THE BLOG
09/19/2013 12:04 pm ET | Updated Nov 19, 2013

Medical Marijuana Patients Rally to Stop Mayor's Proposed Ban in Ventura

On Monday, September 16th, 2013 Ventura City Council will reconvene after their break. Medical marijuana patients, providers and advocates will gather in front of city hall at 5 p.m. for the third time in the hopes of stopping the blanket ban proposed by Mayor Mike Tracy in July. The proposed ordinance will affect patients by making it impossible for any professional medical marijuana dispensaries, delivery services or cooperative cultivation to take place within the city.

Members of the Americans for Safe Access Ventura Action Group and concerned community members are asking for sensible regulation and would like to form a working group with government and law enforcement to create compassionate policy while addressing the concerns of both sides of the issue.

Although California voters passed the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, the City of Ventura has made no effort to assure patients have safe access to marijuana for use in the treatment of serious and chronic conditions.

"There may be some medical quality there in the THC, but it seems to me there'd be a better way of dispensing it than a marijuana cigarette" stated Mayor Mike Tracy to KEYT News on July 8th. ASA member and medical marijuana patient Rachel Sedacca responds to the Mayor's comments "This is exactly the point. Dispensaries are important because that's where patients can go to get tinctures, edibles and topical salves. It's clear that the mayor who's proposing this ban knows little about the issue of marijuana as medicine. We'd like to work together for safe access in Ventura for patients that need it. Most people are familiar with the cannabinoid THC and its psychotropic qualities, but are less familiar with cannabidiol or CBD, which has been used with amazing results, effectively reducing or stopping devastating, relentless seizures for epileptics, crippling spasticity and pain in patients with Multiple Sclerosis, even showing it can shrink tissues of cancerous tumors. However marijuana high in CBD content is just not available on the street because it doesn't get people "high." Staffed by professionals, dispensaries offer safe access to patients, assuring quality, consistency and affordability not available on the black market, where patients will be forced to turn if the ban passes."

The City Council is expected to vote on the ordinance sometime in November, affecting a widely silent portion of the community, reluctant to speak up for fear of retribution, discrimination and social stigma.