Medical Marijuana

Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
May 20, 2013

The California Senate passed a bill today that would shield pot shops following state guidelines for dispensing medical marijuana from prosecution for marijuana possession or sale.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said the goal of his Senate Bill 439 is to keep criminals out of the medical marijuana business and clarify confusion between state and federal law. Federal authorities have gone after some dispensaries in California because while they are legal under California’s Proposition 215, they are forbidden under federal law.

The Legislature can’t change federal law, but Steinberg said his bill would make clear that marijuana collectives, dispensaries and other business entities may pay employees and provide benefits as long as they comply with guidelines the Attorney General wrote in 2008.

“We want to create more certainty where little or none exists now,” the Sacramento Democrat said as he introduced the bill on the Senate floor today.

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