Medical marijuana worthy of support
November 25, 2007
Jyl Lutes, city councilwoman, OpEd , Salinas Californian
This Tuesday, the Salinas City Council will consider adopting an ordinance which will expressly prohibit the operation of medical marijuana dispensaries within the city.
While this proposed ordinance does not prohibit qualified patients from possessing or using medical marijuana as prescribed by a physician, it will prohibit legal patients from getting their prescriptions filled at regulated dispensaries within city limits. The number of patients in California who rely on medical marijuana for treatment continues to increase as physicians have expanded the use of marijuana to treat symptoms of diseases such as headaches, spinal injuries, cancers, heart disease, arthritis, anorexia and depression.
In 1996, California voters approved Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act, which allows for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana. As of October 2006, 26 cities and seven counties in California have enacted ordinances to allow for the operation of dispensaries with stringent regulations in place to ensure both the protection of the community and meet the medical needs of legal patients.