CA: Candidates Talk Cannabis During Special Meeting In Apple Valley

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Apple Valley – First District Supervisor candidate Angela Valles was one of several speakers at the “Meet the Candidates” nonpartisan voter luncheon that was hosted by the High Desert Cannabis Association Tuesday.

During the meeting, Valles said emphatically that she opposes the recreational use of marijuana, but approves the medicinal use by patients, including some of her family members who are dealing with a variety of ailments.

“I think we need to be careful that we don’t associate with the stigma surrounding the use of marijuana,” said Valles during Tuesday’s event at the Rusty Bull Roadhouse in Apple Valley, which was billed as a time to learn about the cannabis industry and to hear from those running for office. “Cannabis is a plant that can be used for good and we should learn to embrace it.”

Town of Apple Valley Mayor Barb Stanton was the master of ceremonies at the luncheon, which also featured speakers Joy Jeanette, who is running for Adelanto City Council, and Democrat Scott Markovich, who’ll face off against 33rd Assembly District seat-holder and Republican Jay Obernolte in November.

Valles, who told the audience she “has some explaining to do,” said that when she was on the Victorville City Council, she helped close all the marijuana dispensaries in the city because the businesses were operating illegally.

“People that called the police claimed that (the customers) were selling the marijuana after they bought it, they were selling it to minors or they were smoking it in the parking lot,” Valles said. “It was causing a lot of issues with the city and keeping our deputies busy.”

Markovich, who said he fully supports Prop. 64 – the legalization of marijuana – with its sale and cultivation taxes, said he believes the proposition will pass with 60 percent of the vote or more.

“When marijuana is finally legalized in the state, (will the county) still going to oppose it? “ Markovich said. “They are fundamentally wrong and backwards in their thinking. We are a county of liberty and rights, which they should not stifle.”

Markovich, who approves of the recreational and medicinal use of cannabis, said he, like the California Democratic Party, endorses the marijuana legalization initiative on the fall ballot.

Stanton said local councils and county officials should not prevent the sick from obtaining medical marijuana, especially the parents of ill children who have been treated successfully by the use of CBD oil, which does not contain THC, the primary ingredient in marijuana responsible for the high.

Stanton said she believes the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors were in error with their hard-line stance on all uses of marijuana.

The board unanimously approved the county’s revamped cannabis ordinance on Aug. 23, which accounts for recent changes at the state level and preemptively addresses a November ballot measure that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana, the Daily Press reported earlier.

“We have 30,000 marijuana deliveries in the High Desert with cash and cannabis, and it all runs flawlessly,” Stanton said. “We really need to make our voices heard at this next election.”

Pointing to a photo of her late son, Navy veteran Randy Dale Thrower, 55, Jeanette told the group that she once opposed the use of marijuana until her son, who was diagnosed with cancer, began suffering.

“Even with all the prescription drugs he was taking, Randy could not sleep and he was up for days,” Jeanette said. “I went out in the middle of the night to get the one thing that my son needed. After he took the marijuana, he finally fell asleep. How can we prevent the suffering from obtaining the comfort they need?”

Attorney Pamela Epstein, who represents the HDCA, said the county board’s willingness to revisit the manufacturing aspect of medical marijuana is a silver lining and opportunity for the HDCA to educate and inform the board.

Valles said there’s a lot of money to be made in the marijuana industry outside of the pharmaceutical industry and traditional medicine, but she added that she’s against “rave-like” cannabis-themed events like the recent Chalice Festival held in July at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds and the upcoming High Life Music Festival.

Town of Apple Valley Council candidates Tom Piper and Salvador Ortiz were also in attendance, along with several several civic, business and community leaders.

Kasha Herrington, a spokeswoman for the HDCA, said she reached out to the three candidates who spoke because of their stance on medical cannabis.

“We’ll be holding more meetings and inviting other candidates,” Herrington said. “We’ll be going through a vetting process and just because a candidate endorses medical marijuana doesn’t mean we’ll endorse them.”
For more information on the HDCA, visit High Desert Cannabis Association – Welcome.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Candidates Talk Cannabis During Special Meeting In Apple Valley
Author: Rene Ray De La Cruz
Contact: 760-241-7744
Photo Credit: James Quigg
Website: Daily Press