County OKs medical marijuana ID cards / HanfordSentinel.com News
There was no debate. No controversy. No protest. People using marijuana for medical purposes with doctors’ recommendation will be issued state-sanctioned identification cards in Kings County, the Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday.
By a unanimous vote, the supervisors adopted a medical marijuana ID card program. The decision makes Kings County the 42nd California counties to establish the program in compliance with a 2003 state law.
The program — which advises police to accept authenticated cards as proof of medical need — is intended to help legitimate patients with serious illness avoid arrest while giving police the tools to distinguish legal medical marijuana users from illegal stoners.
You know… “illegal stoners”, the people who’ve committed the “crime” of being too healthy to smoke marijuana.
The decision comes as a result of July 31 ruling by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals that rejected the challenge by San Bernardino and San Diego counties and upheld that the medical marijuana ID system is legal. Similar decisions are pending in several other counties.
Currently, there [are] no medical marijuana dispensaries in Kings County.
Fresno County, which has recently adopted its medical marijuana ID card program, projects about 500 patients seeking the cards. Tulare County, which implemented its program in 2006, has issued about 40 cards over the past year, although officials say the $300-plus fee might have discouraged applications.
In Kings County, about 10 individuals are projected to apply for the cards, said Perry Rickard, public health department director.
County officials say some strict protocols must be followed before ID cards are issued to patients with proven need for medical pot.
The county charges a fee of $225 per application and [half that] for a Medi-Cal beneficiary.
The application must designate a primary care provider and includes a physician-signed recommendation proving that the need is legitimate. In addition, an electronically transmittable photo will be taken of an applicant and sent over to the state.
During a 30-day verification period, the county will verify the applicant’s residence within the county and the recommending physician’s licensure status with the Medical Board of California, Rickard said.
Congratulations to Kings County for making the sensible decision to protect medical marijuana users from arrest and harassment. And at $225 a pop, that’s some good money the county could be making. Now just imagine if every social cannabis user had to purchase a $225 “stoner license” each year… how much revenue would that generate for government? Medical marijuana registration fees have proven that cannabis users are willing to pay “protection money” to the authorities, how long will it be before government realizes there is more money to be made from legalization than from prohibition?