July 27, 2007
EDITORIAL, Los Angeles Daily News
FEDS, back off.
That's what the Los Angeles City Council and medical marijuana advocates hope will happen by adopting a moratorium on new dispensaries and bringing current ones into compliance while stricter rules are written.
Of course, even operating within the new ordinance and with full legal right under California law won't necessarily keep the drug agents from raiding the medical marijuana dispensaries in L.A., which they did Wednesday even as the City Council debated the new rules.
Medical marijuana was approved for use by sick people in California 11 years ago - but in direct conflict with federal drug law. In recent days, the DEA has cranked up its raids in a clear assault on the state's medical marijuana law.
Now, 11 years and many marijuana dispensaries later, the city is finally trying to wrestle with this beast by prohibiting any new dispensaries to open for a year or until strict rules are enacted. Meanwhile, existing dispensaries have 60 days to comply with all the rules, from business taxes to permits.
L.A. clearly bears a lot of responsibility for the lax regulation and supervision of medical marijuana dispensaries that have allowed unsavory elements to become involved.
But the feds should leave medical marijuana alone unless they have proof of genuine abuses. Surely, heroin, cocaine and meth pose a greater threat to society than legalized medical marijuana dispensaries.