More MS news articles for Dec 2001

City of West Hollywood declares itself a medical marijuana sanctuary

Posted at 9:01 p.m. PST Tuesday, December 4, 2001

WEST HOLLYWOOD -- The City Council has declared West Hollywood a "sanctuary" for medical marijuana use.

Copies of its resolution were sent to federal law enforcement officials who continue to conduct raids in California, although the state's voters legalized medicinal marijuana use five years ago.

"Where are the federal government's priorities?" Councilman Jeffrey Prang asked after Monday's passage of the resolution he sponsored. "When faced with bio-terrorist activities across the country, why is the Republican Justice Department focusing its attention on this issue?

The sanctuary resolution is only symbolic, with federal law outlawing marijuana use still superseding state law.

The resolution's adoption follows an Oct. 25 raid in which federal agents shut down a West Hollywood cannabis club. The action was denounced by city officials and a representative of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which handles law enforcement in West Hollywood.

Other federal actions in recent months included raiding a Ventura County garden operated by patients, and seizure of medical records from a Northern California doctor who is a prominent medical marijuana proponent.

The West Hollywood center, which opened in 1996, provides marijuana to patients suffering from AIDS, epilepsy, glaucoma, cancer and other serious illnesses, said center spokesman Scott Imler. To receive the marijuana, patients must be referred by their physicians and undergo a screening process.

Seven other states have followed California's lead in legalizing marijuana for medical use, but under federal law marijuana remains illegal for cultivation, sales and use of any sort.

© 2001