D.A. recommendation: Ban Medical Marijuana

October 08, 2007

, Fox News 58 Bakersfield

Proponents of medical marijuana were dealt a major blow Tuesday when District Attorney Ed Jagels recommended banning it across the county.

State law says it's okay to smoke marijuana if your doctor recommends it. But federal law says it's illegal no matter what.

It's that conflict that prompted the County Board of Supervisors to ask Jagels to look into the issue. His report came as a disappointment to the hundreds, if not thousands, of medical marijuana users in Kern County.

Jagels recommended repealing the ordinance that gives the sheriff's department authority to issue licenses to sell medical marijuana.

He also recommended enacting and ordinance that would prohibit any actions that are illegal under federal law, which would include smoking marijuana, even for medical reasons.

"The storefront marijuana dispensary that half the state seems to think is legal in the state is, in fact, illegal," said Jagels.

If passed, Jagels' recommendation would make it impossible for patients to legally obtain marijuana.

"I'd be reduced to the streets," said Chris Helton, who started using marijuana 4 years ago to relieve severe headaches caused by a head injury he suffered working on and oil rig.

"I could try to grow my own, but I haven't been successful. I've been ripped off."

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