Step-by-Step Guide 3: A city or county in your region is considering a ban
Before the hearing…
- Find out as many pertinent details as possible. When and where will the meeting be held? How does the public comment section of the meeting work? What body will be discussing the moratorium (ie city council, planning commission, etc.)? Who is proposing the ban? Why?
- Call or email Sonnet at the ASA office – (510) 251-1856 or firstname.lastname@example.org – and give her all the details you know. Sonnet will send out an alert to our local email lists.
- Send lobbying packets by email or fax to the body that is considering the moratorium. If time permits, follow up with phone calls.
- Contact patients and advocates in the area. Ask them to join you at the meeting to speak out against the ban and in favor of allowing dispensaries. Confirm that at least five to ten patients will be able to testify, and designate one or two people as the media spokes people. Tell them how to identify you when they arrive at the meeting.
- Important points to note:
- Permanent dispensary bans are punitive and force patients to travel long distances to acquire their medicine,
- dispensaries are an asset to the community and not a detriment,
- banning dispensaries is against state law, and
- ASA has pending lawsuits against four cities for banning dispensaries.
At the hearing…
- Print out several copies of the ASA ASA talking points about bans and distribute them to patients and advocates at the hearing. Remind everyone to be respectful and polite. Keep in mind that most local government officials know little about medical marijuana and need to be educated.
- Submit the ASA lobbying packet into public record when you speak.
- If media is present, make sure they speak with the media spokes people.
After the hearing…
- Contact Sonnet to tell her what happened.
- Make follow up calls to the officials involved, thanking those who voted against the ban.
- If the ban did not pass, offer to help local officials with crafting an ordinance to regulate dispensing collectives and remind them to look at the sample ordinance in the ASA ASA lobbying packet.
- If further lobbying is needed, please download the ABCs of Citizen Advocacy for guidance.