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Fort Bragg, California Advocates Suggest Let Police Dispense Medical Marijuana


August 1997

Proponents of medical marijuana in Mendocino County, California propose using a conference room inside the Fort Bragg police station to dispense medical marijuana, a vacant field behind the station to grow marijuana for medicine, and to distribute confiscated and donated marijuana (Peter Fimrite, "Proposal Suggests Cops Dispense Medical Pot," San Francisco Chronicle, August 15, 1997, p. A19; Associated Press, "Cannabis club says let police grow it," Contra Costa Times, August 16, 1997).

"People would feel safer knowing that it's a totally legitimate place to go and acquire their medicine" said Eros Hamilton-Talbot, one of the advocates who made the proposal on August 12 to Police Chief Thomas Bickell. Members of the Ukiah Cannabis Buyers Club suggested the proposal as a way to safely dispense medical marijuana, and to resolve ambiguities about distribution and transportation in California's new medical marijuana law.

"Things that are brought in by citizens have to be considered," said Jim Murphy, the Fort Bragg City Administrator. Murphy, who attended a meeting at which the proposal was made, added, "It would definitely be problematic, but it will very likely be put on the agenda of the public safety committee sometime in September."

"We can't cultivate marijuana for any purpose. It's against the law," said Fort Bragg Police Captain Rich Wiseman. "We're not a care provider. We're a law enforcement agency." California's medical marijuana law allows for "care providers" to cultivate marijuana for patients with a physician's recommendation for the medicine.