Federal official calls for regulating CA medical marijuana
For once, the Feds have a point. Outgoing Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole has helped alter President Obama’s prohibitionist attitude on state marijuana laws toward one accommodating the differences among the 50 states.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, he said, “If you don’t want us prosecuting [marijuana users] in your state, then get your regulatory act together.”
Here’s the problem. In 1996, Californians passed Proposition 215, which legalized medical marijuana. My late colleague Alan Bock’s editorials in the Orange County Register helped pass it. And he wrote a book on medical marijuana, “Waiting to Inhale: The Politics of Medical Marijuana.”
Prop. 215’s language stipulated:
“(C) To encourage the federal and state governments to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana.”
But the Legislature has done next to nothing to implement that language, leaving cities to enact a patch-quilt of contradictory laws. For example, Anaheim has shut down its dispensaries — in violation of Prop. 215.
By contrast, in San Francisco, medical pot is welcome. But the city just said “no to a medical marijuana green-light district.”
That’s 18 years of neglect by the Legislature over an important issue. Maybe they’re out back toking.
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