'Mary Jane Jog' 5K canceled after Sheriff's Office 'refused' to provide road assistance

'Mary Jane Jog' 5K canceled after Sheriff's Office 'refused' to provide road assistance

JSO said it wouldn't provide road safety because the race would have "violated current policy."

The organizer of the race believes JSO refused to support it.

A Jacksonville 5K race will not take place as expected after the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office declined to provide road safety assistance for the event citing it would violate policy.

The 'Mary Jane Jog' was meant to "expand awareness of the vast benefits of natural medicine," according to Affordable Marijuana License, which is the organizer of the race. 

According to JSO, providing service for the race would have violated its "Secondary Employment Policy."

"It was determined that the event this applicant was requesting to hold, if approved, would have violated current policy," wrote JSO Public Information Officer Christian Hancock. "As a result, the application was declined, which subsequently would not allow for officers to work as requested." 

First Coast News put in a request to review the Secondary Employment Policy that JSO cited would have been violated and have not heard back. 

Hancock said the organizer was offered "alternatives to street closures" for the race, that would not need assistance from officers for traffic control. It's unclear what alternative routes were provided to the organizer. 

Dr. Pulido is a graduate of the Jacksonville Mayo Clinic Family Residency Program and supports the use of medical marijuana as a treatment for complications of chemo and radiation therapy. Pulido is also the main organizer of the 'Mary Jane Jog' which was set to take place on Oct. 27. 

Pulido said Tuesday that he believed the race permit was declined because JSO refused to support it.

"Unfortunately, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office decided not to provide road safety and assistance which would place our runners at risk," Pulido said.

Dr. Pulido told First Coast News that his organization submitted a request to JSO to provide service during the race in July, but didn't get a phone call from JSO until Monday, just weeks before the race was scheduled, that his request was denied. 

Pulido said he understands and respects JSO's point of view, adding his goal for the race was to spread awareness about the benefit of medical marijuana for cancer patients.

"Being a native from Jacksonville and having trained at Mayo Clinic, I have seen my fair share of cancer and have experienced firsthand the destruction that it can cause to patients, and families that love them," Dr. Pulido said. "To date I have not seen a better treatment for the complications brought on by chemo and radiation therapy."

Pulido said a $100 discount will be available for Medical Marijuana Cards for patients who are suffering from or have previously suffered from cancer.

Written cancellation of 'Mary Jane Jog' from Dr. Rene Pulido

One person who signed up for the run, Thalia Fusté, said she's been training for the past couple weeks, and was saddened to hear the race was canceled.

"Every time I saw the race on my calendar, I got excited and thought I wanted to support the cause," Fuste said. "I recently started to train for the 5K and I haven't run consistently in years and this got me motivated." 

"It's upsetting to see that JSO is refusing the help with traffic safety," Fusté said. 

Fusté added she hopes the race can take place in the future. 

All runners who signed up for the race will be fully reimbursed.

Race participants were able to choose where a portion of their registration fee went to from a list of partners. One of those partners was V for Victory, which is a non-profit that offers support to people who are battling cancer.

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