San Diego City Council Committee Endorses ID Card for Medical Marijuana Users
A San Diego City Council committee Wednesday endorsed a proposal to provide patients who use marijuana with identification cards to "protect them from arrest" by city police, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee voted 4-1 to recommend the plan to the full council (Huard, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/8). The system is designed to identify those eligible to use marijuana under Proposition 215, the 1996 voter-approved ballot initiative that allows individuals to possess, cultivate and use marijuana for medicinal purposes (California Healthline, 5/8). In August, the committee voted to have the citizens' Marijuana Task Force, which was established in May, develop guidelines for implementing Proposition 215 and create an identification card program similar to San Francisco's system. Last year, San Francisco began allowing physician-approved medical marijuana users to pay a $25 fee to receive a city identification card (California Healthline, 8/10). Under the task force's proposal, the San Diego ID card program will be administered by a not-for-profit medical agency. However, council member Ralph Inzunza, who supported the plan, said the city must set limits on "how much" marijuana a cardholder could have and must revise local ordinances to make it a crime to "copy, sell, counterfeit" or "abuse" the cards. Council member Toni Atkins, chair of the committee, said the city must make it clear that the cards will not protect a user from arrest by federal, state or county law enforcement agencies or be valid outside of the city. Atkins added that she hopes the full council will vote on the program by the end of the year (San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/8).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.