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When They Outlaw Marijuana, Only The Potheads Will Have Pot

Herb Fellow

New Member
In 1996 Californians voted to enact the Compassionate Use Act, permitting the cultivation and use of marijuana for medical reasons. Not wanting to look too flaky, seven years later the state followed up with SB 420, which implemented an ID card system and a few limits (on the amount of marijuana and the number of plants that can be kept by a patient, for example). Possession and use could no longer be criminalized. And that settles it . . . unless you have a job that you would like to keep.

Last Thursday, the California Supreme Court ruled that state employers are free to fire workers for using medical marijuana—with a doctor's prescription—even if the employee's performance is in no way impaired.

The test case was brought by Gary Ross, who in no way fits the stereotype of prescription-forging riff-raff: he is 46, a veteran of the Air Force, and due to injuries sustained in the service he now suffers back spasms severe enough to qualify him for both government benefits and a medical marijuana ID card. In 2001 he was hired as an administrator—not a pilot or school bus driver—by Raging Wire Telecommunications. Ross informed Raging Wire of his use of medical marijuana from the beginning, and presented his ID card before taking his drug test. A week later, when the test came back positive for trace amounts of marijuana, Raging Wire fired Ross.

This is the latest installment in the comedy of errors that passes for drug policy in the state of California and the US as a whole. Recently Long Beach residents got their own eyeful of municipal confusion regarding medical marijuana: on November 20 federal agents arrived at Compassionate Caregivers (on 4th St.) with a search warrant, and left with 33 kilos. City officials who are constitutionally obligated to defend state law were silent on the subject.

Similar raids have taken place in Los Angeles, but the LA City Council is less accommodating: council members have attended council meetings with pink armbands in an expression of solidarity with those requiring medical marijuana, expressed considerable frustration with the federal government, and strongly recommended that the LAPD reassess its policy of cooperating with the DEA. Councilwoman Janice Hahn: "We know we have no control over the federal government, but I don't think we should play a role in helping them raid clinics we have authorized."

Official reaction to the Long Beach raids?

Cue sound of crickets.

Source: The District Weekly
Copyright: 2008, The District Weekly
Contact: Rachel Powers
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