Medical marijuana advocates have gone to court in an effort to stop the federal crackdown on pot dispensaries in California.

Their main argument: The Department of Justice is entrapping pot providers by reversing its own policy. They cite last year’s agreement by federal prosecutors to dismiss a case against a medical marijuana cooperative in Santa Cruz County because the DOJ had told U.S. attorneys to defer to states on the medical use of pot.

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California allows marijuana to be used under a doctor’s supervision, although exactly what constitutes medical supervision seems to get more broadly defined by the day. Federal law, which trumps state law, does not allow the use of pot, even for medicinal purposes.

Last month, the state’s federal prosecutors announced an effort to close pot clubs. They told landlords who rent space to the dispensaries they faced property seizure.

Also last month, the California Medical Association came out in favor of legalization. State doctors are caught between state and federal law, not to mention providing the best treatment for patients. One possibility is to make marijuana a legal controlled substance available only through pharmacies and in known dosages.

It’s time to work toward resolution, although an election year is hardly the time to expect a rational discussion.

There was hope that by having federal officials back off from cracking down on pot dispensaries that the state could handle policing problems. That has proved problematic but not impossible.

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It’s time for the federal government to move marijauna to a controlled prescription drug status and stop uncontrolled games being played out in several states.

Source: Record, The (Stockton, CA)
Copyright: 2011 The Record
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