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Medical Marijuana in Gilroy — Election Candidates Debate

Find out what the people running for local office think about medical marijuana.

People looking for medical marijuana will come up empty if they are searching in Gilroy. Dispensaries are not allowed to open in the city limits.

If it's up to some candidates for mayor and city council, that will not change. But others feel differently. Last week we asked the candidates for their positions on medical marijuana. See the responses of those who answered below.

Question: What is your position on medical marijuana dispensaries? Should they be allowed in Gilroy?

Mayor Candidates:

Peter Arellano: As a medical doctor I have cared for patients with cancer. Many of these patients treated with chemotherapy and radiation suffered with severe nausea, vomiting and pain. Marijuana has been used to help control these symptoms. There are many patients who suffer from multiple diseases who can not tolerate oral medication or food without the aide of marijuana. I think it is cruel to ask a sick or disabled person to travel outside the city limits to obtain medication. Also it has been shown that people feel safer buying medical marijuana from a dispensary. Medical marijuana dispensaries should be allowed to operate in Gilroy.

Dion Bracco: I was against Med Leaf from day one. I do think that truly sick people should be able to use marijuana to help with their pain and suffering, but a young person with a sore back or a headache is not what the voters had in mind when they voted for it and until this is addressed I can’t support it.

Don Gage: I do not want them in Gilroy; and no, they should not be allowed in Gilroy.


City Council Candidates:

Terri Aulman: I think medical marijuana, if needed for a particular condition, should be prescribed by a doctor and dispensed through a pharmacy. I would not support a medical marijuana dispensary in Gilroy.

Cat Tucker: No.

Paul Kloecker: I support the present policy of the City of Gilroy that medical marijuana dispensaries as previously proposed are not allowed in Gilroy. The basis of this policy is that these dispensaries are prohibited by federal law and the City Charter requires compliance with Federal Law for all City of Gilroy ordinances.

Notwithstanding the above, I am supportive of the use of marijuana for patients who need this relief for illnesses. However, I believe this type of medication should be approved by the FDA and available in licensed medical pharmacies for patients who receive a prescription authorized by their licensed personal physician.

Rebeca Armendariz: I believe that yes, there is a place for medical marijuana dispensaries in Gilroy. However, they should be regulated and taxed like everything else, to avoid abuse and inappropriate use.

Where do you stand? Are you for or against medical marijuana? Do these answers sway your vote? Tell us in the comments and see where the mayor candidates stand on gang control here.

