Chapter 7.122


7.122.010    Title.

7.122.020    Purpose.

7.122.030    Definitions.

7.122.040    Findings.

7.122.050    Implementation.

7.122.060    Severability.

7.122.010 Title.

The title of this chapter shall be “The Santa Cruz County Medical Marijuana Ordinance.” [Added by Measure A, November 3, 1992].

7.122.020 Purpose.

The purposes of this chapter are:

(A)    To express the compassion of the people of Santa Cruz County for the medically challenged in our community whose sufferings would be alleviated by the use of medical marijuana.

(B)    To express the strong support of the people of Santa Cruz County for the restoration of cannabis/marijuana medical preparations to the list of available medicines which can be prescribed by licensed physicians.

(C)    To direct the elected officials of Santa Cruz County to take whatever actions may be within their power to support the availability of cannabis/marijuana for medical use. [Added by Measure A, November 3, 1992].

7.122.030 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, “cannabis/marijuana medical preparations” shall mean: all products made from cannabis or marijuana, in any form intended or used for human consumption, for the treatment of any disease; the relief of pain; or as an adjunct to any medical procedure for the treatment of cancer, glaucoma, or AIDS; or for any other medical or healing purpose defined within the bounds of the doctor/patient relationship. [Added by Measure A, November 3, 1992].

7.122.040 Findings.

The people of the County of Santa Cruz make the following findings:

(A)    Safe and Effective Medicine. Scientific and medical studies by the National Academy of Science have shown cannabis/marijuana to be a safe and effective medicine with very low toxicity compared to most prescription drugs. It has been shown to be effective in the treatment of glaucoma; epilepsy; muscle spasticity; arthritis; the nausea, vomiting and appetite loss associated with chemotherapies; anxiety and depression; and the symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol and narcotics.

(B)    Doctors and Patients Need the Cannabis/Marijuana Option. Studies show that one-third of all cancer patients discontinue potentially life-saving chemotherapy due to the severe and debilitating side effects. The same is true for many AIDS patients receiving AZT or other similar therapies. Most physicians surveyed said that they would prescribe cannabis/marijuana if legally available. Half of all cancer specialists surveyed said that they have already encouraged at least one of their patients to break the law and use cannabis/marijuana to ease the violent nausea and vomiting associated with their current treatments.

(C)    United Nations Approves Prescription Marijuana. In May of 1991, the United Nations Narcotic Control Board voted overwhelmingly to reclassify cannabis/marijuana, placing it back on Schedule 2, and making it available by prescription. The United States Representative to this Board voted in favor of rescheduling.

(D)    Federal Court Orders Prescription Marijuana. Despite a Federal court order recognizing the “clearly established medical value” of cannabis/marijuana, and mandating that it be reclassified to Schedule 2 and available by prescription, the Federal government continues to deny access to this safe and effective medicine.

(E)    Politics Before Patients. By its own admission, the Federal government continues to deny access to cannabis/marijuana for political rather than medical reasons. Using patients as pawns in the ever-escalating war on drugs, current policies place message before medicine, convenience before compassion, and politics before patients. [Added by Measure A, November 3, 1992].

7.122.050 Implementation.

(A)    Within 90 days of the certification of the November 3, 1992, General Election, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors shall transmit the text of this chapter to the President of the United States, the Governor of the State of California, and the Federal and State Legislative Representatives of Santa Cruz County and urge them to take whatever actions that may be in their power to:

(1)    Restore cannabis/marijuana medical preparations to the list of available medicines which can be prescribed by licensed physicians;

(2)    Provide for by law and institute such mechanisms as may be necessary to ensure a safe and affordable supply of cannabis/marijuana for medical use.

(B)    The Board of Supervisors shall request the Sheriff and the District Attorney to adhere to the spirit of this chapter in setting their priorities and to exercise whatever discretionary powers they may possess to minimize the negative impacts of current cannabis/marijuana restrictions, where medical use is apparent.

(C)    The Board of Supervisors shall direct the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency to monitor developments in the field of cannabis/marijuana medicine, including research projects, trial studies, or current governmental programs and to make available, upon request by any doctor or patient, accurate and timely information regarding the efficacy of cannabis/marijuana for various medical conditions. [Added by Measure A, November 3, 1992].

7.122.060 Severability.

If any of these provisions are held to be invalid, all remaining portions of this chapter shall remain in full force and effect. [Added by Measure A, November 3, 1992].