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Pro-Marijuana Group Pulls in Big Green for IB Dispensary Proposition

The Yes on S committee has spent and received more money than all Imperial Beach City Council candidates combined.

For a complete list of articles related to medical marijuana regulation, visit the IB Patch Prop S Topic page.

Since the start of the year, the Yes on S Committee has raised near $80,000 in total contributions to persuade voters to approve the Safe Access Ordinance of Imperial Beach and allow medical marijuana dispensaries in IB.

That's more than the amount of money raised by all Imperial Beach City Council candidates combined.

In contrast, Citizens Against Prop S has only raised $3,600 in total contributions, according to financial disclosure documents.

The top donor to Citizens Against Prop is Mayor Jim Janney, who loaned the campaign $700.

Janney said he still believes in ordinances the city passed last year that allow collectives of three people or fewe but prohibits dispensaries, and that Prop S goes far beyond the needs of sick patients.

"They're [Citizens Against Prop S] not paying for hired consultants. They're not paying for people to knock on doors," Janney said when asked why the fundraising gap is so wide. "The candidates who are running for office aren't even spending that much money."

In IB, he said, "you shouldn't have to spend that much money to get elected or put a reasonable proposition out."

Meanwhile, as of Oct. 20, Proposition Y, a South Bay Union School District bond measure to invest in infrastructure improvements, has raised near $14,000.

Imperial Beach City Council candidate Bobby Patton has raised near $6,000, more money than any other candidate in the race, but 13 times less than the Prop S campaign, campaign finance documents.

Among eight people who gave the No on S campaign more than $100, six live in Imperial Beach, including Port Commissioner Dan Malcolm, Councilman Ed Spriggs, and Pacifica SD Management, a subsidiary of Pacifica Companies, owner of the new Pier South hotel.

In an argument in the ballot pamphlet against Prop S signed by Mayor Jim Janney, opponents labeled the campaign's funders as "out of town, special interest, profiteers," and in fact the majority of Yes on S campaign funders come from outside IB.

Among 55 donors who gave more than $100, more than 90 percent live outside Imperial Beach.

Individuals from 15 different cities across San Diego County gave money to the Yes on S campaign.

Among top places of residence for donors, 22 live in San Diego, five are from IB, four from Chula Vista and three from La Jolla and Florida.

As the committee's formal name states, the Yes on S is sponsored by Canvass for a Cause and Americans for Safe Access.

Canvass for a Cause supports issues like gay marriage, Occupy San Diego and anti-bullying campaigns. Americans for Safe Access strives to increase access to marijuana dispensaries.

The top donor, Amy McQuillin of Ramona, CA, gave $20,300 to the Yes on S campaign. McQuillin is a member of Americans for Safe Access and supports Occupy San Diego and Americans for a Department of Peace.

Yes on S has been able to raise money from across San Diego, said Eugene Davidovich, head of ASA and the Yes on S campaign manager, in part because dispensaries across the county and state have been shut down.

The Yes on S campaign started in April to gather signatures to get the proposition on the ballot, while Citizens Against Prop S didn't get started until September.

"They haven't spent nearly as much time working on this issue or studying this," he said.

The Yes on S campaign currently has had a total of 50 paid and unpaid people go door-to-door, Davidovich said.

Davidovich said Canvass for a Cause and Americans for Safe Access have not supported a medical marijuana ballot initiative this way before, and the current and former mayors and council members taking part in the no campaign should have the advantage.

"If anything, their infrastructure has existed for many more years, even longer than Canvass for a Cause has existed," he said. "The only people that gave them money are the entrenched politicians and prohibitionists who have been against this issue for whatever reasons that they have."

$60,000 in monetary contributions given to the Yes on S campaign went to pay for, among other things, a billboard on Palm Avenue, online advertising, yard signs, Canvass for a Cause support and near $16,000 in consultant fees.

Sam Spear, Heidi Whitman and Davidovich, who were paid consultant fees, are leaders at Canvass for a Cause or Americans for Safe Access.

