Pubdate: Thu, 08 Aug 2002
Source: Tahoe Daily Tribune (South Lake Tahoe,CA)
Copyright: 2002 Tahoe Daily Tribune
Author: William Ferchland, Tahoe Daily Tribune


There were humus, seafood dip and relish trays for the 50 people who 
gathered to talk about pot.

Specifically, the 50 El Dorado County medical marijuana users and 
caregivers came to South Lake Tahoe for a three-hour discussion on the 
latest California Supreme Court decision that provides relaxation to 
Proposition 215 followers.

The unanimous decision, "People vs. Mower," arrived last month to the 
delight of medicinal marijuana users. It will decrease the burden of proof 
for defendants, causing fewer cases to go to trial.

Dr. Jay Cavanaugh, president of the national organization of American 
Alliance for Medical Cannabis, drove from Los Angeles to South Lake Tahoe 
for the meeting.

"We've been very active in trying to establish reasonable guidelines for 
cultivation and use of medical cannabis," Cavanaugh said. "Up until now 
it's been very, very difficult. We wanted to get together to process the 
Mower decision in order to guide us in our discussions with both Eric 
Schlueter and Gary Lacy."

Lacy, district attorney of El Dorado County, will face Deputy District 
Attorney Eric Schlueter in a November runoff election.

Numerous round-table discussions with the two attorneys, plus sheriff-elect 
Jeff Neves, doctors and medical cannabis advocates have been held in 
Placerville to establish medical marijuana guidelines.

The monthly meeting of the El Dorado County chapter of the AAMC, usually 
held in Garden Valley, took place at Shelly Arnold's South Lake Tahoe home 
for convenience to Tahoe patients who aren't able to drive to the valley.

Cavanaugh said the meeting went "extraordinarily well." Arnold was also 
pleased with the outcome.

"What we're doing is wanting to bring that part of the county up to this 
part of the county." she said "I tried to bring in as many medical patients 
as possible. The plan was to get together and if they had any questions we 
let them know."

Besides Mower, the topics included how to change the perception of being a 
medical marijuana patient, assigning a medical marijuana caregiver and 
square footage allotment.

But the chatter mostly surrounded Mower and the step forward it represents 
for marijuana patients and caregivers.

"There are some people who are saying that with the Mower decision we don't 
need any guidelines at all, they can't convict us at all," Cavanaugh said. 
"We don't believe that. We need controls but they need to be reasonable ones."
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