WILLIE BROWN: Don’t Bar Medicinal Pot
Writing in today's Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown (D) comes out squarely against the federal government in the debate over medical cannabis clubs. Brown details San Francisco's efforts to honor the voters' wishes by making marijuana available in clinics and cultivation clubs. But, he writes, the "federal government wants to take away that right" in the name of "the supremacy of federal law." According to Brown, the issue at hand is not one of the superiority of one set of laws over another, but "about compassion for people in pain." He argues that the dispensaries have operated "in the spirit of the law," and without them, those in pain would be forced to buy on the street -- a far more dangerous prospect. Brown says that the "current system isn't perfect. But until marijuana is approved by the [Food and Drug Administration] as a prescription drug, California's medical marijuana dispensaries are a viable medical alternative." He calls on the Clinton administration "to work with state and local government to implement a plan" for distribution that complies with both sets of laws. "In the interim, the federal government should impose a moratorium on enforcement of marijuana laws that interfere with the locally regulated operation of cannabis patient clubs and allow patients open access to their medicine," he concludes (4/8).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.