Pubdate: Tue, 20 Mar 2001
Source: Redding Record Searchlight (CA)
Copyright: 2001 Redding Record Searchlight - E.W. Scripps
Contact:  PO Box 492397, Redding, CA 96049-2397


Finally, more than four years after voters approved the Compassionate Use 
Act, there's hope of defining the medical use of marijuana in California. 

It couldn't come none too soon. Proposition 215 was intended to allow sick 
people use marijuana to ease their illnesses, but the measure as written 
and passed is so vague that the people who are supposed to benefit are more 
likely to end up in handcuffs and in court. Some comfort.

The law is so confusing that we have law enforcement and prosecutors 
handling things differently from county to county and making their own 
rules of enforcement. This must stop. The state Supreme Court last week 
agreed to consider establishing standards for the use of medical pot. And 
at the Capitol last month, Sen. John Vasconcellos revived legislation that 
would do two things: Specify how many plants a patient would be permitted 
to grow for personal use and set up a statewide system for the registration 
of qualified users.

To say these measures are long overdue is an understatement. Proposition 
215 was the product of California's maddening initiative process, which 
allows measures to go on the ballot that lack precise language for their 

Letting law enforcement authorities interpret the proposition as they see 
fit has proved disastrous in Shasta County. The treatment of medical 
marijuana users by the Sheriff's Department and district attorney's office 
has bordered on harassment. Defendants have responded by filing suits 
against the county alleging abuse and unwarranted searches.

It's gotten to the point where Shasta County law enforcement and the 
district attorney's office - and all law enforcement - need to step back 
and wait for clarification from the courts and Legislature. The Sheriff's 
Department and district attorney's office are wasting a lot of their time 
and resources plus the time of people who derive medical benefits from 
marijuana. Certainly there are higher priorities for arrests and 
prosecution. Let's get this clarified and stand down on the enforcement 
until such clarification comes.
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MAP posted-by: Jo-D