Medical marijuana dispensaries in Humboldt County and Del Norte County have faced an uncertain legal landscape because of a recent push by both local and federal officials to claim that California’s medical marijuana laws do not permit the selling of medical marijuana to members of a cooperative, despite published guidelines by California’s Attorney General which do permit such sales. A recent crackdown in Del Norte County of a marijuana cooperative operating within the law has sent waves of fear into the community of patients in Crescent City.
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, sponsored a bill that seeks to bring clarity to an otherwise muddy area of the law that continues to waste court and taxpayer resources. Assembly Bill 2312 would create a statewide system for regulating medical marijuana and start a cannabis commission to oversee the new law. Although proponents of the law had thought the bill was going to stall in the Assembly the proposal passed with strong support on a 41-29 vote the day before the deadline.
If the bill passes it would help eliminate one of the justifications the U.S. Attorneys have been using to disregard State’s rights. U.S. Attorneys, seemingly aware that taking away medicine from seriously ill persons is not a popular stance, have been using multiple excuses to disregard California’s medical marijuana laws. U.S. Attorney arguments to justify their incursions have ranged from medical marijuana being too close to schools and parks to the claim that California lacks statewide regulations to protect communities that do not want dispensaries in their town. Tom Ammiano has been working with the U.S. Attorneys to create a law that eliminates the argument that California does not have statewide regulations.