Pubdate: Sun, 23 Jul 2006
Source: Daily Breeze (CA)
Copyright: 2006 The Copley Press Inc.
Author: Bruce Mirken


It is unclear what Torrance would gain from an ordinance banning
medical marijuana dispensaries ("Torrance city council fails to block
marijuana," Thursday). Do the mayor and council members really believe
that patients suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis or chronic
pain are better off getting their medicine on the street?

The courts have repeatedly made clear that state and local governments
are not obligated to enforce federal laws -- and it's hard to imagine
a federal law more wrongheaded than one that criminalizes patients
fighting disabling, life-threatening illnesses for simply seeking relief.

A far better approach would be to follow the lead of Kern County --
and other communities throughout the state -- by licensing and
regulating medical marijuana dispensaries to ensure that patients are
served and that all involved follow a fair and reasonable set of rules.


Director of Communications, Marijuana Policy Project, Washington, D.C.
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