PLACER COUNTY: Marijuana Activists Ask for Prop. 215 Enforcement
Hoping to stave off "police abuses," medical marijuana advocates Monday petitioned the Placer County Board of Supervisors to actively enforce 1996's Proposition 215 and "stop treating patients like criminals," the Sacramento Bee reports. The petition urged the county to "stop the arrests, ... stop forcing [people] into the black market and stop the prosecution of sick and dying people who, once charged, are forced to make bail, hire legal counsel and appear repeatedly in court." Advocates want county supervisors to adopt guidelines similar to those established in Oakland that would allow patients to use 7.1 pounds of marijuana per year by "growing as many as 144 plants, 48 of them flowering, at a time." But Sheriff Edward Bonner, who, according to activists, has waged an "aggressive campaign against medicinal pot users," believes those allowances are too high. Nevertheless, he said he "welcomes the petition as an opportunity for dialogue on the controversy." He denied activists' charges that sick patients "continue to be arrested in alarming numbers," maintaining that the only active cases against patients involve the illegal sale of the drug. Bonner characterized the proposition as "poorly crafted," noting, "The main problem we can't get around is that under federal law, marijuana is still a Schedule 1 drug." He added, "Ideally, we could come together as a community of people and say this is what is acceptable and this is what is not." County officials said they received the petition, but that it "would not, in itself, 'trigger any requirement for action'" (Wilson, 11/30).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.