The county recently created new rules on medical marijuana dispensaries. Why, and what will they accomplish?
In 1996, the voters of Santa Cruz County passed Proposition 215, the California Compassionate Use Act, by a 74 percent margin. This overwhelming support demonstrated the resolve of our community to ensure access to alternative medicines that provide relief to those suffering from illness.
Since that time there has been an evolving set of regulations to fulfill the voters' wishes. Thirteen other states have passed compassionate use regulations. The election of President Barack Obama led to a new direction in federal drug policies; a memo from Attorney General Eric Holder specifically articulated that U.S. Justice Department law enforcement agencies would not pursue cases involving dispensaries operating within local laws.