Saturday, August 1, 2009

Let’s Tighten State Regulation of Medical Marijuana While Ending Raids

Recently, I introduced a resolution that the City of Los Angeles include in its 2009-2010 State Legislative Program sponsorship of legislation that would clarify the intent of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 (Prop.215), which allows qualified medical patients to use marijuana as part of a treatment regimen approved by a physician. While I support the spirit of Prop. 215 and believe that those who have a true medical need should have access to medical marijuana, the state needs to further define needs, distribution and use criteria to better regulate access to medical marijuana. I also introduced a city resolution that the City of Los Angeles support California Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 14, introduced in June by State Senator Mark Leno, which calls on the federal government to end raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in states such as California where voters have approved its use. The bill also urges the U.S. Congress to develop a comprehensive federal medical marijuana policy that ensures safe and legal access for any eligible patient who would benefit from this treatment. I believe that both these resolutions go hand in hand and strike a fair balance between regulation and enforcement issues in states with medical marijuana policies.