Medical Marijuana Still Under Fire

Betty T. Yee, chairwoman of the State Board of Equalization, has a good shakedown of the status of medical marijuana dispensaries in the Chronicle last week. California Prop 215, passed in 1996, exempted caregivers and seriously ill and terminal patients from criminal penalties for growing or having pot for medical purposes. In what Yee righteously describes as a “repertoire of raids and fear” the federal Drug Enforcement Administration pulled rank in 2005 and started raiding the shops that supplied the drug, a problem that has plagued the state ever since. Yee argues that the state has been deprived millions of dollars in tax revenue by the DEA's fervor to shut down legitimate, state licensed businesses while patients with brain tumors, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, and other afflictions have been deprived of a useful medication. What's next for the troubled pot shops? SJR20, if approved, would urge the feds to honor California laws and leave suffering patients and their helpers to their own devices. So, nothing. We still get f'd in the a.–Andy Wright

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