Obama Administration Says It Won't Prosecute Legal Medical Marijuana Shops

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, October 19, 2009
Medical marijuana advocates are applauding the Obama Administration today (Monday) for directing federal agents to stop cracking down on California’s legal pot dispensaries.

Capital Public Radio's Steve Shadley reports...
U-S Attorney General Eric Holder says the new guidelines apply to California and 12 other states where patients can get prescriptions for medical marijuana. 

Stephen Gutwillig is with the Drug Policy Alliance in Los Angeles. He’s declaring victory...but adds that California must change its medical marijuana policies so law abiding patients and providers aren’t prosecuted...
Gutwillig: “It has been left up to local authorities to decide if and how to regulate medical marijuana at the county and city level. And, at this point there is total lack of uniformity as to how that is being done...”  
Alex Kreit is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and he’s chair of the City of San Diego’s medical marijuana task force. He says the guidelines will protect thousands of non-profit marijuana collectives statewide...
Kreit:  “They’re not going to be living in the same fear of federal prosecution. And, because of that I think it’s going to help ensure that patients actually get the medicine once they obtain that recommendation...”
Los Angeles County District Attorney Steven Cooley also welcomes the guidelines.  

He says they clarify the federal role in handling illegal marijuana dispensaries and will make it easier for California authorities to prosecute unlicensed operations.