Davis Should Sign Legislation To End ‘Confusion’ over Proposition 215, Sacramento Bee Says
Although last week's state Supreme Court decision on Proposition 215 "usefully tidied up one small corner of the medical marijuana mess" in California, Gov. Gray Davis (D) must "clean up the rest of the confusion" over the law, according to a Sacramento Bee editorial (Sacramento Bee, 7/24). The state Supreme Court ruled that residents who cultivate or use marijuana for medical purposes with a physician's recommendation are protected from state prosecution under Proposition 215. The law, a ballot measure approved by California voters in 1996, allows patients with chronic diseases such as cancer and AIDS can use medical marijuana to treat pain (California Healthline, 7/19). The Bee states that the decision "isn't sufficient by itself" to address the contradictions between state and federal marijuana laws, determine which patients should receive medical marijuana or establish a limit on the amount that they may possess. According to the Bee, a bill (SB 187) sponsored by Sens. John Vasconcellos (D-San Jose) and Maurice Johannessen (R-Redding) would establish a "reasonable regulatory scheme" to address the issues. The legislation would establish a system of voluntary identification cards for patients authorized to use medical marijuana and a legal limit on the amount of marijuana that they could possess. The bill stalled in the Senate last September after Davis told lawmakers that "more time was needed to study the issue," and a Davis spokesperson last week still described the legislation as "premature," the editorial states. The editorial concludes, "In fact, this kind of measure is badly overdue. The court and Legislature have done their duty to make Proposition 215 workable; now it's the time for the governor to do his" (Sacramento Bee, 7/24).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.