Santa Cruz Leaders, Advocates To Distribute Free Medical Marijuana at City Hall on Sept. 17
Some Santa Cruz city leaders and advocates plan to distribute free medical merijuana at City Hall on Sept. 17 to "send a message to federal authorities that ... medical marijuana is welcome" in California, the AP/Los Angeles Times reports (AP/Los Angeles Times, 9/12). Under Proposition 215, a ballot measure approved by California voters in 1996, patients with chronic diseases such as cancer and AIDS can use medical marijuana to treat pain, and the state Supreme Court last month ruled that residents who cultivate or use medical marijuana with a physician's recommendation are protected from state prosecution under the law. However, federal law prohibits the cultivation, distribution or possession of marijuana, and federal officials have begun to crack down on medical marijuana distributors in the state. On Sept. 5, federal agents raided a medicinal marijuana farm in Santa Cruz (California Healthline, 9/9). On Sept. 17, Val and Mike Corral, co-founders of the farm, the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, will distribute free medical marijuana to about 250 patients with chronic diseases (Richman, Oakland Tribune, 9/12). Although the Santa Cruz City Council passed a resolution that denounced the raid, city attorney John Barisone said that "there is no official city sponsorship" of the event, and "council members and medical marijuana advocates are acting on their own accord in a public space," the AP/Times reports (AP/Los Angeles Times, 9/12). Richard Meyer, a spokesperson for the Drug Enforcement Administration San Francisco office, said, "I wonder what kind of message they want to send to our youth. Are they trying to tell youths and the rest of the United States that in Santa Cruz, you only have to obey the laws you like?" Meyer said that the DEA plans to "keep enforcing the law" but did not comment on whether the agency will take action against the event on Sept. 17, the Oakland Tribune reports (Oakland Tribune, 9/12).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.