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Assembly Bill Would Set Statewide Guidelines For Medical Marijuana

— The California Assembly will soon weigh in on a bill to create statewide standards for growing, selling, and transporting medical marijuana. Supporters say the measure would establish much-needed guidelines.

Aired 5/29/13 on KPBS News.

The California Assembly is considering a measure that would create a department to regulate the sale, distribution, and testing of medical marijuana.

Jars full of medical marijuana are seen at Sunset Junction medical marijuana dispensary on May 11, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.
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Above: Jars full of medical marijuana are seen at Sunset Junction medical marijuana dispensary on May 11, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

The bill, introduced by San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, would set up a new division within the department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. This division would regulate the growing, testing, and selling of medical marijuana. It would also establish an application procedure and fee schedule for those who are involved in the business.

Margaret Dooley-Samuli, senior policy advocate with the ACLU in San Diego, said access to medical marijuana has been spotty ever since voters approved it in 1996.

"It's been a real struggle. We've all watched it unfold. And what's been missing all along is guidance from the state, so it is quite overdue," she said.

Law enforcement officials don't like the bill. That's because it would forbid them from spending money to help federal authorities enforce the federal ban on marijuana.

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