Attorney General Proposes Sensible Rules on Pot

Attorney General Proposes Sensible Rules on Pot
Posted by CN Staff on August 27, 2008 at 19:18:18 PT
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
California -- The hazy legality of medical marijuana just got a little clearer. Since 1996 when voters approved a measure allowing the humane use of cannabis to ease sickness and pain, California has struggled to come up with an orderly way to supply the weed. Federal law hasn't help as Washington insisted that pot is illegal, plain and simple. And local communities have deployed varying rules to rein in the runaway profusion of loosely watched dispensaries. Neither police nor medical marijuana sponsors are happy with the confusing present-day picture.
California Attorney General Jerry Brown believes new guidelines can solve the practical problems, minimize the legal worries and calm patient fears. His plans, as always, rely on a wink and a nod from the feds, who retain the last word legally. But the Justice Department, via Joseph Russoniello, the U.S. attorney for Northern California, suggests that scaling back operations as outlined by Brown would be tolerated. The feds, Russoniello says, are mainly interested in the big growers and traffickers, not the small-time tokers with chronic back pain or a debilitating illness. The changes call for dispensaries to be run as nonprofits or cooperatives, a shift designed to cut out big-bucks operators who now exploit the medical label to sell pot to nearly anyone who shows up at the door. There are approximately 300 dispensaries statewide with 29 operating in San Francisco, far more than the city needs.Under Brown's outline, patients would be urged to get a state ID card obtained with a doctor's note. Presently, some counties issue such cards while others don't. Marijuana sellers also accept a physician's recommendation, adding another variable, while some hardly ask at all. Brown also wants a reality check on the vast amount of pot on the market. Only a patient, caregiver or dispensary could grow the relatively small amounts of marijuana needed. This would cut medical pot off from a surging and often violent weed-growing industry worth $14 billion in 2006, according to a recent drug-policy study. Brown's idea would have the practical effect of clarifying what medical marijuana is all about: modest amounts of pot for the sick. In California there's an estimated 200,000 patients who smoke for relief, but the number is a best-guess because of the loose rules. The guidelines aim for a balance by allowing medical use but stopping short of legalization, which is a legal nonstarter. The plan has picked up key support from both medical marijuana supporters and law enforcement. "A number of police chiefs and sheriffs wanted guidelines and a clear set of rules," Brown said. "It adds caution within the framework of Prop. 215," the ballot measure that allowed pot use 12 years ago, he said.  Snipped   Complete Article: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)Published: Wednesday, August 27, 2008Copyright: 2008 San Francisco Chronicle Contact: letters sfchronicle.comWebsite: CannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #4 posted by ripit on August 28, 2008 at 08:50:07 PT
they say sf has 29
dispensaries? how can that be enuff? and how many drug stores do they have there? it seems to me their putting up a walgreens on every other corner! how many pharmacies do they have there?
and how many liquer stores do they have? i don't know about anywhere else but here in idaho the state runs all the liquer if they pass antyhing like prop 215 here you can pretty much bet they will run the dispensaries too!
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Comment #3 posted by phil_debowl on August 28, 2008 at 05:58:42 PT
Prop 215 and voter approval
I thought prop 215 specifically stated no changes could be made to mmj policy without voter approval, which is why I thought SB420 got thrown out, and I think I remember reading a statement from the AG a few weeks ago that the guidelines he sets will not be enforceable, because of that. But...I haven't seen any of the stories mention anything about that.Anyone have any ideas?
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Comment #2 posted by paul armentano on August 27, 2008 at 22:06:57 PT
OT: Pot for MRSA Versus 'The Superbug'by Paul ArmentanoPosted August 27, 2008 | 08:21 PM (EST)According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, colloquially known as MRSA or 'the superbug,' is now responsible for more annual US deaths than AIDS. Yet despite this sobering statistic, it's unlikely that either JAMA or anyone in the mainstream US media will report on the findings of a just published Italian study -- you didn't actually think I was going to say that this took place in America did you? -- demonstrating that compounds in cannabis possess "exceptional antibacterial activity" against multi-drug resistant pathogens, including MRSA."Although the use of cannabinoids as systemic antibacterial agents awaits rigorous clinical trials, ... their topical application to reduce skin colonization by MRSA seems promising," the study's authors write. "Cannabis sativa ... represents an interesting source of antibacterial agents to address the problem of multidrug resistance in MRSA and other pathogenic bacteria."(An abstract of the study, entitled "Antibacterial Cannabinoids from Cannabis Sativa: A Structure−Activity Study," appears online here.)Ironically, the study's investigators note that preparations from cannabis were "investigated extensively in the 1950s as highly active topical antiseptic agents." Predictably -- in yet another 'victory' for pot prohibition -- authors declare that little, if any, research into this potential clinical application has taken place since.Several years ago, when I first began writing the booklet Emerging Clinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids, I mused about what sort of advancements in the treatment of disease may have been achieved over the past 70+ years had U.S. government chosen to advance -- rather than stifle -- clinical research into the therapeutic effects of cannabis.Now, more than ever, this is a question that our elected officials -- both Republican and Democrat -- must be forced to answer.
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on August 27, 2008 at 20:42:32 PT
Bla, bla, bla, bla, another 12 years of bull ....
(you can't have it) bla, bla ...
On a mission from God!
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