State Senator Authors First Marijuana Bill Backed by Police – What’s the catch?

Law enforcement officers have not been known for supporting the legalization of marijuana, so that makes it even more surprising when a bill is draft that does have the support of law enforcement.

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Our Los Angeles marijuana lawyers know that when law enforcement officials buy into marijuana legalization measures the legislation must be something unique.

The recent bill drafted by a democratic state senator from Anaheim is the first pro-marijuana bill supported by law enforcement. In addition, the bill is supported by the California League of Cities – an organization that has spent time and money lobbying cities to ban cannabis dispensaries.

The bill, given the title SB 1262, is an effort to regulate cultivation sites, physicians, and dispensaries. The state Department of Public Health would take on the task of licensing grow operations and dispensaries.

Grow operations and dispensaries would be subject to county health department inspections. The proposed legislation does not have language that would limit the ability of private medicinal marijuana patients.

Currently medical cannabis patients can consume and grow marijuana for their own use.

The bill sounds good so far but now lets examine some of the not-so-positive aspects, which may explain why it’s the first bill accepted by law enforcement and other typically anti-marijuana groups.

One of the most negative aspects of the bill is some additional language and regulation surrounding physicians who sign prescriptions for marijuana patients. The bill requires there to be a bona fide doctor-patient relationship before a doctor may recommend cannabis for a potential patient.

This language is code for: the doctor must be a primary care physician or someone who the primary care physician referred the patient to.

This is an enormous problem because this bill could make it impossible for patients who have primary care doctors unaware of marijuana’s use as a medicine and unwilling to consider it. The issue is exacerbated by the fact that many patients do not have unlimited options when choosing their primary doctor.

While marijuana advocates, such as the California branch of NORML believe the bill should be defeated they are encouraged by the fact that law enforcement is finally supporting some sort of marijuana legislation.

Its viewed as a sign of acceptance that the status quo surrounding legalization has changed and the focus should now be on regulation. Advocates hope this is a sign that a medical marijuana bill will pass this session – just not this bill.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
More Blog Entries:

Medical Marijuana Pioneer Caught in the Teeth of Federal Drug Laws , February 21, 2014, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog
Cannabiz May Finally Be Able to Use the U.S. Banking System , February 13, 2014, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog
Additional Resources:

California Legislature — 2013-2014 Regular Session, Senate Bill No. 1262, February 21, 2014, Introduced by Senator Correa