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Newshawk: Jo-D and Tom-E
Pubdate: Thu, 20 Jul 2000
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA)
Copyright: 2000 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
Contact: letters@uniontrib.com
Address: PO Box 120191, San Diego, CA, 92112-0191
Fax: (619) 293-1440

Author: Mark Sauer, Staff Writer


Nearly four years after California voters passed Proposition 215, making marijuana legal for
medicinal purposes, the San Diego City Council will discuss ways to implement the law.

Mayor Susan Golding announced yesterday that the controversial questions of who is legally
entitled to use marijuana and how they may obtain it will be taken up by the council Aug. 14.

"The mayor is eager to reconcile all of the issues surrounding medical marijuana," said her
spokesman, Ric Grenell. "There are many issues regarding this, and she wants to explore all
of them."

Council members Christine Kehoe, George Stevens, Byron Wear and Valerie Stallings sent a
letter to Golding yesterday urging her to convene a session to discuss medical marijuana that
would include the district attorney, police, advocates of Proposition 215, medical experts and

"As a matter of fairness, we need to let the public know what's legal and what isn't," Kehoe
said. "It's very confusing now for everybody. If you're ill and have a physician who thinks
marijuana could be helpful, you're between a rock and a hard place in San Diego.

"This was passed by the voters in 1996. Burying our heads in the sand isn't helping."

Golding's announcement follows the implementation of a photo-identification system for
medical-marijuana users in San Francisco this week and a federal judge's ruling that an
Oakland co-operative which once supplied the drug to sick people there can reopen.

Steve McWilliams, who operated a similar marijuana co-op here before running afoul of
police a year ago, welcomed Golding's announcement of a council discussion.

"Perhaps their consciences are finally taking over," said McWilliams, who has often led
medical-marijuana advocates into council chambers to protest San Diego's failure to
implement Proposition 215.

"When they see how easily this (implementation) has been done in Santa Cruz, Oakland,
Arcata and other places, I don't see why they should have any reservations."

MAP posted-by: Jo-D