Medical marijuana proponents aim to recall unsympathetic D.A.
BY Advocate.com Editors
February 13 2001 1:00 AM ET
Proponents of medicinal marijuana in Marin County, Calif., are irate over what they call District Attorney Paula Kamenas unsympathetic approach to patients who use the drug to alleviate pain and look to oust her in a May recall vote, the Los Angeles Times reports. Supporters of medicinal marijuana say the recall vote is just the beginning of a groundswell push around California, where proponents are considering similar initiatives against five other D.A.s in the state. In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215, which allows the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. But Kamena says the current law is very poorly written and that state prosecutors have been screaming for some sort of consistency in enforcing the law since it took effect. Kamena has taken only one medical marijuana case to court in her two years in office: Ten cases remain to be heard, while 26 defendants struck plea bargains and 37 cases were dismissed. But Lynette Shaw, founding director of the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, the group that operates the countys only dispensary for medicinal marijuana patients, said the limits on personal marijuana use set by Kamena are too strict. Medical marijuana advocates, backed by the American Medical Marijuana Association, are also considering recall efforts against prosecutors in Californias Placer, El Dorado, Sonoma, Shasta, and Calaveras counties. Any district attorney who tries to subvert Proposition 215 doesnt deserve to be in office, Shaw said. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a challenge to the California law this year.