Note to the SCC 2/17/2015 At its March 8 meeting in Huntington Beach the Society of Cannabis Clinicians will hear from Los Angeles Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (or his aide, Stephanie Burri), who is working on a bill (AB 26) to regulate the medical marijuana industry in California. Steve Robinson, MD, forwards the present draft of Jones-Sawyer’s bill.
Another bill (AB 34) is being drafted by Alameda Assemblyman Rob Bonta. Both men are Democrats, and why they’re working on separate bills and how they differ are questions that should be answered at our meeting.
Yesterday we received the legislative counsel’s digest of Assemblyman Bonta’s placeholder bill, “An act relevant to medical cannabis.” There are two errors in the brief summary:
Existing law, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, an initiative measure enacted by the approval of Proposition 215 at the November 6, 1996, statewide general election, authorizes the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Existing law enacted by the Legislature, commonly referred to as the Medical Marijuana Program Act, requires the establishment of a program for the issuance of identification cards to qualified patients so that they may lawfully use marijuana for medical purposes, and requires the establishment of guidelines for the lawful cultivation of marijuana grown for medical use. This bill would declare the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would establish a comprehensive and uniform state regulatory structure to govern the cultivation, processing, testing, and distribution of medical cannabis. Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would establish a comprehensive and uniform state regulatory structure to govern the cultivation, processing, testing, and distribution of medical cannabis.
Commentary from O’S News Service
Prop 215 passed on November 5, 1996, not November 6. (It was at 12:01 a.m. on November 6 that Attorney General Lungren sent out a fax summoning to an “Emergency All-Zones Meeting,” every police chief, sheriff and district attorney in the state to discuss plans for limiting implementation of the new law.)
A minor quibble? Not if you consider the passage of Prop 215 a truly historic event. In the U.S. we don’t celebrate Independence Day on July 5.
The issuance of ID cards by the Medical Marijuana Program Act (SB-420) did not enable qualified patients to “lawfully use marijuana for medical purposes.” Prop 215 had done that in ’96. The card program, which was strictly voluntary for patients, created two tiers of cannabis consumers: the merely legal (cardless), and the especially legal, who paid money for a state-issued photo ID. The card program was said to be “a tool for law enforcement.”
SCC members Jeffrey Hergenrather, MD, and Philip Denney, MD, debated whether patients should get state ID cards. Their views reflected the locations of their practices —Hergenrather in liberal Sebastopol, Denney in Orange County and the Sierra foothills. Read their commentaries here.