Medical Marijuana, Regulation, and the California Supreme Court | KCET
Medical Marijuana, Regulation, and the California Supreme Court
This week I was honored to be on "SoCal Connected" to speak with Madeleine Brand about the California Supreme Court's consideration of whether localities can prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries (watch it here). Our state's highest court is wading into a confused thicket of laws concerning marijuana, and more specifically medical marijuana. Here is a quick synopsis of the legal landscape.
Under federal law, marijuana is a schedule 1 drug. This means it is an illegal narcotic and there is no accepted use for it. Recently a federal appeals court rejected a suit seeking to change that classification. It is now up to Congress and the Drug Enforcement Administration to act. The federal government could take a number of different routes. First, it could classify medical marijuana. Second, it could legalize medical marijuana. Third, it could reduce penalties for the use and/or possession of medical marijuana.
Next we move on to California State laws. In 1996 the voters passed Prop 215, commonly known as the Compassionate Use Act. That law, among other things, allows doctors to recommend that certain patients use marijuana for medicinal purposes. Patients with such a recommendation can possess and grow marijuana for medicinal purposes. The law was later amended to allow collective distribution of medical marijuana. Still, the contours of the law are far from clear.
In the local level, cities and states have four primary options. First, they can prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries (maybe -- more on that in a moment). Second, they can impose moratoriums on such dispensaries. Third, they can impose regulations, like zoning laws, which restrict such dispensaries. Fourth, they can impose no local regulations. To date many localities have taken the first route and banned medical marijuana dispensaries. These include Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and Culver City. As I have previously noted in Los Angeles voters will likely face three different ballot measures dealing with medical marijuana this May.
This week the California Supreme Court heard arguments concerning the issue of whether localities have the power to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in light of State laws, primarily the Compassionate Use Act, which address this topic. The Supreme Court's ruling will likely have significant implications for localities not only in California, but throughout the nation and we begin to define the legal lines of medical marijuana use.
After the screening, KCET Cinema Series host Pete Hammond conversed with director Fernando Ferreira Meirelles (City of Gold), and writer Anthony McCarten.
All around the United States is a 100-mile border zone where one can be searched and one's things seized. Policies way beyond what the constitution allows is regularly implemented. Artists drew on select sites. Here's what they realized.
Created by policymakers in the 1940s, the border zone extends 100 miles inland from the nation’s land and sea boundaries and houses nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population. It's also where the 4th amendment rights of the people have been subverted.
We have forgotten how to be medicine to the land, and to ourselves. The members of Syuxtun Collective are revisiting lost indigenous wisdom of learning and listening, of harvesting and preparing plant medicine in participation with nature.
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