Mendocino County ID Card Cost Increase

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Mendocino County medical marijuana patients and caregivers will soon be hit with a heavy fee if they want to carry a state-issued medical marijuana identification card (MMIC).

Currently, in Mendocino County, the annual cost for a card is $70 -- $57 of which covers the county's cost for verifying and processing the application, and $13 of which goes to the state for maintaining the program and printing the card -- but beginning March 1, a MMIC will cost $199, or $99.50 for Medi-Cal beneficiaries.

On Tuesday, the county Board of Supervisors approved passing on the state's drastically increased portion of the fee, which will jump more than tenfold to $142 on Thursday, in order to continue providing the service to its constituents.

"(The fee increase is) ridiculous and it could quite possibly cause the downfall of the statewide system, but it is the letter of the law and the people wanted this and they wanted the issue of medicine to be accessible on a statewide basis," Wattenburger said, making the motion to approve the increased fee.

Interim Director of the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency Ana Mahoney said the state's "willy-nilly" increase is allegedly needed to cover the cost of administering the program, which has increased due to a smaller demand for cards than initially expected.

Currently, 757 people in Mendocino County carry the cards, however, under Prop. 215, only a doctor's recommendation is actually necessary for legal medicinal use. The voluntary cards help to show law enforcement officials that that doctor's recommendation has been processed and approved by the county and state.

"Medical marijuana cards are convenient for everybody, but it's ludicrous and asinine to even assume that these 757 people are going to go along with the program, that they're going to pay more because the other people have said I don't want to go along with the program' and no one's going to make them," Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said.

He said the MCSO would continue to honor current doctor's recommendations, and suggested that patients without a card have them laminated and carry them. However, interim District Attorney Beth Norman said prosecutors appreciate the legitimacy of state issued cards, which cannot be easily manipulated or duplicated.

Supervisors David Colfax and John Pinches voted against accepting the state's increased fee, despite further direction to staff to investigate the possibility for issuing a county card parallel to the state's system and communicate to the California Department of Health Services the dissatisfaction with the increase.

Dane Wilkins, director of Nor Cal NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), suggested sending a letter to the state.

"Because statewide implementation of this program is still in its earliest stages, it would be premature to reassess the MMIC fees at this time," Wilkins said, suggesting text for the letter and noting that only 24 of California's 58 counties currently participate and several more counties, including Los Angeles, are poised to join in the near future.

Pinches, who was in favor of having a less expensive card issued by the county, said he would not increase the state fee until a county program was in place. However, Jeanine Nadel said a parallel program might be problematic and said it would require further investigation.

Colfax said the bureaucracy of the card program was becoming "just plain silly."

News Moderator - User 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: Ukiah Daily Journal
Copyright: Ukiah Daily Journal
Website: Ukiah Daily Journal - Medical Marijuana cards to cost more
"just plain silly."
it is just plain silly :Rasta:
but on a serious note some of the people that the herb helps most are the ones that not have access to the legal alternitives. when its a whole lot easier and better for the soul to call up your dealer, or walk into the growroom and some bud. :bongrip: smoke the herb, heal your being
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