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Pubdate: Sun, 14 Nov 1999
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 1999 Los Angeles Times
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Address: Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053
Fax: (213) 237-4712
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Forum: http://www.latimes.com/home/discuss/
Author: David Reyes, Times Staff Writer
Note: Citing the county for violating Article III, Section 3.5 of the California Constitution finally generated some action by the Supervisors. This excellent article in the normally prohibitionist L.A. Times, was penned by a veteran writer who isn't afraid of this story, David Reyes

COUNTY AGAIN URGED TO 'UPHOLD LAW'

Allowing Marijuana As Medicine

Supporters of the state law allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes are urging Orange County supervisors to follow their "constitutional duty" and uphold the 3-year-old voter-approved initiative.

"Now is the time for our elected officials to show good faith and uphold the law," Steve Kubby of Laguna Beach told supervisors at last week's board meeting.

Kubby and other residents appeared before the board for the second time in two weeks. Among those joining him was Anna Boyce of Mission Viejo, a co-author of the medical marijuana initiative, Proposition 215.

They are seeking help from the county's elected officials to find a safe facility in Orange County where the seriously ill can use the drug without fear of arrest.

Supporters said a meeting with members of Sheriff Mike Carona's staff ended optimistically.

Kubby said hundreds of people in the county suffering from AIDS, cancer and glaucoma are being victimized by overzealous police officers. Dozens of people have tried to use the law as a shield against prosecution, but few have succeeded. Kubby said he believes elected officials are avoiding their duty to uphold the law, thus denying many terminally ill patients the right to use the drug. Drug agents have closed cannabis clubs in numerous cities. Overall, marijuana arrests statewide jumped to a record 57,677 in 1997 after the law took effect.

The board took no action, but Chairman Charles V. Smith asked county staff to research what the county's responsibility is under Proposition 215.

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