sure they have a special place for those who've cause others to suffer to further their own biased,ill-conceived & misguided political agenda ! If you had any compassion for me you'd be voting Yes on Measure S,instead of spewing repugnant & rejected rhetoric from your putrid pie hole ! An eye for an eye & a tooth for a tooth,vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord !
Ed Sorrels November 03, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Your last post only show's your hatred for those that happen to disagree with you. For your information I am one of the earliest supporters of prop s even before it was prop s. But I would wish no one pain and suffering as I myself endure both daily. You show all the traits of a hater and one that is miserable within herself I am so very sorry for you !
Eugene Z. Davidovich November 03, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Ed, I am so sorry to hear about the pain and suffering you endure every day. I mean that sincerely. Have you heard of RSO? It is a method of concentrating cannabis developed by a cannabis farmer in Canada that when eaten provides serious relief. In many cases reversing seriously debilitating diagnosis.
Ed Sorrels November 03, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Thank's Gene, But at 77 I am not going to put up with all this for much longer, I have a pretty good system in place now to cope. It is just that folk's like summer really make me sick to my stomach, An eye for an eye just gives you two blind people which is a pretty stupid way to go ! And as rto the last sentance I sure hope she ain't God!
Chico&The Man November 04, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Headlines Prop S passes By land slide....
John Galt November 04, 2012 at 01:21 AM
HEADLINE: TWO YOUNG CHILDREN AND MOTHER DIE AFTER BEING CAUGHT IN GUNFIRE BY POT STORE. This occurred because morons voted yes on POOP S against all common sense. NO ON POOP S. Save innocent lives.
Summer Hemphill November 04, 2012 at 02:03 AM
John Galt is proof positive that there are still a few lunatics in our midst ! Next he'll be telling us that medical marijuana patients kidnapped the Lindbergh baby & shot Lincoln. This kind of hysterical & unsubstantiated propaganda & outright lies by those opposed is as outrageous as it is predictable considering the sources of this malarky ! San Jose (pop. 800,000) gave up it's effort to shutter nearly a hundred dispensaries due to a groundswell of public opposition & now nearly a year later nobody even notices that they're there anymore ! No increase in crime or teenage marijuana use (all the teenagers who want to use marijuana were doing it already) & no roving bands of marijuana crazed zombies terrorizing their city ! In fact one of the reasons patients are hesitant to grow outdoors is because the teenage children of those opposed to Measure S steal it from their yards ! You can't legislate morality at the local level or impose your biases on others. Much like the situation here in IB the entire controversy was solely of the cities making & could have been avoided altogether if they had only complied with state law in the first place. Medical marijuana has been the law in California since 1996 & the courts have ruled that cities have no legal basis to deny "safe & legal access" to it through storefront dispensaries ! Those are the facts,a "no" vote will not prevent dispensaries from opening in Imperial Beach,it will just allow them to operate with no regulation at all !
John Galt November 04, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Hey moron, you Hemp, POOP S is not about medical needs. GO TO CVS and buy it there. It is that simple, but because you have done so many drugs in your life, you can't comprehend that concept. A NO ON POOP S vote is to preserve the SAFTEY of our families, children and legitimate business owners. Focus boy, focus...
Summer Hemphill November 04, 2012 at 02:47 AM
John Galt is as stupid as a mud fence,no cares what you think you know or imagine (It's kind of hard to tell where one stops & the other begins) ! We just expect Imperial Beach to abide by state law,the medical needs of the patients are well established under state law like it or not ! And the California courts have ruled that dispensaries are legal & local bans on them are not ! Try having someone read it to you real slow & maybe it will start to sink in ! If our the City Council had insisted the city abide by the law instead of defying it,this measure & expense wouldn't have been necessary ! It wouldn't matter if YES on S didn't receive a single vote (although mark my words,it will pass) on Tuesday to further obstruct the opening of dispensaries conflicts with state law & would be as illegal as it would be immoral ! Hopefully those who oppose Measure S are more prone to suicide than homicide,but keep an eye out for John Galt on November 7th anyway,let's just err on the side of caution ! Tell you sons & daughters,brothers & sisters,moms & dads & grandma & grandpa to join thousands of your friends & neighbors & VOTE YES on MEASURE S !!!
Chico&The Man November 04, 2012 at 03:09 AM
3-year-old boy, who was battling brain cancer, is alive today partly due to marijuana oil, which Dad gave him during the boy's nine-month stay in a Salt Lake City hospital....!!
Ed Sorrels November 04, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Alex, I would posit that if records were checked that young boy is a long way from the only one,
Chico&The Man November 04, 2012 at 04:34 AM
Yes ed many have been cured using Rick Simpsons oil John CVS does not have it ... https://www.facebook.com/BraveMyKayla http://www.tokeofthetown.com/2012/10/cannabis_cures_cancer_look_at_me_im_cancer_free.php
Bong Sativa November 04, 2012 at 05:37 AM
Thanks for having the courage to endorse Measure S when your re-election could hang in the balance. Don't worry I expect you to receive more votes than any of the other candidates as this will surely increase your appeal to undecided voters !
