Pubdate: Fri, 12 Oct 2012
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA)
Copyright: 2012 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
Note: Seldom prints LTEs from outside it's circulation area.
Author: Katherine Poythress


IMPERIAL BEACH -- Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee and
former California Superior Court Judge Jim Gray on Friday endorsed a
ballot measure to lift Imperial Beach's ban on medical marijuana

Gray, a former federal prosecutor and long-standing advocate to end
the war on drugs, told U-T San Diego that drug prohibition is "the
biggest failed policy in our history, second only to slavery."

At a news conference in Imperial Beach Friday, Gray endorsed not only
Proposition S, also known as the Safe Access Ordinance of Imperial
Beach, but three other ballot initiatives seeking regulation and
access for Southern California patients to medical marijuana:
propositions H in Del Mar, W in Solana Beach and T in Lemon Grove.

He said that despite federal crackdowns, local governments are
entitled to pass laws that are not consistent with federal laws. He
compared the state and local movements for safe access with the
beginning of the end for alcohol prohibition. That movement was led by
states fed up with the increased criminal activity that came with

Gray is running on the Libertarian ticket with presidential nominee
and former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson.

Eugene Davidovich, a member of the San Diego chapter of Americans for
Safe Access, which sponsored the citizen-led initiative in Imperial
Beach, said Gray's endorsement is a boon.

"We have a well-respected figure in the judicial system, a judge from
the Superior Court of Orange County, a very conservative part of
Southern California, coming down now to draw attention to the fact
that patients need safe access to medical marijuana," Davidovich said.
"It's very significant that it's not only a retired judge, but a vice
presidential nominee, and it's a city right on the border with Mexico,
a place where there are a lot of problems related to the illegal drug

Proposition S has received endorsements from across the political
spectrum, Davidovich added: The San Diego County Democratic Party, the
Libertarian Party and the Green Party of San Diego County.

Republican-endorsed City Council candidate Erika Lowery has also
formally voiced her support for the measure.

A recent federal crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries across
California has some local governments backing down from regulations
allowing them under the state's 1996 Compassionate Use Act.

The Imperial Beach City Council last year voted to ban dispensaries
that sold or provided medical marijuana to "four or more persons,"
including qualified patients and their caregivers. In response to the
Safe Access initiative, Mayor Jim Janney said he believes the city's
provision for small collectives of three or fewer patients should more
than suffice to meet their need for access.
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