DOJ Official Criticizes Calif. for Lack of Medical Marijuana Oversight
Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole says that California must implement a statewide regulatory system for the use and distribution of medical marijuana or risk federal intervention, the Los Angeles Times' "L.A. Now" reports.
California does not have a statewide regulatory program for medical marijuana. Instead, counties and cities create and enforce an assortment of different rules for the prescription drug.
To date, several medical marijuana regulations have failed in the state Legislature (Phelps, "L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 10/16). For example, California lawmakers in August put on hold a bill (SB 1262) that would have imposed stricter rules on physicians who prescribe medical marijuana and required medical marijuana retailers to obtain state licenses at a cost of up to $8,000 each (California Healthline, 8/15).
However, activists are working to get a new initiative on the 2016 ballot, according to "L.A. Now."
Cole's Call for Stronger Regulation
Cole -- who announced that he likely will leave the Department of Justice in January 2015 -- noted that states still need to strengthen their regulation systems, despite his softer approach to enforcement of federal medical marijuana laws.
He also said that California needs to improve efforts to prevent the growth of medical marijuana on federal land.
He said, "If you don't want us prosecuting [medical marijuana users] in your state, then get your regulatory act together" ("L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 10/16).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.