San Diego mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio dropped a shocker on Sunday: He has a medical-marijuana plan.
"The challenge is: How do we regulate it? And that's why I have been working with the medical-marijuana community on a targeted, strict ordinance that would allow us to permit certain delivery services and dispensaries in the city of San Diego, a limited number with audits and effective enforcement and oversight," DeMaio said at a debate broadcasted by 10News.
DeMaio has a reputation of opposing attempts to legitimize medical marijuana through city regulation. So we started making the calls: With whom was DeMaio meeting?
Eugene Davidovich, spokesperson for the local chapter of San Diegans for Safe Access (a group pushing a pro-medical-marijuana measure in Imperial Beach), says the organization has reached out to DeMaio, without any substantial response.
Cynara Velazquez, an organizer involved with several pro-medical-marijuana groups, including Citizens for Patient Rights, which is promoting measures in which is promoting measures in Solana Beach, Del Mar, Lemon Grove, La Mesa and Encinitas, says she's unaware of any direct discussions with DeMaio's campaign.
Attorney Michael Cindrich, executive director of the San Diego chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), also said there's been no communication with DeMaio's camp.
After much investigation and cold-calling, we found our way to a local property manager and owner, J.D. Bols, who confirmed, "Yes, I've been in discussions with Carl and am pleased to be working with him."
Here's what we know about Bols:
His involvement with medical-marijuana collectives is limited to his role as a landlord. "I had no ownership or involvement in [medical-marijuana dispensaries] in my buildings," he writes via email.
The city of San Diego has three open lawsuits against Bols and the medical-marijuana collectives that rented space from him: Joint Healing, Organic Aid and Horizon Collective. The suits allege that the collectives were operating in violation of city zoning ordinances.
Two of the dispensary managers being sued— Sean Eaddy and John Swanston of Horizon Collective—do not live in San Diego County. Swanston is facing felony charges in Sacramento for allegedly selling marijuana to non-patients and for commercial gain.
Bols would not answer further questions about the issue, directing all inquiries to the DeMaio campaign, which did not return multiple calls and emails, continuing the cold-shoulder DeMaio's turned to CityBeat throughout the election.
Hat tips to John R. Lamb and Voice of San Diego reporter Liam Dillon.