Questions most frequently asked of ARMA
What is ARMA trying to accomplish?

ARMA’s mission is to permanently secure safe, legal access to medicinal cannabis for patients in San Diego. We’ll do this by ensuring there are clear, reasonable local laws governing the dispensing of medicine and by helping collectives and cooperatives operate in compliance with the law.

Along with advocating for appropriate, reasonable regulations, we plan to act as a community resource -- a liaison between the medical cannabis community and neighborhood leaders, government leaders and law enforcement.

Decision-makers and those who enforce the rules need a reasonable, helpful, reliable group to which they can bring concerns about any impacts on neighborhoods.

We’ll consider ourselves successful when we’ve shown the San Diego community how seriously we take our role as health care providers and when cannabis is taken seriously for its medicinal qualities.

How will ARMA accomplish its goals?

Our group is in the process of filing for status as a nonprofit organization that may engage in lobbying activities, also known as a 501(c)(6). This will allow us in to the regulatory landscape and to act as a voice for the medicinal cannabis patient and provider community.

We plan to be a resource for the entire community, to educate elected leaders and law enforcement about the benefits to communities of clear regulations, as well as to serve as a point of contact for anyone with a question or concern about patient access or co-ops/collectives in their community.

ARMA also operates a political action committee that will be using our funds to:

Support candidates who support compassionate use and common-sense, responsible policies on siting and regulating medicinal co-ops/collectives in our communities.

Oppose candidates who categorically refuse to honor the will of California voters who passed Prop 215, as well as those who claim to support medicinal use, but fail to follow through in their actions/votes.

How is ARMA different from other medicinal cannabis groups?

Past efforts to advance patient access have largely centered around activist tactics. The activist model is reactive and demand-oriented. Thus far, this model has not given patients or providers with the outcome we want – safe access and clear laws.

ARMA is focused on thinking things through instead of feeling our way along. Our political spending and legislative advocacy will be outcome-oriented. We’ll work to address what the broader community wants regarding access to medicinal cannabis, recognizing not just our rights, but also our responsibilities.

We recognize that true success is when government, law enforcement and the medicinal cannabis patients and providers are all in agreement that safe, responsible access is good for our entire community.

What is ARMA’s position on the city of San Diego’s proposed ordinance?

We support the ordinance as written. While it’s extremely restrictive, it is a good foundation and will give citizens an opportunity to see what having rules in place means – and finally showing that responsible, legal operators are good neighbors.

It’s time San Diegans base their impression of medicinal cannabis patients and providers on the actions of lawful operators, not those who operate in clear defiance of the law.  The ordinance will also provide law enforcement with clear guidance. When the illegal dispensaries are closed down, law enforcement resources can be redirected to other community needs.

What is ARMA’s stance on legalization of cannabis for recreational use?

ARMA’s sole interest is patient access to medicinal cannabis under current state law, which provides for collective cultivation of cannabis for medicinal use.

Bottom line: We’re not advocating or supporting in any way a push for legalization.

Why do we need collectives? Why can’t patients grow their own?

Our hope is to educate the public about the medicinal value of cannabis for patients in need. Patients who turn to collectives and cooperatives for medicine are often incredibly ill and unable to care for themselves, much less cultivate plants.

This is precisely why Proposition 215, passed by California voters in 1996, allows for the collective cultivation of cannabis for medicinal use.

In addition, advances in technology allow for beneficial, non-intoxicating cannabis compounds to be extracted from the plant to meet certain patient needs. This is a highly involved process that patients should not be expected to undertake themselves.

The bottom line is: Sick people shouldn't have to travel 50 miles or become a horticulturalist to get the medicine state law says they’re entitled to.