Leno wants an end to medical marijuana raids

June 9, 2009 12:35:19 PM PDT
State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, introduced a resolution Monday urging the federal government to end medical marijuana raids in California.

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Senate Joint Resolution 14 calls for the federal government to ensure safe and legal access to medical marijuana, and also asks for the federal government to support research trials on the therapeutic use of medical marijuana.

Medical marijuana has been legal under California law since voters approved Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act, in 1996.

The state Legislature clarified in 2004 that the Compassionate Use Act allows qualified patients and their primary caregivers to cultivate marijuana for medicinal use.

Medical marijuana, however, remains illegal under federal law, leaving medical marijuana patients and providers open to prosecution in federal court.

"Patients and providers in California remain at risk of arrest and prosecution by federal law enforcement, and medical marijuana facilities continue to be the subjects of federal raids," Leno said in a statement.

"When passed, this resolution will clearly state the Legislature's opposition to federal interference with California's medical marijuana law and support for expanded federal reform and medical research," he said.

Senate policy committees are expected to hear SJR 14 later this month.

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