Marvin Chavez, the medical marijuana activist facing charges of cultivating
and distributing marijuana, went to court last week. The preliminary
hearing for his trial is now scheduled for March 29, although the actual
trial could take place even later. At the preliminary hearing, Mr Chavez,
who has a valid recommendation from a licensed physician to use cannabis
medicinally, is likely to request that some of the medication seized last
September be returned to him.

The best outcome would be to use this case as a vehicle to develop a county
program to accommodate medical marijuana patients, perhaps similar to what
San Diego's City Council enacted recently. The voters enacted Prop. 215,
authorizing bona fide patients to use marijuana, back in 1996. Mr Chavez
has worked conscientiously (if not always perfectly) to work in the spirit
of the law. It's high time for county officials to work with him rather
than harass him.

The Orange County Register
Commentary 2
Editorials/Guest Column
Sunday, March 10, 2002