Pubdate: Wed, 02 Feb 2005
Source: Redding Record Searchlight (CA)
Copyright: 2005 Record Searchlight
Author: Christina Lucarotti, Record Searchlight
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


RED BLUFF -- The Red Bluff City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt 
standards on how much medicinal marijuana a patient can legally possess.

The standards, which are tougher than county regulations, came as a 
disappointment to some users.

"It's disappointing that the police opted to have different guidelines than 
the county," said medicinal marijuana activist Jason Browne. "They had the 
opportunity to have higher use thresholds and chose not to."

The Tehama County Sheriff's Department allows 11/2 pounds of dried 
marijuana and either 18 immature or six flowering plants, Browne said.

The guidelines approved by the council Tuesday allow 8 ounces of dried 
marijuana, and either six mature or 12 immature marijuana plants. Those 
restrictions match the minimum guidelines set in the state's Compassionate 
Use Act of 1996, which was amended in 2003.

Police Chief Al Shamblin, who had asked the council to approve the policy 
as a guide to help officers in the field handle medicinal marijuana 
investigations, applauded the decision.

"It actually saves us a lot of time," he said of the guidelines. "It makes 
it easier for us. That's what this directive is for."

The directive outlines procedures for medicinal marijuana investigations. 
It also designates an officer who will verify that someone has marijuana 
for medical reasons.

Shamblin and Mayor Larry Stevens said the standards are flexible.They allow 
patients, or a patient's caregiver, to possess more marijuana than the 
permitted levels with a physician's approval.

Stevens, who wants consistency between county and city regulations, said he 
thought Tuesday's decision was an important first step.

"I think we made progress. Did we get as far as we could have? Probably not."

Philip Denney, a Redding physician who prescribes cannabis to patients, 
described the typical patient as someone in their 40s with chronic lower 
back pain.

The typical patient he sees uses one ounce or less a week.

Denney is concerned that patients who grow their own marijuana could be out 
of compliance with the new procedures. Because marijuana is typically 
harvested just once a year, a medicinal marijuana patient who uses an ounce 
a week would need to amass a year's supply -- 52 ounces -- at harvest time. 
That's well above the eight ounces allowed by the guidelines.
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