In nonmonetary contributions, the campaign received tattoo and drag dinner show gift certificates, free pizza, gift baskets, bongs and pipes, rolling papers and much more.

Opponents have also called funders of the Yes on S campaign marijuana industry special interests.

Analysis of occupations listed by donors who gave more than $100 found six people directly connected to the medical marijuana industry.

Five owned or operated a medical marijuana dispensary, among them Robert Reidell. In September, his Mother Earth Co-Op was the final dispensary to close in San Diego.

There were also academic medical journal editors, retired veterans, a lawyer, a spa owner, a bodybuilder, an organic farmer, a U-T San Diego employee (graphic artist Shaffer Grubb), the owner of a parenting advice and family planning company and unemployed and retired individuals.

Homemaker Patsy Brown of Imperial Beach gave $200 to Citizens Against Prop S and $215 to Yes on S. Patch sought comment from Brown but she has not yet responded.

Kevin Berg November 02, 2012 at 05:27 AM
Vote NO on S. Marijuana dispensaries are back door legalization; dispensaries don’t and never will follow the law, its useless to regulate an illegal use. Reading and understanding state law illustrates how marijuana dispensaries are illegal. A quick side note, federal law clearly states that any cultivation, distribution, possession or use of marijuana violates federal law - even for medical purposes. Looking at the State Attorney General Medical Marijuana Guidelines it shows how the operations of marijuana dispensaries are violating state laws: First, the guidelines say collectives are “…democratically controlled and are not organized to make a profit for themselves,” but dispensary customers who walk in do not have a say on how the dispensary is operated and the selling of marijuana in a commercial retail settings financially benefit the owners/operators of the dispensary. Second, the guidelines say “The earnings and savings of the business must be used for the general welfare of its members for equal distribution to members in the form of cash, property, credits for services.”, but dispensaries do not distribute cash to the members/customers who are not employees/owners. Third, the guidelines say, “…should be a closed-network of marijuana cultivation and consumption with no purchase or sales to or from non-members.”, although anyone can walk into a dispensary, become a member by filing out forms and buy marijuana.
Kevin Berg November 02, 2012 at 05:29 AM
part 2 Fourth, the guidelines say “Collectives Should Acquire, Possess, and Distribute Only Lawfully Cultivated Marijuana.”, but dispensaries don’t supply authorities with information on where or how the marijuana is grown. Fifth, the guidelines say primary caregiver must have “…assumed responsibility for the housing, health and safety of the patient.”, but dispensary operators/owners serving as the ‘primary caregivers’ obviously aren’t also responsible for the housing, health, and safety of all their customers. In addition it’s quite telling to hear from Reverend Scott T. Imler, co-author of Proposition 215, who has expressed his concerns with the runway abuse occurring with dispensaries. He said, “We created Prop. 215 so patients would not have to deal with the black market profiteers. But today it is all about the money. Most of the dispensaries operating in California are a little more than dope dealers with store fronts.” - Alternatives Magazine, Fall 2006, issue 39. Reverend Scott T. Imler also said, “When we wrote Proposition 215, we were selling it to the public as something for seriously ill people... It’s turned into a joke. I think a lot of people have medicalized their recreational use.”- San Gabriel Valley Tribune, February 15, 2007.
Ibchr November 02, 2012 at 05:53 AM
If this proposition was truly about compassion the marijuana dispenseries would not be huge money makers for their owners. If you are so compassionate, give the marijuana to card holders for free. In the end those really in need are the ones getting screwed by those trying to fool the rest of us that the pot stores are needed for compassionate reasons.
Ganey November 02, 2012 at 01:51 PM
When prop S passes and it will "we" the pro supporters are gathering momentum to fix the city of Ib. You say outside interests look at the hotel. Lol silly it's north of the Pier...
Jon Hall November 02, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Drug dealing has always been a lucrative business --- the minor amount of money being spent here will be back into the pockets of the suppliers in the first month (or less) courtesy of the *sick* people Reminds me of a old saying: "If you can't dazzle them with Brilliance Baffle them with Bullshit ..."
Ganey November 02, 2012 at 01:59 PM
