The Sonoma County, CA, city
of Sebastopol wants the DEA to stop interfering with medical marijuana.
It took action to achieve that goal Tuesday, when the city council passed
a resolution making it police department policy not to report such cases
to the DEA and affirming the city's support of patients and providers operating
under the state's medical marijuana law. Under Sonoma County medical
marijuana guidelines, patients or their caregivers can grow up to 99 plants
per year in a 100 square foot space.
The Sonoma Alliance for Medical
Marijuana, which worked with local officials to craft the guidelines, presented
the resolution to the council in response to DEA raids against patients
and providers. "The patients need the kind of protection from local
officials we got here tonight," spokesman Ernest "Doc" Knapp told the Ontario
Daily Observer after the vote. "It's the first line of defense from
an oppressive federal government that is just out of line."
"Simply, what this is doing
is affirming our support for California law," said Councilman Larry Robinson
during debate on the resolution. It passed 3-1, with the sole dissenting
member saying he was concerned the resolution would "send the wrong message"
about the non-medicinal use of marijuana. A spokesman for the Sebastopol
Police Department told the newspaper the department is obligated to follow
the policies the council sets.
The council also passed a
resolution supporting H.R. 2592, the "States' Right To Medical Marijuana
Act," which would reduce marijuana's federal drug classification from Schedule
I to Schedule II, and allow states to administer their own medical marijuana
laws without interference from the federal government.
Sebastopol joins a growing
roster of California municipalities that have acted in opposition to the
Bush administration's heavy-handed attempts to quash the medical marijuana
movement in the state. San Jose police no longer cooperate with the
DEA on marijuana cases, Santa Cruz officials attended a medical marijuana
giveaway, and San Francisco voters, poking a collective thumb in Attorney
General John Ashcroft's eye, ordered their city fathers to explore city-grown
-- END --
Issue #264, 11/22/02
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