DAVID L. BECK, San Jose Mercury News,
In the wake of federal agents' widely publicized raid on a Santa Cruz-area medical marijuana operation, Rep. Sam Farr is introducing a bill today to legalize medical need as a valid defense in federal prosecutions. The bill's co-sponsors are two congressmen rarely found on the same side of an issue -- Massachusetts liberal Democrat Barney Frank and Huntington Beach conservative Republican Dana Rohrabacher.
The bill by Farr, a Carmel Democrat, applies only to federal trials in states that have passed laws allowing the distribution and use of marijuana, under a doctor's prescription, for medical use. Frank also is backing a similar bill that would simply allow state law to trump federal law. Among those expected to attend a news conference on the bill today are Valerie Corral, who with her husband, Michael Corral, was arrested Sept. 5 by federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents. The DEA raided their marijuana farm near Davenport and confiscated their crop, which they distribute free to the sick. The Santa Cruz City Council later staged a widely publicized pot distribution ceremony on the steps of city hall, and even deputized the Corrals.