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Medical Marijuana Advocates Start Redding City Council Recall EffortSalem-News.com
Medical Marijuana Advocate Slams Dispensary Ban...
(REDDING, Calif.) - An outspoken Redding medical marijuana patient and advocate presented three City Council members with recall notices Tuesday night.
Rob McDonald, 50, presented council members Francie Sullivan, Rick Bosetti and Patrick Jones with the notices during the meeting's public comment period.
"Tonight I do something that isn't easy for me," McDonald said before announcing and presenting the notices. "Four weeks ago you basically listened to a group of people who basically wanted to violate another group of people's rights and you closed down the dispensaries."
The notice presented to Bosetti presents a more detailed explanation of the recall.
"You have continually ignored the rights and freedoms as guaranteed the people by the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of the state of California," the notice says. "You have discriminated against people based on their choice of medicine and told them that they don't need safe access after harvest season had ended, leaving thousands without their medicine if you are successful in closing down the collectives."
The council voted unanimously Nov. 15 to ban dispensaries. That decision followed a 2nd District Court of Appeal ruling in October that says efforts by officials in Long Beach to dictate which collectives can operate and which cannot go far beyond Prop. 215 and conflict with federal law.
That decision also invalidated Redding's permitting system for dispensaries, city officials have said.
McDonald also commented on the city's decision in October to lease the Civic Auditorium to Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry.
"Previously you did not listen to the whole city and you gave our convention center away," he said. "So that's why, it's kind of with heavy heart tonight, that those of you who are not up for election in 2012, I'm going to try to put you up for election in 2012."
The council members did not react and McDonald left the meeting after his comments. He was accompanied by James Benno, another outspoken medical marijuana patient who's claimed the city tried to force his landlord to evict him over a violation of the city's marijuana growing laws.
McDonald, who owns norcalbeat.com, has spoken frequently on behalf of medical marijuana issues. He's been a strong opponent of the city's decision last month to ban dispensaries.
All three council members' terms expire 2014. Bosetti has said he is running for state Assembly next year while Jones recently announced a bid for a Shasta County supervisor seat.
Jones said after the meeting he stands behind the council's decision to ban collectives. The decision didn't eliminate access to medical marijuana as many have claimed, he said.
He believes Redding residents will ultimately support the council members though he doesn't have a problem with a recall effort.
"Everybody has the right to recall," he said.
Bosetti said the Bethel lease wasn't mentioned in the recall notice and the city didn't give away the auditorium with that deal.
Sullivan said she wasn't surprised about the announcement and she, too, supports her initial vote for the ban.
"I'm just really sorry that this is being misunderstood. This has nothing to do with the merits of medical marijuana," she said, noting the ban was prompted by the court's ruling in the Long Beach case.
"They said we did not have the authority to permit medical marijuana collectives," Sullivan said. "It was, in my mind, the only choice we had."
The notices are a prelude to a signature-gathering campaign to qualify the recall vote for a ballot.
City Clerk Pamela Mize said she will review the documents to see if they meet the legal requirements for an official recall effort.
Copyright: 2011 Record Searchlight
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