March 17, 2014 From Jeffrey Hergenrather, MD, president of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, to Steph Sherer and Don Duncan of Americans for Safe Access
I appreciated seeing Don Duncan’s “Breaking News….. We win in California
” message of March 11, 2014. It did make mention of the “two important bills on the table to regulate commercial medical cannabis activity in the state…”, namely AB 604 and SB 1262.
My concern is that I’m not hearing from you that this bill will probably prevent millions of Californians from access to cannabis medicine because of the physician restrictions proposed in SB 1262. This bill would be disastrous for the majority of Californians enjoying the benefits of Prop 215. Only primary care physicians and physicians referred to by the primary physicians will be allowed to make recommendations. The bill gets worse in auditing physicians making more than 100 recommendations per year.
I would like for you to support and assist in the development of a website to Oppose SB 1262 as you have on California AB 2500. Physicians and patients need to communicate to the members of the two committees that are reviewing this bill at this time.
I support the notion of tax and regulate when it comes to cannabis sales through dispensaries. Some of the language in SB 1262 would provided needed framework to providing safe medicine.
All of the language in SB 1262 placing restrictions on physicians making approvals in unacceptable. Omar Figueroa has offered to work pro bono to assist in the effort to defeat the physician restrictions in this bill. Your support in opposing this part of the bill is essential.
Your prompt response is appreciated.
Jeffrey Hergenrather, MD
Don Duncan of ASA Responded Promptly:
Hello, everyone. ASA has not announced support or opposition for this bill, although you have probably seen me making some positive comments on the legislation:
1. The bill is a breakthrough in that local government and law enforcement lobbyists are admitting they can no longer stop regulations indefinitely.
2. The bill puts regulatory control of medical cannabis where it belongs – in the Dept. of Health. Ammiano needs to hear that!
3. The dispensary regulations are surprisingly reasonable.
I have met in person with the Senator and the sponsors. I am scheduling meetings with relevant committee members and a second meeting with the CMA right now. ASA hopes to improve the bill before announcing a position. I have attached a memo that Sebastopol Mayor Robert Jacob and ASA sent to Senator Correa regarding changes. If ASA announces opposition now, they stop listening to what we say. There is plenty of time left to oppose the bill if we cannot reach a consensus.
Thanks for writing. Sometimes the silence out there is deafening!