Marijuana proponents relish victory
California attorney general predicts legal anarchyNovember 6, 1996
Web posted at: 6:00 p.m. EST
From Correspondent Rusty Dornin
SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) -- Medical marijuana proponents celebrated their victory in Tuesday's elections with a ceremonial smoke.
"It's the will of the people," said Dennis Peron, an advocate for medical marijuana. "It is a mandate. It's about love and compassion about doing something that's concrete to help people who are sick and dying."
With the passage of the proposition, people who are sick and dying in California and Arizona can smoke pot legally if recommended by a physician. While the two states may say it's legal, federal law still says 'no way'.
California's attorney general predicted the law change will lead to legal anarchy. "This thing is disastrous," said Dan Lungren. "We're going to have an unprecedented mess."
Anyone suffering from AIDS and cancer to chronic pain and migraine headaches would be free to smoke pot under the new laws.
No written prescriptions are required. The passage of the proposition also means it's legal to grow pot for medicinal use.
That's exactly what worries Lungren. "We're going to have a hell of a time limiting marijuana use among young people in California at the very time that marijuana use is skyrocketing around the country," he said.
Medical pot proponents are setting their sights on the rest of the country, launching a national campaign, "Americans for medical rights," to focus on marijuana legislation in other states and on the federal level.
The news laws are expected to face court challenges in California. In any event, top nation drug enforcers said they will continue to enforce federal drug laws, including federal marijuana statutes.
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