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Medical Marijuana Regulation Bill Fails in Assembly

Aired 5/31/13 on KPBS News.

The California Assembly has rejected legislation that would regulate medical marijuana. But the bill’s author says he’ll try again later this year.

A bill that would regulate medical marijuana in California has failed in the state Assembly for the second consecutive day.

The measure would create guidelines for an industry that's legal under California law but not under federal law.

Democratic Assemblyman Wes Chesbro represents the northern coast and said his district needs the help this bill would provide.

The Mother Earth Alternative Healing Cooperative was the last licensed medical marijuana co-op in San Diego County. It closed its doors in September 2012.
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Above: The Mother Earth Alternative Healing Cooperative was the last licensed medical marijuana co-op in San Diego County. It closed its doors in September 2012.

"I come from a part of the state that has been heavily impacted by illegal marijuana growing," Chesbro said. "We need a structure in this state. We need to move towards regulation. We need to move towards a system that recognizes reality."

But Republicans and some Democrats opposed the measure. They're concerned that regulating the drug could lead to increased crime. They also worry about pre-empting local government control over medical marijuana dispensaries.

The bill's author said he'll look for another way to get the regulations through the legislature.

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