Editorials Endorse State Supreme Court Decision on Proposition 215

July 19, 2002

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Several newspaper have published editorials in support of last week's state Supreme Court decision on Proposition 215. The court ruled that residents who cultivate or use marijuana for medical purposes with a physician's recommendation are protected from state prosecution under the law. 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 (California Healthline, 7/19). Summaries of the editorials, listed in alphabetical order, appear below: -San Francisco Chronicle: The state Supreme Court took a 'humane and commonsense approach' in the decision, which 'brought some much-needed clarity' to the debate over Proposition 215, according to a Chronicle editorial. The editorial adds that state lawmakers should pass legislation to establish statewide standards on medical marijuana use. In addition, Congress should approve a bill that would 'guarantee a state's right to regulate medical marijuana -- and end the temptation for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to try to supersede state laws,' the editorial concludes (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/22). -San Jose Mercury News: The state Supreme Court decision 'assured thousands of Californians that their right to a proven medical treatment will be protected,' but lawmakers must pass legislation to establish 'reasonable limits' on the amount of medical marijuana that patients may possess, a Mercury News editorial states. According to the editorial, the federal government, which prohibits the cultivation, distribution or possession of marijuana, should recognize Proposition 215 and similar laws in other states and allow physicians to prescribe medical marijuana with 'strict reporting requirements to keep it out of the wrong hands' (San Jose Mercury News, 7/22). -Santa Rosa Press Democrat: The state Supreme Court decision 'provided some welcome relief' to patients, according to a Press Democrat editorial. However, the decision 'still leaves great ambiguity over the issue of medical marijuana' as a result of the contradiction between state and federal marijuana laws, the editorial concludes (Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 7/20).

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