The Medical Marijuana Magazine


Medical marijuana laws still hazy in Sacramento

By Tom Phup

Scripps-McClatchy News Service

SACRAMENTO -As efforts have slowed to launch a local medicinal marijuana buyer's club, Jackie Mahone is among those trying to fill the gap.

The 41-year-old Oak Park resident, blind from glaucoma since childhood, has launched a limited operation, distributing marijuana to a half-dozen patients she trusts, patients who have the paperwork necessary under Proposition 215 to qualify for the drug.

"This is not an activity I'm ashamed to do," she said.

Mahone is part of a loose-knit underground network of medicinal marijuana advocates who are supplying patients with marijuana while efforts to establish a formal local operation remain unresolved.

Whether Mahone is walking on thin legal ice remains to be seen. Proposition 215 legalized possession and cultivation of medicinal marijuana under state law. But the measure said nothing about selling marijuana.

Under federal law, both possession and cultivation remain illegal.

"We have not been referred this situation," said Pat Marlette, a spokesman for the Sacramento County's District Attorney's office.

"Our natural inclination is to say that distributing marijuana will not be tolerated. On the other hand, we very much believe in the people's right to make law by initiative."

Since January a handful of medicinal marijuana advocates have been trying to raise funds and settle ground rules with local government officials

Initially hoping to open a club within weeks, the matter has dragged on for months. Fund raising has been slow, said Ryan Landers, a 25-year old Sacramento resident with AIDS who has been spearheading a buyer's club effort.

As for finding common ground with local law enforcement, "the District Attorney's Office won't give us any ground at all," he said.

So the medicinal marijuana world remains in the underground, with patients calling various numbers to leave voicemail messages in their quest for marijuana.

"We're trying to distribute it," said Edward, operator of the Sacramento Cannabis Co-Op, formerly known as the Bulldog Cannabis Buyers Club Edward spoke on the condition a different name be used.

The unresolved legal status of medicinal marijuana "is keeping a lot of people quiet," he said.