State and local officials held a news conference in San Francisco today to call for reform of the federal government’s policy on medical marijuana. The event, held just blocks away from where President Obama held a campaign fundraiser later in the day, was attended by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, Fairfax Mayor Larry Bragman and San Francisco Supervisor David Campos.
The officials are calling on the federal government to change course after the U.S. Department of Justice announced earlier this month that it would be boosting criminal and civil enforcement efforts to shut down large-scale commercial marijuana enterprises. California’s Compassionate Use Act, approved by voters as Proposition 215 in 1996, allows seriously ill patients to use marijuana with a doctor’s permission, but federal laws criminalizing the drug make no exception for state laws.
The state and local officials said the crackdown is confusing since it contradicts previous statements by the Obama Administration. Campos then introduced a resolution at this afternoon’s Board of Supervisors meeting echoing the sentiments expressed at today’s news conference. The resolution “calls upon the federal government to do what they had previously indicated they would do, which is respect state law,” Campos said. “The voters of California have spoken very loudly and clearly to respect the right of the patients of California to have access to medical cannabis, and that should be respected,” he said. The resolution was co-sponsored by six other supervisors on the board, Campos said.
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