San Francisco Supervisor Proposes Measure to Make City a Medical Marijuana ‘Sanctuary’
Following recent raids by federal agents on two California medical marijuana clubs, San Francisco Supervisor Mark Leno has proposed legislation that would declare the city a medical marijuana "sanctuary" and would "urge" local, state and federal law enforcement officials to "refrain from enforcing and prosecuting anti-drug laws" prohibiting the use of medical marijuana, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Although California voters in 1996 approved Proposition 215, which permits the sale of small amounts of marijuana for medical purposes, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that marijuana, even for medicinal purposes, is illegal. The Drug Enforcement Administration in recent weeks has seized marijuana plants and patient records from the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center and the Cool-based California Medical Research Center. Richard Meyer, spokesperson for the DEA's San Francisco field division, did not say whether federal agents intend to raid San Francisco's 13 medical marijuana clubs and cooperatives. He added, "Possession, cultivation and distribution of marijuana is illegal under federal law -- regardless of any state or local law. Our job is to enforce federal law, and we will." San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan, who supports the sanctuary proposal, said, "If nothing else, we want to give people reassurance that we're not just going to stand by." Leno said that his legislation is intended to "once again put San Francisco's position" in favor of medical marijuana "on the record." He added, "My concern is for the health and well-being of the many San Franciscans who depend on safe access to medical cannabis." The Board of Supervisors and Mayor Willie Brown (D) must approve the measure before it can take effect (Gordon, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/6).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.