Pubdate: Thu, 10 Apr 2003
Source: Press Democrat, The (CA)
Copyright: 2003 The Press Democrat
Author: David L. Beck, San Jose Mercury News 
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)


In the wake of federal agents' widely publicized raid on a Santa Cruz-area
medical marijuana operation, U.S. Rep. Sam Farr is introducing a bill today
to legalize medical need as a valid defense in federal prosecutions.

The bill's co-sponsors are two congressmen rarely found on the same side of
an issue -- Massachusetts liberal Democrat Barney Frank and Huntington Beach
conservative Republican Dana Rohrabacher.

The bill by Farr, a Carmel Democrat, applies only to federal trials in
states that have passed laws allowing the distribution and use of marijuana,
under a doctor's prescription, for medical use.

Frank also is backing a similar bill that would simply allow state law to
trump federal law.

Among those expected to attend a news conference on the bill today are
Valerie Corral, who with her husband, Michael Corral, was arrested Sept. 5
by federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents.

The DEA raided their marijuana farm near Davenport and confiscated their
crop, which they distribute free to the sick.

The Santa Cruz City Council later staged a widely publicized
pot-distribution ceremony on the steps of City Hall, and even deputized the

"No one in the United States is allowed to distribute illegal drugs --
period," said Richard Meyer, a DEA spokesman, in December. But under the
Farr and Frank bills, that would no longer be true in some states.
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