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Costa Mesa family fighting for city's marijuana measure to help daughter

SANTA ANA (OCRegister) – Gianna Dragotto sits in her wheelchair at the 420 Central marijuana dispensary in Santa Ana, slowly chewing spoonfuls of her low-carb dinner, which is topped with cannabis oil. Displayed throughout the dispensary are signs and pamphlets with the words “Vote Yes on Measure X,” a Costa Mesa-sponsored ballot measure that would allow her oils, called Myriam’s Hope, to be made in a designated part of the city. Gianna, 12, of Costa Mesa, takes the oils with her food four times daily to cope with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy, and congenital disorders of glycosylation, an inherited metabolic disorder that impairs the production of proteins and can result in mental and physical disabilities. The 12- to 15-second drop seizures, which occur when abnormal brain activity results in the loss of muscle tone, began when she was three months old and increased to 200 per hour by the time she was 10, said Gianna’s mother, Natalie Dragotto.

David Dragotto prepares dinner for his 12-year-old daughter Gianna Dragotto by adding one of three types of cannabis extracts mixed in olive oil to a ketogenic dish before discussing his support for Costa Mesa's Measure M, a marijuana related ballot initiative, at the 420 Central dispensary on Halloween in Santa Ana. Gianna suffers from seizures and the Dragottos, Costa Mesa residents, have found relief with medical marijuana in the form of a cannabis extract that they purchase from the Santa Ana shop. ///ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: 10/31/16 - JOSH BARBER, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER - CM.marijua.1103 – 12-year-old Gianna Dragotto suffers from seizures and the only relief she has gotten is from a treament that centers around use of medical Marijuana. Her parents Natalie and David Dragotto and local marijuana entrepreneur Robert Taft Jr. are campaigning for a municipal ballot initiative in Costa Mesa, where they reside,  city council-backed Measure X, that would  allow for marijuana manufacturing, development, and research providing a place for companies that extract cannabis concentrates for products like Dragatto uses to operate their businesses. Taft was the proponent of competing proposition that unlike Measure X allowed for several pot dispensaries but since has changed his opinion.
David Dragotto prepares dinner for his 12-year-old daughter Gianna Dragotto by adding one of three types of cannabis extracts mixed in olive oil to a ketogenic dish before discussing his support for Costa Mesa's Measure M, a marijuana related ballot initiative, at the 420 Central dispensary on Halloween in Santa Ana. Gianna suffers from seizures and the Dragottos, Costa Mesa residents, have found relief with medical marijuana in the form of a cannabis extract that they purchase from the Santa Ana shop. ///ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: 10/31/16 - JOSH BARBER, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER - CM.marijua.1103 – 12-year-old Gianna Dragotto suffers from seizures and the only relief she has gotten is from a treament that centers around use of medical Marijuana. Her parents Natalie and David Dragotto and local marijuana entrepreneur Robert Taft Jr. are campaigning for a municipal ballot initiative in Costa Mesa, where they reside, city council-backed Measure X, that would allow for marijuana manufacturing, development, and research providing a place for companies that extract cannabis concentrates for products like Dragatto uses to operate their businesses. Taft was the proponent of competing proposition that unlike Measure X allowed for several pot dispensaries but since has changed his opinion.