The tax money from just two of "our" shops can be used to.support our schools park and recreationand other much needed infrastructure. Wake up IB stop the feds from becomming so powerful that we the people wont evean have a say.. o and did you know that other states are going to completely legalize it? Look it up! I was one of the first people in southern California to have a judge return my medical cannabis. A vote on prop S means more tax revenue for my city ..... thank you for your support in this matter..
Marcus Boyd November 02, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Prop S Town Hall Meeting video has been released on Patch, unedited and in its entirety. VIDEO: http://imperialbeach.patch.com/blog_posts/video-prop-s-town-hall-meeting#youtube_video-12007401
John Galt November 02, 2012 at 02:33 PM
NO on POOP S No matter what spin, and how much out of town money is spent, it is BAD for IMPERIAL BEACH.
Chico&The Man November 02, 2012 at 03:54 PM
i can't believe how uneducated misinformed and plain idiotic people are. im sure John Galt and the rest of the reefer madness crew knew all of this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hy66MUZP538
FlyingTooLow November 02, 2012 at 05:49 PM
With all of the rhetoric surrounding the marijuana debate, the concept most overlooked: Freedom of the individual. “…over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign”.” — from the essay On Liberty by John Stuart Mill What happened to, "This is a FREE country"? That is what we have been telling the rest of the world for decades. Please, let us live up to it. Lead by example. After spending 5 years in Federal Prison for a marijuana offense, I wrote: Shoulda Robbed a Bank No, it is not a treatise on disproportionate sentences. It is about the escapades that led to my incarceration. I admit, I had a great time. No one was injured, no one was killed, firearms were not involved...there were no victims. We were Americans pursuing happiness in our own way. Harming no one...nor their property. That’s my contribution to helping point out just how ludicrous our pot laws truly are.
IBRalph November 02, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Vote NO on S. Only your first point really needs to be stated, Kevin. Pot dispensaries violate federal law. Federal law trumps local ordinances. Period. It is interesting to me that all the YES people make all kinds of arguments on why voters should approve this, but none of them address the issue of the all important need to change federal law first. Why aren't they using their money and time to support change to federal law? Are their brains so fogged they can't understand that? Stupid!
Brash Brazen November 02, 2012 at 06:58 PM
80% of Californians now support the medical use of marijuana,where do these idiots think that patients are supposed to acquire their medication ? Well these are the same conservative morons who tell their children that the stork brought them in lieu of sex education,so maybe they think our medication drops out of the sky ! The question isn't whether cannabis patients can use their medication in IB (it's been legal to do so since 1996) it's why do they need to leave their city to acquire it elsewhere at considerable inconvenience & expense ? California courts have ruled that storefront dispensaries are indeed legal & furthermore that local bans are illegal & unenforceable ! Do IB voters want to see the city squander a million dollars in a losing effort to ban dispensaries like the clueless & vindictive elected leaders in Lake Forest ? I think not ! Medical marijuana patients aren't asking for any special consideration,we're just demanding that Imperial Beach comply with existing state law ! And insofar as the Feds are concerned they'll have bigger fish to fry when several states (Colorado,Washington & maybe Oregon) legalize the recreational use of marijuana November 6th ! As the propaganda of the anti-marijuana zealots has been repudiated by doctors & researchers,more Americans support the use of medical marijuana everyday ! Nothing worth having comes easily & some of us have waited decades for this day to come,but let there be no doubt at this point that we will prevail !!!
John Galt November 02, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Brash - again and again you do not get it. What is it about the pro POOP S side does not understand? I support it for medical, if it works. No problem. NO on POOP S is about STOPPING SLEEZY, CRIME RIDDEN, LOWLIFE CULTURE that POOP S will bring. It is that simple. The agrument is not about medical, it is about the medod of selling. IF IT FOR MEDICAL - GO TO CVS and get it, Not some sleezy, unsafe place. Brash - DO YOU UNDERSTAND? Likely not because you have burned what few brains out with drugs. BRING A SAFE METHOD OF SALE to the public and nobody will agrue. POOP S IS UNSAFE. Thank you
