The County Health Department is now taking applications for medical marijuana cards, but only a handful of users have applied. There were no lines at the County Health Building Monday and by early afternoon, only eight people had applied for an official medical marijuana ID card.
"I'm actually a little surprised, a little disappointed," said medical marijuana user Jordan Jarvis. "I would have hoped to have seen a lot more residents and medical marijuana patients here to get their card, but I also understand that there's a lot of hesitation from San Diego residents."
A lot of hesitation and distrust. One medical marijuana user says some patients simply don't trust the county because it opposed issuing the ID cards and fought a losing battle all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Many people feel that the county is only issuing them now because it has to.
Medical marijuana users can show the county ID cards to police as proof they're using the drug for medical reasons. Patients say that a recommendation from a medical marijuana clinic also works. Plus, the county ID card requires a formal application and a 35-day waiting period.
"They also need a recommendation from their physician, proof that they are a resident of San Diego county, as well as the fee of $166," said Adrienne Collins-Yancy with the San Diego County Health Department.
Actually buying the marijuana is another issue. The county will not allow anyone to dispense the drug in the unincorporated areas, however, the City of San Diego does allow qualified patients and caregivers to possess and share the drug.
San Diego City Councilmember Marti Emerald says pot clinics must follow the rules and violators must be punished.
"We certainly don't want this to be a free-for-all or a situation where kids may be getting their hands on a drug they shouldn't be using," said Emerald.
A city council committee will discuss the marijuana dispensing rules Wednesday, July 8. The council may also create a Medical Marijuana Task Force, to make recommendations on this controversial subject.