Pubdate: Mon, 04 Oct 2004
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel (CA)
Copyright: 2004 Santa Cruz Sentinel
Author: Brian Seals, Sentinel Staff Writer
Cited: Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)


SANTA CRUZ -- A proposed county ordinance outlining the amounts of pot
that medical marijuana patients can possess could go further, but is a
good law that deserves support, a leading area activist on the issue
said Friday.

The Board of Supervisors will consider a proposed ordinance Tuesday
that would allow patients to keep 3 pounds of pot on hand, and even
more if a doctor recommends it.

The ordinance would need a second round of approval to become

The ordinance allows for possession of 3 pounds and, for growing
purposes, a 100-square-foot garden canopy. The rules are based on
suggestions from a team of physicians led by Dr. George Wolfe, who
crafted the guidelines at the request of the Board of

Patients could possess greater amounts with a physician's signed

Valerie Corral of the Santa Cruz-based Wo/men's Alliance for Medical
Marijuana said she would have preferred rules that allowed for a
larger garden.

"It's not exactly what we'd like to see happen," she said. "However,
it's good work. I'm grateful to the county and to Dr. Wolfe for their

Corral said she would have liked to have seen a 120-square-foot
canopy. Inexperienced medical growers may not necessarily yield 3
pounds from the canopy acceptable under the ordinance. Mold, bugs and
other unexpected occurrences could diminish the harvest.

Canopy refers to the leaf cover of a pot plant.

Nonetheless, WAMM members are expected to be at Tuesday's meeting to
express support as are other activists on the issue.

"We ask that you as a body vote in support of the proposed MM (medical
marijuana) ordinance and protect a patient's right to use the medicine
that a doctor finds safe and efficacious to recommend," Andrea
Tischler, co-owner of the Compassion Flower Inn, wrote in a letter to
the board.

The ordinance is based on guidelines suggested by Wolfe, a former
county health officer, and a team of area physicians. At the request
of Sheriff Mark Tracy, the board asked the doctors earlier this year
to research and craft standards.

Tracy said the idea was to put decisions about appropriate amounts in
the hands of the medical community rather than police.

"I don't have a position one way or other (on the ordinance)," Tracy
said Friday. "My initial position was this is a medical determination.
This is the result of doctors making that determination."

In August, the board went along with the physicians' suggestions and
directed county legal staff to write them into an ordinance. The lone
dissenting vote on that was Supervisor Tony Campos. Attempts to
contact Campos on Friday failed.

The proposed ordinance comes in the wake of a state law, AB 420,
passed in 2003 that set statewide guides on amounts patients could
possess -- 8 ounces of dried pot in addition to six mature plants or
12 immature plants. The law also allowed local governments to decide
their own standards. 
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