MEDICAL MARIJUANA: Flower Inn Opens, Defying Feds
The Compassion Flower Inn, the nation's first bed and breakfast catering to medical marijuana users, opened Thursday in Santa Cruz, after the city council approved an ordinance legalizing the production and sale of medical marijuana without a doctor's prescription. The law -- the first of its kind in the nation -- however, prohibits the sale of marijuana for profit. The ordinance, which takes effect on May 11 and passed with 76% of the vote, is Santa Cruz's effort to implement Proposition 215, the medical marijuana initiative approved in 1996. Federal prosecutors maintain that "Santa Cruz does not have the power to circumvent federal drug laws," but city officials see things differently. "The hope is that Santa Cruz's law could serve as a model for other cities in California, as well as other states that have approved the use of medical marijuana, only to find themselves locking horns with federal officials," City Councilman Mike Rotkin said (Nieves, New York Times, 4/20). The inn's owners, Andrea Tischler and Maria Mallek-Tischler, say that the bed and breakfast will be a "comfort zone for people with a medical need for marijuana," adding that Compassion Flower may be the first of it's kind, but "many more will follow" (Glionna, Los Angeles Times, 4/21).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.