- Barrington Daltrey for DRCNet
Sen. John Vasconcellos, chair of the California State Senate Committee on Public Safety, has responded to the need for a reliable medical marijuana distribution system by scheduling a "summit" on Tuesday, May 26, 1998 in Sacramento.
The meeting, officially entitled "Medicinal Marijuana Distribution Summit," was announced by teleconference Monday, May 18, 1998, and further specifics have now been made available by Vasconcellos' office. Speakers will include representatives of law enforcement organizations, district attorney's offices, the medical profession, and cannabis providers. Vasconcellos is promoting statewide participation.
Recognizing the seriousness of the situation and responding to the will of a majority of Californians expressed in Proposition 215, Vasconcellos released a press advisory with the following statement:
"Pursuant to Californians declaring via Proposition 215 our will to allow medical uses of marijuana, a number of courageous, passionate Californians have endeavored to fill a void left by the inability, unwillingness of government to address the issue of distribution. To varying degrees of success, they provide the essential service to otherwise law-abiding citizens whose only other option is to purchase marijuana from street dealers. However, many of these courageous citizens have become targets of the state and federal criminal justice system."
Consistent with their antagonistic stance toward the California law, federal law enforcement and Dept. of Justice officials have reportedly declined to participate. Nevertheless, notable speakers are scheduled from around the state. Among the many announced speakers are George Kennedy, President of the California District Attorneys' Association; Terence Hallinan, San Francisco County District Attorney; Glen Craig, Sacramento County Sheriff; Dr. Neil Flynn, UC Davis Medical Center; Dr. Jonathan Fielding, Los Angeles County Health Officer; Peter McWilliams, author/publisher; and Scott Imler, Los Angeles Cannabis Buyers Club.
The agenda reflects an apparent "pro-medical marijuana" stance, in accord with the goals stated in the press advisory. Among the topics are, "What County Health Directors are Doing and Need to Do," "Implementing Prop. 215 Without Jeopardizing Public Safety," and "What Needs to Happen after Marijuana is Recommended."
The summit will be open to the public and will include a public comment period. It is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Room 112, State Capitol building, Sacramento.