SF Supe Wants City to Get in Pot Business

Department of Public Health could distribute marijuana via city clinics

San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi wants the city to get in the business of dispensing marijuana to patients.

He's asked the San Francisco City Attorney to craft a bill that would enable the Department of Public Health to fill doctor's prescriptions for the drug, which is still illegal under federal law.

The move comes as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder would only go after dispensaries that ran afoul of both national and local laws.

Since Proposition 215's passage in California, it is not illegal to dispense marijuana for medical reasons.

It is, however, illegal to do it in San Francisco without a permit, thanks to legislation Mirkarimi's office put together and successfully passed three years ago.

In a pinny quip, a spokesman for the mayor told the San Francisco Chronicle it didn't sound like a great idea. "It's the mayor's job to weed out bad legislation. And to be blunt, this sounds pretty bad."

Unlike the state bill crafted by Mirkarimi's former colleague, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, it's not intended to be a profitable business, but at least it won't cost the city much if anything.

The intent seems to be focused on further de-stigmatizing the trade in cannabis for medical purposes.

"Now it’s time for municipalities to step up and to test our authority," says Mirkarimi. Photo by Brian Kusler.

Jackson West figures when you have the greens and the libertarians on your side in this city, you might just have a shot.

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