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Legal control of marijuana—a state issue 

How are we going to control the legal distribution of marijuana in California? A big question.

Right now it is totally out of control and on the streets everywhere.

You buy what the guy on the corner or in the back alley gives out for his fee.

You have no idea what is in it or where it comes from. There is no quality control. Stupid people do stupid things.

But now that marijuana is legal in the state of California, like tobacco and alcohol, it comes under all of the state's food laws and use regulations and taxes. And the state is responsible for administering these, not the cities.

Marijuana is another addictive form of tobacco with worse health characteristics.

It is a tobacco and if processed into a pill controlled by the FDA, it is a medical pill. Marijuana is treated just like tobacco and alcohol with controlled sources of production under state licenses. The medical version of marijuana must meet FDA regulations as a prescription drug and be made and sold by a licensed purveyor.

As a legal tobacco, marijuana cannot be smoked anywhere but in controlled spaces like tobacco. Mainly—nowhere!

Like backwoods booze, the illegal growing and sale and use of marijuana is now subject to arrest and fines and prison time by the states.

What is the city's responsibility? Just to collect the sales taxes on the product like anything else sold across the counter.

So this is how the present mayhem of illegal marijuana will be put under control. In doing so, the state has become responsible for the safety of the product for the user. Therefore, it is the FDA and the pharmaceutical company that should be responsible for any quality failures.

The big outstanding question is: Does the state have the funds to administer this kind of responsibility?

Justin M. Ruhge

Concerned Taxpayers

Lompoc

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