Tuesday, October 28, 2008

California officials warn Michigan on dangers of allowing medical marijuana

October 27, 2008


California law enforcement officials warned of increased crime and drug use in teens as they lent their support today to opponents of Michigan's proposed medical marijuana law.

Saying they've watched supposed medical marijuana users leave distribution co-ops and selling marijuana to youngsters, the police chiefs of El Cerrito and Modesto, Calif., said the initiative does little to help the sick, and simply legalizes the drug for people who are healthy.

Proposal 1, on the November ballot, would allow users with certain medical conditions that come with pain and nausea to grow and use marijuana without fear of prosecution by the state. Federal laws against the drug would still apply.

One issue opponents have with the initiative is the medical marijuana defense. The police chiefs said that marijuana growers and users have tried to get out possession and distribution charges by claiming the drug is used for medicinal purposes. The sham defenses bog down the law enforcement system, they said.

Proponents say the proposal is written in such a way that only those carrying or in the process of getting a medical marijuana identification card, which would be mandatory in Michigan, could use the defense. Proponents also say there is no provision allowing for co-ops that distribute marijuana, and users and their caregivers are limited in the number of plants they can grow.


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