Legislation proposes state regulated medical marijuana
March 11, 2014
A California state senator recently introduced legislation to have state regulated medical marijuana. If passed, the state would have oversight of pot farmers, doctors who prescribe medical marijuana cards and the stores that sell it.
Since 1996 when the people of California voted to legalize medical marijuana, the industry has been poorly regulated and rife with legal issues. Medical marijuana advocates support the statewide regulatory scheme because they believe the industry will be less susceptible to federal raids and arrests.
The bill, SB 1262, introduced by state Sen. Lou Correa, was constructed by the California Police Chiefs Association and the League of California Cities.
In the past, California law enforcement officials have forcefully opposed any legislation seen as legitimizing a marijuana industry. Their opposition is supposedly based on the belief that medical marijuana businesses are profiteering shams that were never authorized by California voters.
However, Marijuana advocates contend that police are unwilling to support marijuana legalization because they are too invested in pot policing through drug enforcement grants and revenue from seized houses, cars and property in marijuana prosecutions. California took in $181.4 million in revenue from seized property and money in marijuana cases from 2002 to 2012.
In the states of Colorado and Washington where marijuana has been legalized, law enforcement agencies have seen revenue because of seizures plummeting.