John Galt November 02, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Alex - again your bringing the wrong fight. I am well informed. I just don't buy into the crap you are selling. NO on POOP S is TO STOP SLEEZY CRIME in Imperial Beach.
Loki November 02, 2012 at 07:25 PM
The Hotel owners should look next door at the park to see the drug gateway of IB.
Brash Brazen November 02, 2012 at 09:21 PM
John - again & again YOU don't get it ! Regardless of what kind of horrific problems you envision happening when medical marijuana dispensaries open here (and they will be opening) the courts have ruled that local bans are ILLEGAL & the courts won't allow local voters to ban them either ! You can hold your breath until you face turns blue,but the law is the law & you & Imperial Beach will be be forced to abide by it like everybody else ! Dispensaries would lose their protection from prosecution under California's laws against selling marijuana if they were to provide it to anyone without a doctor's recommendation,risking arrest & imprisonment ! Your problem seems to be that under California law anyone can get a doctor's recommendation for virtually any malady simply by asking for one ! The voters approved these guidelines under the Compassionate Use Act in 1996 & only another voter approved initiative can make them anymore stringent ! California law guarantees these patients the right to use marijuana &" safe & legal access" to it ! Until federal law changes,pharmacists are prohibited from distributing marijuana (a federal offense),but the continuing untenable federal stance on medical marijuana hasn't kept 17 states & the District of Columbia from defying them to legalize it's use ! Cities only enforce state laws & California courts only concern themselves with matters of state law,conflicts between the two will ultimately be settled in federal court ! DO YOU UNDERSTAND ?
IBRalph November 02, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Brash, you interpretation is different that the U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation and direction. Quit wasting our time and money on fighting this. Work on getting federal law changed. Supreme Court Holds Medical Marijuana Illegal http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/supreme-court-holds-medical-marijuana-illegal/ Author: Justene Adamec — Published: Jun 06, 2005 at 10:58 am By initiative, California voters legalized the use of marijuana under a doctor's supervision. California voters cannot change federal law and today, the US Supreme Court held that federal law preempts state law and users of medical marijuana can still be prosecuted under federal statutes. The majority opinion was written by John Paul Stevens followed well-established law on the preemption clause. The federal law preempts state law where the federal government has shown an intent to occupy that area of law. The federal drug laws do that and Stevens held that the proper remedy is for Congress to change the law, not to favor state laws in a preempted area.
Daniel Gutowski November 03, 2012 at 12:18 AM
PREVENT Shaky Access Vote NO on Prop S How easy is it to get a Medical Marijuana card for people as young at 18? Pretty easy according to NBC news 7: http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/health/How_Easy_Is_It_To_Get_A_Medical_Marijuana_Card__San_Diego.html HIPAA Privacy Rules prevent the disclosure of medical conditions so the Medical Marijuana applications do not even list the reason. I’m NO on prop S because it is a poorly written policy that allows for massive abuse = Pot Shop PROFIT- $$$ - at the expense of our community. Dispense medicine at the Pharmacy to the sick and terminally ill that need it. VOTE NO on Prop S - SUPPORT the dispensary laws already on the books in IB.
Ganey November 03, 2012 at 01:00 AM
I'm so glad that we are "AMERICANS" see if the people want change and we do we vote. I dont understand how law is passed and our local government thinks they are above the law,. Humm makes me want to fight harder for change. Those people who don't want prop s to pass must be in with the drug cartels? We want and will get safe access. Would it be ok to take the federal building and give back America what was stolen, freedom and the right to not be oppressed? take back America fight for freedom and liberty.... freedom fighters unite!!! Its the American way..read the constitutio ..wake up
Daniel Gutowski November 03, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Ganey: VOTE NO on Prop S - SUPPORT the dispensary laws already on the books in IB.
