Assembly Approves Inmate Health Release, Medical Marijuana I.D. Bills
Two bills that would release incapacitated inmates and give The Assembly yesterday passed two bills that would release incapacitated inmates and give identification cards to medical marijuana patients and caregivers, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Assembly moved to consider the bills before the end of the 2003 legislative session today. The Assembly voted 50-29 to pass the first bill (SB 278), sponsored by Sen. Denise Ducheny (D-San Diego), which would allow the Department of Corrections to release inmates who are too sick to care for themselves. However, the bill would not apply to prisoners on death row or those convicted under the state's three strikes law (Vogel, Los Angeles Times, 9/12). Currently, inmates can apply for compassionate release if they are terminally ill and within six months of death; however, last year only 12 of 39 inmates considered for release under the provision were released (California Healthline, 5/6). The bill will return to the Senate for final approval. The second bill (SB 420), which the Assembly voted 42-31 to approve, would create identification cards for patients using and caregivers dispensing marijuana for medical purposes under Proposition 215, the 1996 ballot initiative allowing state physicians to recommend marijuana to sick patients (Los Angeles Times, 9/12). The bill, sponsored by Sen. John Vasconcellos (D-Santa Clara), would direct the Department of Health Services to develop the program and would require county health departments to certify applicants' eligibility for the IDs. The bill also would clarify who is allowed to use medical marijuana under Proposition 215 (California Healthline, 6/3). The bill, which is supported by the California District Attorneys Association, will return to the Senate for consideration (Los Angeles Times, 9/12).
California Healthline rounds up recent broadcast coverage addressing the Legislature's consideration of health-related bills before adjourning today. Summaries are provided below.
- KCRW's "Which Way, L.A.?": The segment includes comments from syndicated Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters about the "last-minute wheeling and dealing" (Olney, "Which Way, L.A.?," KCRW, 9/11). The full segment is available online in RealPlayer.
- NPR's "Morning Edition": The segment reports that measures are "speeding through the Legislature" before the Oct. 7 gubernatorial recall election. The segment includes comments from Assembly member Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), Democratic Party official Bob Mulholland, Assembly member Dennis Mountjoy (R-Arcadia) and Sen. Don Perata (D-Oakland) (Gonzales, "Morning Edition," NPR, 9/12). The full segment is available online in RealPlayer.
- KQED's "California Report": The segment reports that Republicans say the possibility of a new governor has "pushed through a flurry of last-minute deals" (Margolis, "California Report," KQED, 9/12). The full segment will be available online in RealPlayer after the broadcast.