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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Can a medical cannabis patient be a good City Council member?

Zavala for Council 2010: Thank you!

I'm writing to ask a special favor from you. Would you be willing to donate $25-100 (or more) to Zavala for Council 2010?

I have been in Lancaster Ca (from LA) for just under 2 weeks, helping Victoria Zavala with her campaign for Lancaster City Council. She has a decent shot of winning because only 20% of the population is registered to vote here and only 17% of those voted in the last municipal election. Victoria could win with as little as 4,000 votes. The current Mayor only won by less than 400 votes last election.

Victoria is a medical cannabis patient, she suffers from Lupus and degenerative disc disease. She also runs a non-profit delivery collective in the Antelope Valley. So, if she wins, she will be the first openly-medicated council member and the first Latina to sit on this city council.

Victoria started her delivery service with $370, a borrowed car from her mother, and an ounce of medicine. She's grown this collective and they serves thousands in the Antelope Valley. She's the only one out here who is attempting to do it 100% by the law. There are a few other delivery services out here but they were illegal dealers before and just started taking medical cannabis patients recently.

Victoria has a medical background as a first-responder paramedic. She got her paramedic education from UCLA extension and to get through her classes and purchase her books, she gave blood to earn money. Once, she gave blood 3 times in one day just to afford an up-to-date text book because her instructor had yelled at her for having an older edition and told her she would fail out of the course if she didn't get the correct book. When she graduated, no one was there for her graduation. Her family was proud of her but didn't understand her career choice.

I'm out here in Lancaster (from LA) volunteering a lot of time to Victoria because her and her crew helped me with organizing both the Charles C. Lynch protests that I planned. They came from 2 hours away just to attend planning meetings, they donated supplies to make signs, they donated waters, they led in chanting, they offered to help us more than any other group did. Victoria also drove from Lancaster to attend LA City Council meetings to voice her concerns about how the LA ordinance would negatively affect cities who were looking to LA for how to handled medical cannabis.

Recently, Victoria has had some setbacks when her hired help abandoned her because there were some dirty campaigning going on. Tires have been slashed, brakes have been tampered with, computer hard drives have been fried and Victoria believes people have been in her home. The current Mayor is rich beyond belief and owns much of this area. He's vowed to spend a million dollars on this campaign. He wears a bullet proof vest under his suits. The climate out here is really strange. There's a prison near by. And a lot of section 8 people are moving from LA to be here.

There's a lot of racism here. I heard the Mayor say the "the Black voice isn't loud enough. My arms are open to you at city hall but your voices just aren't loud enough". Another candidate said "The Blacks and Mexicans don't vote" which is true but instead of trying to empower and educate those groups, the politicians ignore them. Victoria refuses to ignore the largest parts of the population and has been doing her best to reach out to all the disenfranchised groups.

But this area is really segregated and a lot of people here are poor. The town is separated into 2 sections...the westside (the nice side) and the east side (the bad side). It's so sad. And the police aren't helping the situation. They are way overboard with their enforcement. And the DOJ and DEA just started a program called "Weed & Seed" which is to "weed" out crime and "seed" positivity in the community with a DEA agent required to be on the "steering committee". I feel so uneasy out here but I'm dedicated to helping Victoria because I've seen first hand all the help she provides to others.

We are reaching out to the cannabis community for (minimal) donations to help us ensure Victoria gets elected so she can help ensure safe and affordable access to patients in this area. This area is so unique because it has sun all year round which is great for medical cannabis cultivation. Getting Victoria elected could really help bring jobs and opportunities in the Antelope Valley. You can make online donations here:

All donations will go to printing, promotional, and personnel costs. We are doing this grass-roots style and we need funds to put as many feet on the street as possible. The last day to register to vote is March 29th and we are really trying to push to get voters registered. We want to be able to feed volunteers, even if we cannot pay them because our dedicated volunteers are working really hard. We want to reward them as much as we can.

We have an ongoing raffle with a grand prize of a Fender Squier bass guitar. We are looking for items to be donated for raffle prizes. We are trying to avoid cannabis-related raffle prizes and in fact, we are not even focusing on the cannabis issue with the public because there are so many other issues in this area. We only talk about cannabis if the public brings it up and then we refocus on more important issues like the number of sex offenders who live here because local hotels get voucher, or the crumbling city infrastructure, high unemployment, lack of family-centered services, etc.

Victoria is not just a cannabis canndidate, she's a dedicated canndidate that happens to be a medical cannabis patients. Please help us get Victoria Zavala elected to Lancaster City Council. We really do appreciate any and all support you can send our way. Thank you!

Cheryl Aichele
Medical Marijuana Media
Because Medical Cannabis Cannot Do Its Own PR

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