Pubdate: Thu, 29 May 2008
Source: Capitol Weekly (Sacramento, CA)
Copyright: 2008 Capitol Weekly Group
Author: F. Aaron Smith


Dear Editor:

Law enforcement union lobbyist John Lovell stands in opposition to
A.B. 2743 (Saldana) because of an apparent question as to whether or
not medical marijuana collectives are in compliance with state law and
the fear that they attract "criminal elements" ("Medical marijuana
bills moving forward," Capitol Weekly, May 22, 2008).

The problem with his logic is that Assemblywoman Saldana's
legislation clearly only addresses the use of state and local law
enforcement resources in raids on state-legal medical marijuana
facilities. The bill would not affect the enforcement activities
against any who are not operating legally under state law.

Opponents of this legislation -- and the medical marijuana laws
already on the books -- claim that medical marijuana patients and
providers are in violation of state law. If that is true, there is
absolutely no need to bring in the DEA and try them under federal law.

The truth is that A.B. 2743 is narrowly crafted legislation that
merely reinforces the will of the voters, who have already spoken on
the medical marijuana issue. The legislation also restates existing
legal precedent. Last year, the Fourth District Court of Appeals
unanimously ruled, "It is not the job of the local police to enforce
the federal drug laws..."

Hopefully legislators will look past the ideological zealotry of some
opponents and see A.B. 2743 for what it is: sensible legislation to
ensure that state public safety resources are not used to willfully
undermine state law.

F. Aaron Smith

California Organizer

Marijuana Policy Project 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake