CA Collective Pushes Back Against Federal Crackdown, Proposes Ballot Initiative to Regulate Medical Pot

 Medical marijuana collectives in California revealed on Monday a proposed ballot initiative to create a Bureau of Medical Marijuana Enforcement and mandate one dispensary per 50,000 people, among other reforms. The lobbying group Americans for Safe Access and United Food and Commercial Workers Local  filed a request December 15 with the Secretary of State to circulate the initiative and gather signatures. On monday, Sacramento lawyer George Mull said the initiative language is being revised, but ASA and other groups plan to push for relief for the ills of the federal crackdown January 1. 

The 18-page ordinance proposes a 2.5 percent sales tax on marijuana, and would require dispensaries to operate from residences and at least 600 feet from schools and other areas where children gather. It also aims to establish security measures and hours of operation, mandating inspection and certification by a third-party group.

The proposal is similar to the system in Colorado, which might have the most stringent statewide regulations over medical marijuana.  But Coloradomay be the next state to fall victim to the federal government's crackdown. Still, initiatives like these will test the government to prove whether the feds will relentlessly attack medical marijuana, or if some regulations may help to prevent shut down. It is, however, unlikely that additional regulations will halt the federal attack on medical pot. Regardless of state regulations, marijuana is still illegal on a national level,and the government refuses to recognize the plant's medical benefits. At best, attempts at additional regulation may reveal the federal government's disregard for state rights -- as well as science.  

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at December 20, 2011, 9:24am

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