Medical Marijuana Supporters Greet Druz Czar

February 11, 2004


SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Supporters of medical marijuana say even more Californians support it now than in 1996, when voters passed Proposition 215. And many of them descended upon Sacramento Wednesday in hopes of catching the eye of federal drug czar Dr. John Walters, who was also at the state's Capitol.

Walters told reporters Wednesday medical marijuana is a lie that's spread by people who want to legalize drugs. He said California is being used as a wedge to push marijuana proponents' case.

'I understand that people voted in the state. I understand that many people believe that marijuana is medicine. They have heard testimony of people who have used it. That's not science. That's snake oil,' Walters said.

Medical marijuana supporters claim there is scientific evidence that, when smoked, marijuana works to fight pain. They also said that the federal government has no right to raid medical marijuana outlets.

At a news conference Wednesday, Les Kleinberg, a representative of the California Attorney General's Office, said that he would like the federal government to 'redirect limited resources from busting medical marijuana patients to helping us apprehend and prosecute large criminal drug operations, including methamphetamine and commercial-quality marijuana gardens, that prey on our youth and our communities.'

Medical marijuana supporters say the federal government has been losing recent Supreme Court and appellate court cases, which tend to support California doctors and patients who disregard the federal laws.

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