May 17 2012 12:00 AM

Mayoral candidate says that the top priority is to move the process forward, not the details

filner

In late February, a political committee called Citizens for Patient Rights announced that Rep. Bob Filner, a candidate for mayor, had endorsed its ballot initiative to set up a municipal regulatory system for medical marijuana in the city of San Diego. 

Filner is almost universally recognized by the medical-marijuana community as the candidate of choice on the issue. But the community is not universally backing the ballot measure. As we previously reported, two prominent local organizations, the San Diego branch of Americans for Safe Access and the California Cannabis Coalition, both expressed concern that the measure would set up an unfair regulatory system. As it's written, the initiative would put regulatory, inspection and certification powers in the hands of a single organization, the Patient Care Association, the main group bankrolling Citizens for Patients Rights. The group claims to be a sort of chamber of commerce for the medi-pot industry, representing about 60 collectives.

And the Patient Care Association is a big supporter of not only Filner, raising money for his campaign, but it's also well-connected to the California Democratic Party. The group sponsored a well-attended hospitality suite when the state convention came through in the spring. 

Generally speaking, however, Democrats (and CityBeat) tend to reject the idea of self-regulating industries, arguing that corporations can't be trusted to police themselves. So, what makes medical marijuana different from, for example, the energy or financial industries? 

During our endorsement interview, we asked Filner whether he believed the medical-marijuana industry should write and oversee its own regulations. 

Filner said no, it shouldn't, and that he didn't know the initiative contained that provision when he endorsed it. Nevertheless, he said that he still supports the initiative as a "political statement," though he thinks that the initiative would become moot if he's elected. 

"I didn't get that when I read it," he said. "I think this issue has to be moved forward and nobody is coming up with a way. I'm not mayor now. I would move it forward if I'm mayor in terms of ordinances and regulations... that would encourage but regulate medical marijuana. But given the fact I'm not mayor now and nothing is moving forward, I said anything that moved it forward I would support. I didn't get that when I read the initiative. If that's a problem we need to deal with it... I support it as a political statement to say we have to move forward on this."

Here's the video clip:

Calendar

  • Visit one of the 70 participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and nightclubs in town on this night and 25 to 50 percent of sales will go to local HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs. 
  • Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward, who are vying to replace Todd Gloria on the San Diego City Council, will discuss urban issues, such as parking, homelessness and new developments
  • The new exhibition designed by Dave Ghilarducci is made from hundreds of rolls of packing tape and bound together by layers of plastic shrink-wrap. Visitors can navigate their way through cocoon-like passageways...
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • The San Diego County Bike Coalition hosts this monthly bike-in happy hour event to get biking residents involved in their communities and discuss bike projects planned for that specific community
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • So Say We All's monthly storytelling night features stories about those jobs we took because we had to take a job. Featured readers include Allison Gauss, Annmarie Houghtailing, Cecile Estelle, and more
  • Artists from the all-abstracts group show will talk about their work and techniques. Artists include Edwin Nutting, Danielle Nelisse, Leah Pantea, Lenore Simon, and more
See all events on Thursday, Apr 28