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Mr. Alice:

This may sound off the wall, but here goes. How does one go about securing a marijuana user and grower card? I read all about these people and have yet to see any advertisement. Anyway, I've talked to people at the VA hospital, and of course, no comment. Maybe you can help.

-- Ed S., Perris

If you're talking about the proposed California statewide ID card for users of medical marijuana, the bill is not yet law. (San Francisco has its own local ID program in place.) I'm sure you'll hear about it if and when it's confirmed. Senator John Vasconcellos introduced SB187, the "Medical Marijuana Bill," in the state senate a few months ago. It's his fourth or fifth try at getting the legislature to pass it. The bill hopes to put control of medical marijuana under the state health department and formalize some of the rather fuzzy effects of Prop 215, which legalized therapeutic pot in the first place.

As SB187 is currently worded, a person with a prescription from a doctor for clinical cannabis can present the order to his or her county health department and be issued an ID card similar to a driver's license. The bill also requires the state to determine how the plant can be grown and distributed and how much each person is entitled to. As things stand now, even with a prescription from a doctor (obviously not a federally employed VA doctor...), you're left on your own to find a supplier or to grow your own, though what quantities are legal is not defined.

A recent Supreme Court decision virtually guarantees that cannabis clubs will either disappear or keep very low profiles in the future. A club in Oakland challenged federal distribution laws on the basis of "medical necessity," but it lost. The state bill is supported by law enforcement and district attorneys who claim it will clarify the law and make their jobs easier. It's opposed by groups such as the American Medical Marijuana Association, which fears the bureaucrats will mishandle it and that it's just a chance to generate a list of people that could fall into the hands of the feds.

High, Matt!

Steve McWilliams and Barbara MacKenzie of Shelter from the Storm Medical Cannabis Resource Center e-mailed a follow-up to our discussion of medical marijuana. They want interested San Diegans to know that the City of San Diego Medical Marijuana Task Force meets at noon on the third Friday of every month in City Hall (202 C Street), downtown, in the 12th floor "Closed Session" room. But it's not a closed meeting. Everyone's welcome. For more information, call 619-528-1850.

So far the bill has passed the state senate. From the San Diego area, Dede Alpert was the only senator voting for it; Battin and Haynes (who also represents Perris) voted no; Morrow and Peace didn't cast a vote. If you have strong feelings about 187, now's the time to contact your assembly representative, since the bill has to be voted on there before mid-July.

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jerome July 27, 2009 @ 8:21 a.m.

yes the medical cannabis public information is one frought with opinions, facts seem to ignored. the law>have a med doctor recommend the use of the cannabis this will be prescrbed/reccomended if your medical condition warrants ;as a side note the VA doctors are nor allowed due to the federal law to prescribe cannabis although I do have a written note stateing its effacccy>from the VA.... part 2 have the county where cannabis is used issue guidelines and an additional "card" and as it stands here in san diego. its gets own county wide source of revenue in addition by using this method,plus you must pay for your original doctors visit>this is the problem the state health dept and they should oversee this mandated program so compasssion is equal throughout the state regardless of some peoples opinions, that seem to vary region to region/ city /county to county there are many of us "patients" that are terminal not just chronic that are bieng denied axcess and forced to us opiates to control symptoms i dont know any patient wiiling to choose opiates over cannabis

as a side note as far as moralality of medical cannabis users or "pot heads" as they are called at times i served recently on a district court felony trial,acually i was elected jury forman; discloser before the trial forced me to give up my right of privacy and admit i used cannabis, was a medical card holder and how much and often i used. so at the beginning of this trial i stood up, told the court the truth which included i used every day imeadialtlly before the procedings began each day neithter judge , prosecuter or defense attorney objected to my seat as jury forman and my character was firmly established as a responsible citizen of my community.

SO PEOPLE IS IT COMPASSION ,FEAR , OR IGNORANCE THAT GUIDE YOU???? I ENCOURAGE support of medical cannabis use and all peoples rights to retain their choice of medicine's thta have proven effaccacy


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