David Dragotto prepares dinner for his 12-year-old daughter Gianna Dragotto by adding one of three types of cannabis extracts mixed in olive oil to a ketogenic dish before discussing his support for Costa Mesa's Measure M, a marijuana related ballot initiative, at the 420 Central dispensary on Halloween in Santa Ana. Gianna suffers from seizures and the Dragottos, Costa Mesa residents, have found relief with medical marijuana in the form of a cannabis extract that they purchase from the Santa Ana shop.
///ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: 10/31/16 - JOSH BARBER, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER - CM.marijua.1103 – 12-year-old Gianna Dragotto suffers from seizures and the only relief she has gotten is from a treament that centers around use of medical Marijuana. Her parents Natalie and David Dragotto and local marijuana entrepreneur Robert Taft Jr. are campaigning for a municipal ballot initiative in Costa Mesa, where they reside, city council-backed Measure X, that would allow for marijuana manufacturing, development, and research providing a place for companies that extract cannabis concentrates for products like Dragatto uses to operate their businesses. Taft was the proponent of competing proposition that unlike Measure X allowed for several pot dispensaries but since has changed his opinion.   On Tuesday, voters in Costa Mesa will be see nine measures on the ballot. Measure X, one of three marijuana-related initiatives, would allow the processing, research, distribution, development and testing of medical marijuana-related products in a designated industrial zone in the northern part of the city, but no dispensaries. Producing the oils, which requires extraction, is illegal and therefore not regulated, making it impossible to tell if the products are safe, said Robert Taft, owner of 420 Central and the proponent behind Measure V who now favors the city’s initiative over his own. “I don’t know how it’s made and I own the store,” he said. “These products are made by people in the business that have a great reputation and following, but can I tell you what their lab looks like or how clean or secure it is? No. Measure X solves all that.” In addition, a 6 percent tax would be levied on the businesses. The other two measures, V and W, would allow up to eight and four dispensaries, respectively. Whichever measure gets the most votes above 50 percent wins. Natalie and David Dragotto have advocated for Measure X by walking door-to-door, talking with residents and handing out literature, arguing that the initiative will allow medical marijuana businesses to develop their products in a safe and clean environment. “I’ve gotten weird looks from people when I’m with Gianna,” Natalie Dragotto said. “It’s about educating them.” The Dragottos get the cannabis oils at 420 Central where Taft sponsors the $1,200 monthly cost. Before supplying the oils at his store, Taft had to travel outside the county to purchase the products, usually to Rancho Cucamonga or Northern California. Only a handful of Orange County dispensaries sell them now, he said.

Director and founder Robert Taft Jr. of the 420 Central dispensary poses holding a campaign sign in his shop on Monday, October 31 in Santa Ana. Taft, a Costa Mesa resident, backs the city council sponsored Measure M, a ballot initiative that allows for marijuana manufacturing, development and research without permitting medicinal dispensaries. ///ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: 10/31/16 - JOSH BARBER, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER - CM.marijua.1103 Ð 12-year-old Gianna Dragotto suffers from seizures and the only relief she has gotten is from a treament that centers around use of medical Marijuana. Her parents Natalie and David Dragotto and local marijuana entrepreneur Robert Taft Jr. are campaigning for a municipal ballot initiative in Costa Mesa, where they reside,  city council-backed Measure X, that would  allow for marijuana manufacturing, development, and research providing a place for companies that extract cannabis concentrates for products like Dragatto uses to operate their businesses. Taft was the proponent of competing proposition that unlike Measure X allowed for several pot dispensaries but since has changed his opinion.
Director and founder Robert Taft Jr. of the 420 Central dispensary poses holding a campaign sign in his shop on Monday, October 31 in Santa Ana. Taft, a Costa Mesa resident, backs the city council sponsored Measure M, a ballot initiative that allows for marijuana manufacturing, development and research without permitting medicinal dispensaries. ///ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: 10/31/16 - JOSH BARBER, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER - CM.marijua.1103 Ð 12-year-old Gianna Dragotto suffers from seizures and the only relief she has gotten is from a treament that centers around use of medical Marijuana. Her parents Natalie and David Dragotto and local marijuana entrepreneur Robert Taft Jr. are campaigning for a municipal ballot initiative in Costa Mesa, where they reside, city council-backed Measure X, that would allow for marijuana manufacturing, development, and research providing a place for companies that extract cannabis concentrates for products like Dragatto uses to operate their businesses. Taft was the proponent of competing proposition that unlike Measure X allowed for several pot dispensaries but since has changed his opinion.

Director and founder Robert Taft Jr. of the 420 Central dispensary poses holding a campaign sign in his shop on Monday, October 31 in Santa Ana. Taft, a Costa Mesa resident, backs the city council sponsored Measure M, a ballot initiative that allows for marijuana manufacturing, development and research without permitting medicinal dispensaries.
///ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: 10/31/16 - JOSH BARBER, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER - CM.marijua.1103 Ð 12-year-old Gianna Dragotto suffers from seizures and the only relief she has gotten is from a treament that centers around use of medical Marijuana. Her parents Natalie and David Dragotto and local marijuana entrepreneur Robert Taft Jr. are campaigning for a municipal ballot initiative in Costa Mesa, where they reside, city council-backed Measure X, that would allow for marijuana manufacturing, development, and research providing a place for companies that extract cannabis concentrates for products like Dragatto uses to operate their businesses. Taft was the proponent of competing proposition that unlike Measure X allowed for several pot dispensaries but since has changed his opinion.

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