California bill moves ahead

|By:, SA News Editor

San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano submits a bill to tighten the regulations governing the use of medical marijuana by adults. It would make it illegal for physicians to prescribe medical pot for patients they have not examined and bar prescriptions by doctors who have a financial stake in a pot dispensary.

The assembly Public Safety Committee passed the bill yesterday.

Somewhat controversial is the provision for the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to enforce the law. The California Narcotic Officers Association cites the irony in allowing an agency with regulatory responsibility over the use of recreational substances to regulate medical products. The senate version specifies the state health department as the regulator.

The bill, if passed, could lay the groundwork for a tax-and-control scheme for recreational pot use similar to Colorado and Washington.