FlyingTooLow October 23, 2012 at 03:07 PM
The prohibition of marijuana is a farce. We are a free people. It is time to start living the way our forefathers intended. Law enforcement needs to re-direct its focus on crime...to those that are REAL crimes. I was in Federal Prison for 5 years for a marijuana offense. No, it was not for simple possession. I was arrested aboard a Lockheed PV2 in Marianna, Florida...charged and convicted for conspiracy to import and distribute 12,000 pounds of marijuana. At the time, I really had no idea what I had gotten myself into...mine was an offense involving pot...the thought never occurred to me that I may actually spend years in prison for that 'indiscretion.' As my years in prison rolled by, what I did see were armed bank robbers, coming and going...while I still sat there for marijuana. Most of the bank robbers only spent 17 to 24 months. But, I and my fellow 'drug offenders,'...we stayed for YEARS. I wrote about the escapades that led to my incarceration. I admit, I had a great time. No one was injured, no one was killed, firearms were not involved...there were no victims. We were Americans...doing what Americans do best...living free. Truly, it is time for this lunacy to end...it never should have begun. My book: Shoulda Robbed a Bank It is about living free. I would be honored by your review.
FlyingTooLow October 23, 2012 at 03:08 PM
All card-carrying members of the DEA need to read: Shoulda Robbed a Bank Here is one of its reviews: 5.0 out of 5 stars... If David Sedaris had written 'Catcher in the Rye'..this would be it, June 30, 2012 Amazon Verified Purchase This review is from: Shoulda Robbed a Bank (Kindle Edition) I have never smoked pot in my life...nor do I ever care to. I read about this book in numerous Huffington Post comments. Thought I would read it because I know nothing about marijuana or the people involved with it. I am ecstatic that I did. Funny, Funny, Funny!!! The chapters are like short stories. Stories about unloading boats with helicopters, close encounters with law enforcement, traveling through the jungles of South America. The chapter about the author's first time smoking marijuana made me feel like I was with him...coughing. All of the characters were just a group of loveable, nice guys and girls. Not what I had been raised to believe...hysterical maniacs high on pot bent on death and mayhem. They were nothing like that. If you have ever read any of David Sedaris' books, and like them...you will love Shoulda Robbed a Bank. And the crazy things happening reminded me of Holden Caufield in 'Catcher in the Rye' and the way he staggered through life. The way the words are put together are like nothing I have ever heard. I am sure I will use many of the sayings found in this book just to dazzle my friends. A terrific read. I love this book.
no crime please October 23, 2012 at 04:50 PM
You are in complete denial. You learned nothing. You should have been executed for bringing cartel poison into my country.
FlyingTooLow October 23, 2012 at 05:14 PM
@no crime please... Great to see a person of tolerance in 'your' free country. Have you heard of the concept of 'freedom'? Do you know what it means?
Brash Brazen October 23, 2012 at 06:02 PM
The state Appellate Court has ruled that cities are "pre-empted" from banning storefront medical marijuana dispensaries under state law & unless the state Supreme Court overturns their ruling Gilroy's ban is illegal ! Any elected official who violates his oath of office to uphold "all" California laws by obstructing our right to "safe & legal access" is guilty of malfeasance & should be permanently banned from seeking elective office again ! Cannabis patients are law-abiding citizens whose only demand is that our elected leaders be forced to comply with existing state law just like everybody else ! Those who put their personal biases before the needs & the will of their constituents & the law are obviously unfit for public office & should be tried for their treachery & jailed if convicted ! Jail would be a new experience for Don Gage,but convicted meth dealer Dion Bracco certainly has a clearer understanding of our penal system ! 81% of Americans support the medical use of marijuana,73% don't want those who use marijuana to be jailed & 50% now favor complete legalization ! Don't be fooled by the propaganda spread by callous & clueless politicians,because there will be medical marijuana dispensaries in Gilroy & they are powerless to further impede their arrival anymore !!! Only Dr. Arellano has an informed & non-biased position on this unnecessarily controversial issue & is willing to institute reasonable regulations for their operation ! Vote for Dr. Paul Arellano for Mayor !
Jillian Galloway October 23, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Paranoid old men keep marijuana illegal and make our children LESS safe.
FlyingTooLow October 24, 2012 at 12:38 AM
@Jillian Galloway... Well said!!!!!!!! Thank you.
Bong Sativa October 24, 2012 at 09:57 AM
Anyone who wants to use marijuana in Gilroy is already doing it & there has always been an ample supply of illegal marijuana here for decades. Storefront dispensaries allow patients with a doctor's recommendation to legally obtain marijuana & are subject to reasonable regulation. Gilroy's irrational & illegal ban isn't preventing one person from obtaining & using marijuana here,it just forces those with a right to "safe & legal access" under state law to purchase it illegally from drug dealers. Ironically once in the possession of a cannabis patient illegally obtained marijuana becomes legal no matter where it came from ! It's time to abandon the ridiculous notion that the city can defy state law & legislate marijuana out of town. Times have changed,public opinion has evolved & a few medical marijuana dispensaries won't result in a moral armageddon for Gilroy residents. Contact all these candidates & tell them that you support "safe & legal access" for cannabis patients in Gilroy today !
Joey Ismail October 24, 2012 at 10:28 PM
The fear of dispensarys is irrational. Unless these idiots are worried about pharmacies, that's where the real drugs are. Prescription medications kill over 40,000 people a year, and these idiots are worried about weed. What a world....
Brash Brazen November 02, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Dionne Bracco convicted meth dealer was against Med Leaf from day one ? How the hell did this purveyor of poison to Gilroy's children ever get elected to public office in the first place ! Meth dealers are the lowest form of human excrement & Dionne Bracco is a continuing embarassment to every citizen of Gilroy !

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