“Medical cannabis advocates need tools and training to talk with their local lawmakers about medical marijuana,” said ASA California Director Don Duncan. “This project is all about supporting and empowering those local advocates to make a difference in their hometown.” ASA’s new Local Access Project (LAP) is a web portal with links to documents and online training that medical marijuana supporters can use to talk with their representatives on the City Council or County Board of Supervisors.
While California voters led the nation in legalizing medical marijuana in 1996, the state has lagged behind other medical marijuana states in adopting a statewide regulatory scheme. Cities and counties have adopted a patchwork of regulations and bans in the nineteen years since voters approved Proposition 215. Governor Brown signed a historic trio of bills known as the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) to license and regulate commercial medical marijuana at the state level on October 9.
“The deadline for local licensing of commercial medical cannabis in March has caused some cities to overreact,” said Duncan. “In some cases, local governments are even banning marijuana cultivation by individual patients. That was never the intent of the law.” ASA hopes the LAP will give patients and other advocates tools to talk to lawmakers about alternative to banning medical marijuana cultivation. “I believe that, given the choice, some cities and counties will opt to protect legal patient and the community at large by adopting a local licensing ordinance instead of a ban.”