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Indybay Feature
Sat Feb 10 2007 (Updated 02/18/07)
Medical Cannabis Advocates Decry Increase in State's MMJ Patient Cards
Valentine's Day "Where is the Love?" Protest Against State MMJ ID Card Fee Hike
Axis of Love San Francisco organized medical marijuana patients, disability activists, HIV/AIDS activists, and other allies to protest the huge increase in the fees for state medical marijuana cards on Wednesday, February 14th at San Francisco General Hospital's "Love Statue." Organizers said, "Let the Love Children of San Francisco rise again! Let the ghosts of the AIDS activists who died while working on prop 215 walk among us, whispering-'Have some freakin heart.'" imc_photo.gif Photos and Report

California's ID card program works to provide protection from unnecessary detention, arrest or seizure of medical marijuana from qualified patients, since the card means that law enforcement officers don't have to verify patient documentation (doctors' recommendations and state id's). The state is increasing the fee that it charges to agencies that issue cards by more than $125, starting on March 1st. In San Francisco, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi is attempting to reinstate the city card program that would bring the cost back down to $25-50 (with the new fees, the card would cost at least $142 per patient). Opponents to the fee increase point out that many medical cannabis patients live below the poverty level and will not be able to afford both a doctor's visit and a state card-- and that as a consequence, poor people who need medical cannabis will be criminalized.

Americans for Safe Access has called for people to tell Governor Schwarzenegger and CDHS Director Sandra Shewry how outraged they are about the proposed fee increase for Californians' access to their medicine. Some 24 of the state's 58 counties are offering the id cards to their residents, but the vast majority of California's counties do not yet issue state id cards. Some California medical cannabis dispensaries already require that patients present a state card in order to enter.

California's law about identification cards | California's Medical Marijuana Program | County ID programs | San Francisco's ID Program
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