Pubdate: Sun, 25 Oct 2009
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel (CA)
Copyright: 2009 Santa Cruz Sentinel
Cited: Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - United States)


On balance, the Obama administration did the right thing in living up 
to a pledge to end the crackdown on the medical use of marijuana.

We say "on balance," because the potential for going beyond this -- 
de facto legalization of pot -- remains a concern and very much 
unresolved. Of course, in many areas of California including Santa 
Cruz, personal use of marijuana is already tolerated.

We have strong doubts that the "war on drugs" can be won. One major 
problem is the selective enforcement of laws, since a rapidly 
declining minority of Americans believe someone smoking marijuana 
should face criminal charges.

Our problem is more with the illegal distribution and sale of drugs 
by criminal enterprises such as the Mexican drug cartels, which 
Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged Monday in his memo calling 
off the raids on medical pot dispensaries and prosecutions of sick 
people caught with marijuana.

On Thursday, Holder announced that more than 300 people were 
arrested, including two dozen across California, as part of a 
national crackdown by federal drug agents of the violent Mexican drug 
cartel La Familia.

That's where the attention should be focused -- not on medical 
marijuana providers and users.

Santa Cruz has been one of the key spots in the 14 states that allow 
for some sort of medical marijuana use.

The leaders of the local medical pot movement, Valerie and Michael 
Corral of the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana WAMM, were 
targets of Bush administration raids, in a campaign to enforce 
federal laws that restrict the use of marijuana.

In 1996, California was the first state to go its own way on medical 
marijuana, after voters passed a measure allowing ill people to have 
access to regulated marijuana. WAMM later sued the federal 
government, with the lawsuit backed by the city of Santa Cruz and the 
county, over what the organization said is selective enforcement of drug laws.

Santa Cruz has two other medical pot dispensaries, both in the Harvey 
West area. The city has not reported any complaints over their 
operations. Nevertheless, the city earlier this year put into effect 
a moratorium on new pot dispensaries, not wanting to move too quickly 
into smoke-shrouded waters.

The feds should be commended for putting their attention and 
resources where they should be -- not with sick people toking up, but 
with real drug criminals. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake