420 Magazine Background

S.j. Pot Laws Ignore Ailing, Advocate Says

Thread starter #1


Pubdate: Wed, 28 Jun 2000
Source: Record, The (CA)
Copyright: 2000 The Record
Contact: editor@recordnet.com
Address: P.O. Box 900, Stockton, CA 95201
Fax: (209) 547-8186
Website: recordnet.com: Local & World News, Sports & Entertainment in Stockton, CA
Author: Dogen Hannah, Record Staff Writer, dhannah@recordnet.com


A Stockton activist for the use of medical marijuana urged San Joaquin County supervisors
Tuesday to take the lead in finding a way for county residents to get the drug legally.

Michael Lang asked the county to help him establish a task force to study how, possibly with
the county's help, people with a prescription for marijuana can get it without traveling to
dispensaries in the Bay Area. A state initiative legalized the drug's use for medical reasons,
though federal law still bans even that use.

"I know the county provides methadone clinics for our junkies," Lang said, referring to a
treatment for heroin addiction that involves a prescribed drug. "But we have no way to
provide (medical) marijuana."

Lang said county residents taking marijuana, such as for chronic pain or to relieve nausea
induced by chemotherapy, go to a legal marijuana dispensary in the Bay Area or buy the drug
on the black market here. He said he smokes marijuana daily because of back pain.

"I'd rather smoke two joints a day than eat all the pills my doctor gave me," Lang said. The
prescription pills are ineffective, he said.

Supervisor Steve Gutierrez said Lang's suggestion is worth considering but raises concerns.

"Most people have mixed feelings about this," Gutierrez said. "I think one has to be very
clear about the message. ... I'm not sure that San Joaquin County is ready for something like

But Lang said other municipalities have successfully regulated and taxed marijuana's use and

"Whether San Joaquin County is ready or not, it's the law in California," Lang said. "There's
ways to control this. ... I'm not asking San Joaquin County to go out on a limb."

Lang suggested the task force could consider guidelines for how medical marijuana could be
distributed in the county and what public or private organizations or would do so. The task
force also could consider whether people with marijuana prescriptions could have an
identification card to show authorities, he said.

Supervisors did not act on Lang's request Tuesday.

To reach reporter Dogen Hannah, phone 546-8273 or e-mail dhannah@recordnet.com
MAP posted-by: Jo-D