Berkeley Ballot Will Include Measure on Medical Marijuana
The Contra Costa Times on Friday examined provisions of three of the "most controversial" ballot initiatives slated to appear on the Nov. 2 Berkeley ballot, including a measure that would give the city the "most liberal" medical marijuana laws in the country (Snapp, Contra Costa Times, 7/2). If approved, the measure would replace Berkeley's current provision limiting medical marijuana users to 10 marijuana plants with language that allows patients to possess marijuana for medical purposes in quantities determined by "personal needs," as defined by doctors and patients. In addition, the measure would establish a peer-review committee to oversee the safety and operation of the city's medical marijuana dispensaries (California Healthline, 6/25). According to the Times, the measure would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to open "as a matter of right" in areas of the city zoned for businesses. The city's current law requires medical marijuana dispensaries to go through the permit process, including a public hearing. The measure also would require the city to provide marijuana to patients if state or federal agents seize the patients' authorized personal supply.
According to the Times, the measure is expected to face opposition in southwest Berkeley. City council members Margaret Breland and Maudelle Shirek represent the area and led opposition to the measure when the council defeated it last month. Breland and Shirek said that their constituents would be most affected by the measure because four of the five current medical marijuana dispensaries are located in their areas, the Times reports (Contra Costa Times, 7/2).
KQED's "This Week in Northern California" on Friday included a discussion of the Supreme Court's ruling on medical marijuana. The segment includes comments from Josh Richman, a reporter for ANG Newspapers (Richman, "This Week in Northern California," KQED, 7/2). The complete segment will be available online in RealPlayer a few days after the broadcast.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.