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PD Editorial: Making sense of state's law on medical pot

A healthy dose of public relations often accompanies public policy discussions, and debates about medicinal marijuana are no exception.

The pharmacy patrons who the Rite Aids and CVSes of the world call "customers" are regularly referred to as "patients" at marijuana dispensaries. And many of these patients dutifully call the pot they purchase "my medicine."

What with all this healing talk, we figured California's marijuana purveyors would clamor for oversight from the state Department of Public Health.

We figured wrong.

Dispensaries are instead rallying behind legislation that would establish oversight of medical marijuana by the state agency that regulates bars and liquor stores.

Would that make Old Grand Dad medicine?

The folks at the health department certainly would beg to differ.

It's been almost two decades since California voters approved the medicinal use of marijuana, yet such basic matters as oversight aren't resolved.

Proposition 215, the 1996 marijuana initiative, was notoriously vague, and supporters have squabbled with law enforcement, local government and state officials over its scope and its meaning ever since.

All the stakeholders finally appear to agree that state legislation is needed to clear the haze. They just can't settle on the same bill.


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