Dumanis: Opposition to medical marijuana is a 'misperception' - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Dumanis: Opposition to medical marijuana is a 'misperception'

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, who is running for mayor, said Wednesday she supports the "legitimate, legal use of marijuana for medicinal purposes," though some marijuana activists may view her as an adversary.

Dumanis said she knows several people with serious illnesses who use the normally illegal weed to help whet their appetites or get relief from nausea.

"In spite of being on the record with my support for years, many people have been led to believe I do not support the use of medicinal marijuana," Dumanis said. "News stories have labeled me as a 'medical marijuana opponent.' Unfortunately, the opinion of a few has become the misperception of some."

She said she was as opposed to anyone who would hide behind state law to make a profit.

"There are many examples where flagrant violators of the law hide shamefully behind a poorly written initiative and law," Dumanis said. "It's just not legal to sell marijuana for profit, whether it's out of a storefront or on a street corner."

Federal law does not recognize any legal use of marijuana. The Drug Enforcement Administration, however, has generally turned a blind eye to proliferation of marijuana stores since voters statewide first approved the medical marijuana in 1996.

If elected mayor, Dumanis said she would strive to find some middle ground and to come up with a city ordinance aimed at protecting patient rights while keeping pot out the hands of children and others who do not need it for a medical reason.

As it is, the city outlaws marijuana dispensaries and has taken legal action to close some of the 180 or so outlets.

Earlier this year, the City Council passed zoning regulations that allowed dispensary operators who got city permits to set up in mostly industrial area -- at least 600 feet away from homes, schools and other so-called sensitive areas.

Medical marijuana advocates said the zoning laws were too restrictive, and turned in enough voter signatures on a petition to get the ordinances repealed. The result, however, left marijuana dispensaries with no legal way to operate within the city limits.

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