California Cops, Cities Offer New Medical Marijuana Bill

CALIFORNIA:  With one eye on a looming effort to legalize recreational marijuana in California, organizations representing the state’s cities and police officers are pushing a Sacramento-area lawmaker’s bill to regulate medical cannabis.

Assembly Bill 266, by Assemblyman Ken Cooley, D-Rancho Cordova, would set up a statewide regulatory scheme, but local jurisdictions would continue to have the final word on licensing medical marijuana growers and dispensaries.

For years, as legislators offered bills to impose rules on California’s teeming medical marijuana industry, law enforcement remained staunchly opposed. The aversion of cops to bills they saw as further legitimizing marijuana helped sway lawmakers to vote no.

That changed last year with a bill backed by the California Police Chiefs Association and the League of California Cities. The legislation failed, but now Cooley is carrying a follow-up bill he hopes will conclude what has become a perennial debate.