Pubdate: Wed, 04 Aug 1999
Date: 08/04/1999
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Author: Dale H. Gieringer

To the editor:

Michael Corlett (Letters, July 29) should have read Proposition 215
more carefully before claiming that it is inconsistent with the
attorney general's proposed medical marijuana legislation.

Proposition 215's purposes are A) to ensure that ``seriously ill
Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical
purposes''; B) to ensure that they are ``not subject to criminal
prosecution or sanction''; and C) ``to encourage the federal and state
governments to implement a plan to provide for safe and affordable
access to medical marijuana.''

It is a shameful fact that the state has spent more money prosecuting
and harassing medical marijuana patients than trying to implement the
mandate of the law since passage of 215. It is laughable for Corlett
to suppose that, by obstructing the attorney general's efforts to
establish enforcement guidelines for 215, Gov. Gray Davis will somehow
protect our kids from drug abuse.

In fact, the latest survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse
shows that youth marijuana use in California has if anything declined
slightly since passage of 215 and is 33 percent lower than the
national average. Clearly our kids understand what Corlett and Davis
do not: Medical marijuana has nothing to do with youth drug abuse.

DALE H. GIERINGER Coordinator, California NORML (National Organization
for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) Berkeley