Pubdate: Wed, 24 Jul 2002
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Contact:  2002 San Francisco Examiner
Author: Adriel Hampton
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)


There's no doubt -- from the average Jane to the district attorney and just
about all the rest of our public officials -- this city likes its pot.

An overwhelming majority of the San Francisco voters lined up to legalize
medical cannabis with Proposition 215 in 1996, and last year The City went
on record as a sanctuary for ill tokers.

This year, voters get a chance to tell The City whether that's worth suing

One of The City's more adroit politicians, Supervisor Mark Leno, the man who
gave city workers sex-change benefits, now gives the voters a say in whether
The City should fire up the grow lights and hydroponics.

"This is groundbreaking," Leno told The Examiner, adding that it wasn't
anything new on the world scale.

"The nations of Canada and Holland provide government-grown and distributed
medicine," Leno said.

The City and County of San Francisco, however, is not a nation. Our nation,
with the same anti-pot tactics that drive this new plan to the ballot, just
says no to drugs, even medical pot. 

Short of secession from the union or getting Congress to act, that's not
going to change.

"As I've said to other media outlets, whether the law is popular or not, we
enforce it," said Richard Meyer, public information officer for the local
field division of the Drug Enforcement Agency.

In other words, the narcs who bust local pot clubs wouldn't flinch at
torching city crops and suing -- backed by a bank that won't break.

Leno said it is important to let the voters speak, important that this is
not just another act of "that crazy Board of Supervisors."

So while it's couched as a vote of "Should we grow or not?" it's really
about whether to continue fighting the feds.

"In order for us to be out there saying we want to continue to put resources
into this, we would be remiss in not having some impression from the
voters," said Supervisor Matt Gonzalez.

If pot clubs are illegal, Leno and other proponents argue, cities must look
at other ways to back the intent of Prop. 215.

John Shanley, spokesman for the city attorney, said only that medical pot
farming is a "policy decision for the board."

Leno was more frank.

It asks voters, "Should The City break the law?" Leno said.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Doc-Hawk