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Much ado about marijuana

July 23, 2007

Re "The DEA's rent control," editorial July 19

Bravo to The Times for calling the Drug Enforcement Administration's educational letters what they were -- threats. As the attorney for one of the marijuana collectives recently raided, there was a brief moment of hope when the Los Angeles County district attorney's office upheld the law of California and refused to file any charges regarding edible marijuana. Less than a month later, and just before the city of Los Angeles was supposed to institute a moratorium on opening any dispensaries, the DEA sent threatening letters to landlords that have resulted in numerous evictions, including that of my client.

If only the federal government would focus this resolve to subvert the will of the voters here on finding Osama bin Laden. Then again, it's safer to chase medicinal marijuana patients.

DAVID S. KESTENBAUM

Van Nuys

*

While the federal government's intransigence regarding medical marijuana is deplorable, when are state and local officials going to uphold the interests of those for whom Proposition 215 was intended -- the seriously ill? Nothing in Proposition 215 or SB 420 authorized the for-profit resale of black-market products, which is the modus operandi of the vast majority of the 150 "dispensing collectives" in L.A. County.

The solution to the medical marijuana problem is federal rescheduling and well-regulated prescriptive access, not turning a blind eye to profiteering by marijuana industrialists or gutting law enforcement's ability to sanction drug dealers. The law was written to liberate patients from the risks and indignities of the black market, not to institutionalize it. If the state won't enforce the law as written, who will?

SCOTT IMLER

West Hollywood

The writer is coauthor of Proposition 215.

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