Re: A.B. 2465
April 3, 2012
Good morning Ms. Atkins:
I am writing to you with concern over A.B. 2465, introduced by Assembly Member Campos of San Jose. As I am sure you are aware, the bill contains provisions which directly affects the privacy rights of those who use medicinal marijuana as they are provided under the provisions of the Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (codified as California Health and Safety Code §§ 11362.7, et seq.).
As I understand the gravamen of A.B. 2465, inter alia, it would require those who seek to use medicinal marijuana, after obtaining a physician’s recommendation, to register with the State of California to obtain an identification card as a part of a state-wide registry. I also understand, although Assembly Member Campos sponsored the bill, it was drafted by lobbyists for the Police Officers Research Association of California; a representative of the executive branch of California. The branch of government the legislature tells what do, not the other way around.
After the passage of the Compassionate Use Act, I served briefly on the City of San Diego’s task force to establish rules and procedures for the implementation of the provisions of the Act. I left after it became clear the input from the San Diego Police Department member was a “take it or leave it” proposition, as to what the police would agree to with regard to implementation, stonewalling the entire process. This is not the way or government works, nor should it be the manner in which we should be moving.
There is no precedent for this intrusion into the privacy of the people who are under a physician’s care in the State of California. In fact, I can think of no other medication which would require a patient to register with the State, including prescriptions for opioids; an exceptionally dangerous and addictive family of pharmaceuticals.
Does a woman need to register with the State to obtain birth control medication? Does an HIV/ AIDS patient need to register with the State to obtain medication? Is a patient seeking psychiatric care required to register with the State for treatment and medication? The answer to all of these is of course, “no.” Not even the addict who seeks rehabilitation through a private source is required to register with the State. So why now, is it necessary for the implementation of more invasive and burdensome steps for medicinal marijuana patients to legally obtain and use their medication? What benefit, other than invasion of a patient’s privacy for control by law enforcement, does this bill serve? The answer is emphatically “none.”
The legislature needs to set aside the controversy which seems to be whipped up by some over medicinal marijuana. Instead it should act with respect to the legitimate will of the people, despite those in the legislature and executive branch who would continually make the access to a beneficial medication more and more onerous. The proposed bill is one such obstacle, and if not an obstacle, it will certainly have a chilling effect on those who would seek such access.
My concern, as should be yours, A.B 2465, represents what has now become the pattern of erosion of our constitutionally guaranteed rights to privacy; one of which is the right to seek treatment from our physician without the intrusion of the State and in particular law enforcement. So important is this right, the State of California recognizes and has codified the privilege of communication between patient and physician for treatment.
In conclusion, as a constituent, I ask you to oppose A.B. 2465 and defend patient privacy rights, despite the desires of State law enforcement. Thank you in advance for your anticipated time and consideration of this matter.
Jack B. Hamlin