(reprinted from the NORML Weekly News, http://www.norml.org)
June 25, 1998, Sacramento, CA: The California Assembly will debate legislation next week that authorizes local governments to establish medical marijuana distribution programs.
Senate Bill 1887, recently amended by sponsor John Vasconcellos (D-Santa Clara), states that "a city ... or county may distribute marijuana to persons in medical need." The measure makes use of an untested provision in the federal Controlled Substances Act that immunizes local officials who comply with local drug laws from federal sanctions. Supporters of the legislation anticipate this provision to be tested in federal court.
California NORML Coordinator Dale Gieringer praised the intent of S.B. 1887 and noted that it closely corresponds to the approach proposed by the organization in May. "Senator Vasconcellos is to be congratulated for offering a comprehensive, realistic solution to the short-term medical marijuana distribution problem," he said.
The bill also argues for federal rescheduling of the drug. "There is widespread consensus among physicians, law enforcement, patients, providers and other stakeholders that the most effective solution [to the question of medical marijuana distribution] is for the federal government to reschedule marijuana so that it can be prescribed under the same strict protocols as morphine and cocaine," the bill reads.
The Assembly Health Committee will hear S.B. 1887 on Tuesday.
-- END --
Issue #47, 6/26/98
German Police Call for an End to the Drug War | PRIDE Teen Survey | US Pressures Colombia to Spray Dangerous Herbicide in Eradication Efforts | Pastrana Elected President of Colombia | California Legislature to Debate Measure Providing Medical Marijuana Distribution by Local Communities | Professor Julian Heicklen in Jail | FEDS: Drug Lords Attempted to Buy Russian Submarine | First Amendment Rights of Alternative Media Threatened in Austin, Texas | Coincidences at Pain Patient Rally | Editorial: The New L-Word
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