Pubdate: Thu, 02 May 2013
Source: Sacramento News & Review (CA)
Copyright: 2013 Chico Community Publishing, Inc.
Author: Ngaio Bealum


I heard that California medical cannabis is going to be regulated by
the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Is this true?

- -Teetotaler Terry

It could happen. Assembly Bill 473, introduced by Assemblyman Tom
Ammiano, would indeed place medical marijuana under the purview of the
ABC. The bill has gained traction, passing through the Committee on
Public Safety, and could soon become law.

In some ways, this move makes sense. ABC has vast experience in
regulating and licensing the distribution of mind-altering substances.
I think the general idea is that once statewide regulations are in
place, it would be relatively simple to implement a system for
recreational cannabis use as well.

The problem is that many activists think that medical marijuana and
alcohol shouldn't be under the same umbrella. They may have a point:
The booze industry was one of the main opponents of Proposition 19
back in 2010. Studies have shown that in states where medical cannabis
is allowed, not only do people drink less, they also use fewer
pharmaceutical drugs. The conflict of interest that may be created is
a bit of a sticking point. Don Duncan, California director for
Americans for Safe Access, told me that ASA would "begrudgingly offer
their support," but they hoped for something a little better to come
along. California State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg has
reserved a spot to introduce a bill, but no one knows if he will or

Are California's U.S. attorneys done clamping down on pot in the

- -Canna-Chris

"Clamping down" may be a strong way to put it, but they haven't really
let up. Just last week, federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents
in San Diego raided the last "legal" club left in that city, One on
One Patients Association medical-cannabis dispensary, taking all of
its computers, pot and money. The timing of the raid has been called
into question by cannabis activists, because the night before the raid
Kenneth Cole, the president of the One on One collective and a
cannabis patient himself (he uses it for terminal bone cancer), had
testified in front of the San Diego City Council in favor of a new
ordinance spearheaded by Mayor Bob Filner.

The city council voted against the new ordinance, opting instead to
revisit an ordinance it passed in 2011. That one was rescinded after
medical-cannabis activists circulated a petition and collected enough
signatures to force the city to either revoke or hold a special
citywide election. Why the San Diego City Council would want to
restart an ordinance that has already been defeated is anyone's guess.

In Oakland, the Harborside Health Center case is still a-brewing. It
beat its landlord's eviction attempt, but it's still fighting a $2.5
million federal tax bill.

It's not like we are at a standoff-more like a standstill. Everyone is
waiting to see what the feds are gonna do about Washington and
Colorado. In the meantime, more and more states, such as Maine and
Oregon, are introducing legislation to legalize recreational-cannabis
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MAP posted-by: Matt