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California City Lightens Up On Marijuana Users

LdyLunatic

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West Hollywood, United States -- Marijuana users in West Hollywood were breathing easier after the city passed a resolution to deprioritize policing of pot infractions.
"This is just another nail in the coffin of marijuana prohibition," Bruce Margolin, a pioneer in pro-marijuana legislation, told AFP. "Now the police can go after the guy robbing people on the street, rather than looking for harmless pot smokers."
Late Monday the city council of West Hollywood, which is sandwiched between Hollywood and Beverly Hills in Los Angeles county, voted to instruct police to not target adults "who consume this drug in private and who pose no danger to the community".
The council noted its existing endorsement of the medicinal use of marijuana as it advised the Los Angeles county police, who handle West Hollywood law enforcement, to focus their energies on more serious narcotics problems and other crimes like child and elderly abuse, burglary, and identity theft.
"This sends a message that the City of West Hollywood has an enlightened approach to its law enforcement," Don Duncan, manager of two local medical marijuana dispensaries, told AFP.
The move gave a boost to the campaign in California to permit sufferers from cancer and other debilitating afflictions to consume marijuana freely, despite federal laws banning the practice.
On Tuesday a steady stream of patients walked through the doors of Alternative Herbal Health Services, a West Hollywood dispensary where the product line runs from marijuana seeds to dwarf plants to harvested ganja bearing names like "Hollywood High" and "Train Wreck," all displayed neatly in glass jars.
Patients also can select between varieties of hashish, and "edibles" from chocolate-covered peanut butter cups to cannabis-laced banana bread.
Dispensary operators like Nichols feel the ordinance validates their work to provide organic medicine.
"God bless the city of West Hollywood for this kind of pat on the back," she said. "I've got cancer patients who come through here who simply can't eat without this medicine."
Nichols hopes the resolution will end what she believes is police harassment of legitimately needy patients.
"I've been hassled and given citations a few times by the police just walking from the front door of the dispensary to my car," said Tracy, a patient who asked that only her first name be used.
"Now I feel like I don't have to be so anxious," she said as she peered through the barred windows to the street.
Another patient who asked to be called Brian comes to the dispensary specifically for its high quality "edibles" to alleviate his insomnia and arthritis.
"The doctor prescribed me Ambien, but I hate the way that makes me feel the next day," he said.
With the new city resolution, Brian feels the pressure has lifted. "Now I don't have to wait around in cars and hope the police won't show up," he said.
Local physicians also praised the decision. "This is an important step towards sane adult use of marijuana," Dr. Craig Cohen told AFP. "I see patients everyday who greatly benefit from marijuana prescriptions to alleviate their pain and suffering and I know that they will be grateful for this new resolution."
California passed legislation in 1996 making small quantities of marijuana legal for medical use, laws that conflict with those of the US federal government.
Since then medical pot clinics have operated openly. San Francisco and Oakland both have policies in place similar to West Hollywood's.
Because the resolution does not actually effect legislation, it is unclear how it will impact law enforcement practices.
"We will continue to comply with proposition 215 (California's medical marijuana law)," Officer Robert McMahon of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department told AFP.
Source: Agence France-Presse (France Wire)
Author: Zachary Slobig
Published: June 21, 2006
Copyright: 2006 Agence France-Presse
 

ReeferMadness

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"Now the police can go after the guy robbing people on the street, rather than looking for harmless pot smokers."

I like that.
 

Ptbo_Stonerz

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if only laws like that would spread to canada, other than B.C lol
 

rockydog

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I second that motion, but with a different location
 

RossAlexander

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MJ laws in california are pretty sweet an ounce or less possesion is just a $100.00 fine. selling it is the problem you get 4 years in prison...nobody wants to sell it...so its still really damn hard to get..atleast in the small town where i live...
 

Rambo4104

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well, there gun laws are still getting tighter, so i hope it just sinks into the pacific soon.
 
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