Bong Sativa November 04, 2012 at 05:48 AM
I agree with Summer,hanging is too good for the obstructionists. I'd hunt them down with dogs & gut them like a trout,but that would be wrong. Don't get me wrong,I'm not advocating committing violence upon those who've chosen to defy the law by attacking cannabis patients & banning dispensaries in Imperial Beach. I'm not dead set against it,I'm just not advocating it,that would be wrong.
John Galt November 04, 2012 at 12:46 PM
I voted for young Bilbray last election. This time I will not because of his RECKLESS BEHAVIOR TO SUPPORT A BAD IDEA SUCH AS POOP S. VOTE NO ON POOP S.
Ed Sorrels November 05, 2012 at 02:32 AM
and because he has come out in support you will not vote for him now ? Have you ever had someone that you loved that was dying of some really nasty and painfull disease ? and you are saying that you would depend ONLY on the medical community for their relief, If so you are a pretty heartless, I was going to say man but that won't work in this situation, I will settle for human as that can't be denied
John Galt November 05, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Ed Yes, no vote for Bilbray because of his mis-guided support and yes I currently have a family member with cancer. It is very terminal and less than 10% chance of making it to Christmas. POOP S is not about medical needs. It is about the open selling of POT next to every school, park, church and in every neighborhood. Read it! There is no bounds to POOP S other than they can be no closer than 300 feet from each other. POOP S is DANGEROUS for Imperial Beach. It really is something to be afraid of. We could have over 50 POT stores in IB open 24 hours a day. THERE IS NO LIMIT! If POOP S was good, why is it that liberal cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and over thirty other cities have turned POT STORES AWAY? My interest is in protecting my family and the citizens of IB. If POOP S passes, me along with many other citizens will work to pass a public safety proposition to allow open carrying of guns so we may better protect ourselves in town. Yes, laws like POOP S will bring the worst out in criminals. That has occurred in every city with pot stores. This has been the same argument from day one that the pro POOP S side refuses to address. WHY? Because they can't win that argument. I am all for medical pot being sold at legitimate pharmacies such as CVS or Rite-Aid. Have your joint if it makes you feel good; but please don't put my family, my wife, my daughters, or my grandchildren at risk because of it. That is what POOP S does.
ibcalif November 05, 2012 at 05:57 AM
John Galt, your main "contibution" to this political discourse thus far has been to (oh so cleverly) change "Prop S" to "POOP S". You are a tiresome bore.
Frank Mockery November 05, 2012 at 06:30 AM
I think bore is being too gracious,slimy pond scum or vacuous heap of parrot droppings is probably a more apt description ! If his morals were as low as his scruples he'd have to climb ten flights of stairs to kiss a snake's ass ! If someone can get a picture of him we can burn him in effigy on election night & make a fortune raffling off the rights to set him ablaze ! If we put him in a dunk tank the cities pension shortage would disappear in an afternoon ! John knows plenty about POOP because he's so full of it his hair turned brown ! How about you're POOP & we'll all get on the POT !!!
Eugene Z. Davidovich November 05, 2012 at 05:29 PM
YES ON S - Proposition S would restore the safe access guaranteed by state law that was ripped away from the Citizens of IB by the draconian ban city council passed last year. YES ON S - Prop S would repeal the ban and replace it with strict zoning and operational requirements. Requiring that patient collectives and cooperatives operate as non profits, pay their taxes, employ security features that protect the community and the medicine, etc. Every municipality that has regulated patient collectives has seen a significant drop in crime. This is fact and multiple studies have proven it. Prop S would allow those who truly need the medicine to obtain it safely rather then on the black market. VOTE YES ON S - Protect Our Community through Sensible regulations!
Eugene Z. Davidovich November 05, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Stop the rhetoric, stop the hate, let science and common sense drive public policy! VOTE YES ON S! The reefer madness era has passed! Time for a new generation of leadership! Don't forget to vote for LOWERY and BILBRAY while you are voting YES ON S!
John Galt November 06, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Eugene, there is no hate, but once again you are missing the point. Common sense would suggest VOTING NO on POOP S because it will bring crime to Imperial Beach. Nobody has objected to the use of pot, just the method of distribution. Do you understand that? Let me say it again, nobody has objected to the use, just the method of distribution. Science, statistics and facts, has proven that neighborhoods with pot stores have a much greater chance of being robbed. This is because of the large amount of unregulated cash. Look it up; this is a direct statement from Charlie Beck, Los Angeles Police Chief. Why not have the medical pot sold at one of our pharmacies? These are nice clean stores that are designed and operate as a legitimate business, unlike the pot stores. Why force the taxpayers of Imperial Beach to subsidize the new pot stores, likely dozens of them, with our taxes for protection. Why should we suffer lower property values? Why should we put or families at risk? PLEASE VOTE NO ON POOP S. Protect our children. Thank you

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