Brash Brazen November 03, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Seventeen states & the District of Columbia (with the approval of Congress) have voted to defy federal law & legalize the medical use of marijuana ! And that's all that matters in California Courts,they've ruled that the use of marijuana for medical purposes is legal with a doctor's recommendation ! The Appellate Court ruled that "The repeated use of the term "dispensary" throughout Health & Safety Code 11362.768 & the reference in subdivision (e) to a "storefront or mobile retail outlet" make it abundantly clear that the medical marijuana collectives authorized by section 11362.775 are permitted by state law to perform a dispensary function. Is that clear enough for you ? This decision was published July 2nd 2012 & unless it's overturned by the California Supreme Court it sets a legal precedent that local voters can't change even if they wanted to ! Enforcing federal law is no business of city government or local police,only the federal authorities & federal courts have jurisdiction under federal law ! Let those who risk their freedom providing medication to their patients worry about the Feds,I'm sure that with your lack of compassion their imprisonment would suit you just fine ! All my friends & neighbors are going to join Brian Bilbray,Erika Lowery & Marcus Boyd to VOTE YES on S !!!
Ed Sorrels November 03, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Me to Marcus, Except for me like is a little to soft, I love it when someone get's up on their hind leg's and say's what THEY FEEL !
IBRalph November 03, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Brash you give lots of rationalizations and tug at the heartstrings, and then say that those who provide mj to their patients should worry about the Feds. So it looks like you understand the issue here. No matter how you paint it, the only way it will be legal anywhere in the United States of America is by having the United States Congress pass a law that authorizes it. In the meantime, you can just keep throwing a snit at anyone who doesn't agree with you. 37 states understand that. Am I against having drugs legally prescribed to the sick? No. Patients have prescriptions filled by licensed pharmacists every day, even opiates. Since no one seems to want to tackle the real solution and work on having federal law changed, maybe there should be a push to have drug companies develop a way of dispensing measured amounts of mj through inhalers, just as they do for those with COPD. Patients could get the appropriate amount that is clean and safe every time.
John Galt November 03, 2012 at 04:29 AM
Like. Good idea!
ibbarbara November 03, 2012 at 06:30 AM
Did anyone else notice that in the article it stated "Mayor Jim Janney LOANED the Citizens Against Prop $700". LOANED not donated. I find that very interesting. Personally, I am voting....yes!!
Libi Uremovic November 03, 2012 at 12:47 PM
we call 18 year olds in this country 'adults' we call them 'adults' because we march them off to war and justify it by saying their 'old enough'.... if they are old enough to die for someone else's mistakes they are entitled to live their lives as they choose...
Libi Uremovic November 03, 2012 at 12:48 PM
no, the laws specifically block dispensaries...and the city refused to work with the people....which is why we are here...
Libi Uremovic November 03, 2012 at 12:49 PM
that's because he only takes from the government....he's not investing any of 'his' time or energy...
Daniel Gutowski November 04, 2012 at 06:11 AM
Libi: Your comment is very tell-tail. How can marijuana be issued to the terminally ill and those in critical conditions when the underlying intention is to abuse the justifiable reasons and legalize marijuana for everyone? The process to get a "marijuana card" is far too easy. The “marijuana cards” are available all over the internet. One online source promotes, “There has never been an easier, safer or more convenient method of obtaining your legal ------- marijuana card!”. Instead of “the sides” fighting each other why not work to make our local government function better if the laws on the books are not being followed. Large dispensaries will bring many troubles upon our small community including legal troubles $$$$$. I recall you mentioning this part of the budget is deep in the RED. Why add to it the problem? The current city law that allows collectives of three or fewer people to grow and consume Medical marijuana makes sense. As far as your comment regarding 18 year olds… we call them 'adults' because we march them off to war and justify it by saying their 'old enough'.... I highly respect our service women and men, “Thank You for Serving OUR Country”. Anyone in a critical condition should not be sent off to fight a war. PREVENT Shaky Access Vote NO on Prop S
Dawn Renee November 07, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Eugene, Heidi, Sam , Jonathan and all who worked so hard on this issue (and me), I am so sorry people continue to support big pharma over natural herb~ It was a good fight and we ain't done yet!!~

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