Advertise On Marijuana Passion

Pot Crimes May Get Less Police Attention

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San Francisco -- Famously tolerant San Francisco could become an even friendlier place for pot smokers if the Board of Supervisors passes legislation that proclaims most marijuana violations "the lowest law enforcement priority" for city police.
Supervisor Tom Ammiano introduced the legislation last month before supervisors took a four-week late-summer break. His nonbinding ordinance directs police to essentially ignore all marijuana crimes except those involving minors, driving under the influence of the drug or the sale of marijuana in a public place.

Ammiano said Monday that his legislation is consistent with Proposition W -- a measure passed by 64 percent of city voters back in 1978 that called for an end to marijuana arrests and prosecutions -- and with city policy permitting the use of cannabis for medical purposes.

"It bears a revisit," Ammiano said. "This is catching us up to what today is bringing us. I think it's definitely worth a look."

If passed, the ordinance would commit the city to refusing federal funds intended for the investigation or prosecution of marijuana offenses. It also would prevent a federal agency from commissioning or deputizing a city police officer for assistance in such cases.

Under the ordinance, an oversight committee of 11 members appointed by supervisors would review police arrest records to determine whether law enforcement is taking a hands-off approach to marijuana offenses.

Ammiano's ordinance has been assigned to the City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee of the Board of Supervisors and will be the subject of a hearing in the coming weeks.

The legislation has the full support of groups pushing for the decriminalization of marijuana at the federal and state level, such as the Drug Policy Alliance and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Snipped:

Complete Article: http://tinyurl.com/g9cfj

Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Author: Charlie Goodyear, Chronicle Staff Writer
Published: Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Copyright: 2006 Hearst Communications Inc.
 

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