New York Times Examines California’s Effort To Regulate Medical Marijuana Usage
The New York Times on Wednesday examined California's efforts to deal with "excesses" of the medical marijuana law's "success" as city officials, dispensary owners and medical marijuana advocates began "questioning how much of the drug was enough" even before last week's U.S. Supreme Court decision.
The Legislature in 2003 created guidelines for the law, but city officials statewide "still struggle with how to control dispensaries," the Times reports. In response to "fears that [dispensaries] would lead to crime and abuse," at least five cities have banned clubs and an additional 47 cities have imposed moratoria on new dispensaries, according to a survey by the marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access.
Hilary McQuie, a spokesperson for Safe Access, said, "We want licenses, we want zoning, we want permits. Since states are meant to be the social laboratories, we want to show how well medical marijuana can work."
Norma Arceo, spokesperson for the Department of Health Services, said state officials are "analyzing the federal law. We don't know how much of that affects the state law."
State officials also said they are "moving more cautiously on a plan to begin a statewide medical marijuana ID card program," the Times reports (Murphy, New York Times, 6/15).